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Energy Efficiency Can Contribute to Increased Reliability

We’ve talked before about the importance of using energy wisely, and many Michiganders have taken steps to increase energy efficiency in their own homes by:

They’re all important steps to take to reduce the amount of energy that Michigan utilities need to produce or purchase.  This helps protect the environment, not to mention save a few dollars .

But did you know that practicing energy efficiency individually is also central to ensuring the delivery of reliable power to everyone?  Michigan’s energy providers recognize that, which is why they continue to invest in new technologies to improve efficiency.

Consumers’ Role in Ensuring Reliability

Consumers have a major role to play in reliability as well.  As Michigan’s demand for energy grows, electric utilities are working to upgrade their distribution systems.  Still it’s possible for the system to be overwhelmed at times.

Remember the Northeast blackout of 2003, which affected multiple states, including Michigan?  That was exacerbated by a failure of system software to alert operators to redistribute power from overloaded transmission lines.   Extraordinarily high demand can stress the transmission and distribution grids.

How can you help ensure the reliability of the electricity you use?

In addition to the usual steps you may take to improve energy efficiency in your home, you can be conscious of the timing of when you use certain high-consumption appliances.

On a 90- or 100-degree day, for example, assume everyone has their air conditioners cranked up.  While you should still keep yours running for safety reasons, you can help offset your increased usage due to cooling by something as simple as turning off a few extra lights or making sure you’re not running multiple appliances at the same time.  The same is true of those bitterly cold winter nights—bundling up indoors and turning the thermostat down even just a degree or two can have a significant impact.

By using energy in smarter, more efficient ways, you can help strengthen the reliability of electricity here in Michigan and nationwide.