Michigan’s storm season has been especially active this year, with major thunderstorms and even tornadoes leading to downed power lines and power disruptions for many Michigan homes and businesses.
Storm season in Michigan is another important reminder about why local energy providers work so hard to ensure Michigan has a resilient electric grid that ensures reliability for everyone.
It takes a lot to keep energy reliable—and it isn’t all up to local energy providers. We each have our part to play in improving reliability. Especially during and after a major storm, consumers play a vital role in building a more resilient system by doing small things like reporting power outages and downed power lines if you see them (while maintaining a safe distance, of course!).
Some of the other ways that local providers work to promote—and consumers can help support—a more reliable energy grid include:
Michigan has a lot of energy resources at its disposal. Using all of them in a strategic, balanced way helps keep energy reliable by ensuring no one single energy source is carrying the load, so to speak. Not only that, but a diverse energy mix helps keep costs lower and more stable for Michigan homes and businesses.
That’s why local providers invest in renewables like universal wind, solar, and hydro power; natural gas; advanced nuclear; and a range of other resources to help power Michigan communities more reliably and affordably.
Michigan consumers and businesses can do their part to support a diverse energy mix, including renewables, by participating in voluntary green pricing programs, which allow Michiganders to increase their use of renewable energies like wind or solar. Not only do these kinds of programs help expand renewables in our state responsibly and fairly without increasing costs, but they help support energy diversity and reliability.
Upgrading and modernizing our energy infrastructure is just as important as repairing our roads, bridges, and highways. That makes ongoing infrastructure discussions in Washington, D.C., vital to Michigan’s energy future.
Investing in grid improvements and upgrades, including smart grid and grid security technology, helps strengthen the resilience and reliability of our entire energy system. These investments not only keep energy reliable, but they also ensure the grid is more protected from critical threats—both natural and manmade—that could lead to power disruptions for Michiganders.
As weather patterns get more extreme, local energy providers and Michigan cities are working hard to prevent power outages from happening in the first place. Regular maintenance and updates, including “replacing wires with thicker ones, replacing poles with larger ones, and upgrading neighborhoods to smart devices,” helps make the grid more resilient to the kinds of severe storms Michigan has been seeing lately.
Additionally, tree trimming by local energy providers helps prevent power disturbances that can impact Michigan homes and businesses. DTE Energy’s newly launched Tree Trim Academy will help create hundreds of new tree-trimming jobs to support these proactive measures, spurring local economies while promoting energy reliability.
A more energy-efficient grid is a more reliable grid. That’s why Michigan’s local energy providers are also working to increase energy efficiency wherever and whenever they can—from how they generate it to how consumers and businesses use it.
Both Consumers Energy and DTE Energy offer a range of energy-efficiency programs that help local homes and businesses increase their energy efficiency. Taking small steps to cut down energy use—from switching to LED light bulbs to performing regular AC maintenance to sealing air leaks around doors and windows—can add up to big energy-efficiency improvements.
Improving energy efficiency across the board helps increase reliability for all Michiganders, especially during the summer months when energy use—and the strain on our grid—increases.
Higher temperature and humidity are expected to result in an increased likelihood of storms across Michigan this week, making storm season far from over. That’s why it’s critical to continue working together to build a stronger, more resilient grid that will protect reliability for all Michiganders.