Smarter Energy Use

Consumers make wise choices about how, when, and how much energy they use each day to power everything from smart phones and home appliances to office equipment and industrial machines.

Smarter Energy Use

In homes and businesses, the way we use energy is also changing rapidly. Just 20 years ago, home computers were still using dial-up to connect to the Internet. Home appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, televisions, thermostats relied on electricity, but not in the same way they do now.

Today, the devices we use are increasingly interconnected and smarter. Your refrigerator or washer and dryer likely use technologies as complex as your smart phone. That means they’re more sensitive to, and more dependent on, a smooth, reliable flow of energy.

Fortunately, the tools consumers have at their disposal to help them use energy wisely—and more cost-efficiently—are also expanding.

Numerous things you can do at little to no cost can improve your personal energy efficiency and help keep your costs low. Technology innovations can help make it easier to monitor and adjust energy use in our homes and businesses in real time:

  • Programmable or smart thermostats. Smart thermostats like NEST—and even just regular, programmable thermostats—help consumers make smarter energy decisions by customizing heating or cooling schedules based on the time of day, season, whether or not anyone is home, and a number of other factors. NEST and other smart thermostats offer other features to help consumers improve their energy use as well, including filter change reminders, auto-away settings, and more.
  • Energy-efficient appliances. The list of energy-efficient appliances seems to grow longer every day. ENERGY STAR-certified products range from light bulbs and ceiling fans to refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, and office equipment. Switching to an energy-efficient appliance not only helps reduce your personal energy use—thereby lowering your monthly bill—but it helps reduce the strain on our entire grid, keeping energy more reliable and affordable for everyone. Moreover, local energy providers typically offer a rebate program for qualifying ENERGY STAR products.
  • LED Lighting. LED lightbulbs and fixtures are now commonly available and designed to fit anywhere you can install a traditional incandescent bulb. You can probably find them at your grocery or hardware store. They are more expensive up front, but significantly reduce the amount of energy required to light your home or business over time.

Using the energy we have more efficiently is vital to making our state’s energy system stronger and helping it work better for all of us. Making smarter energy choices is also one thing we all have in our power to help Michigan usher in a cleaner, more reliable, and more energy-efficient future, together.


Here’s good news: Your energy costs could go down this year.

There could be good news ahead for Michigan energy consumers. We’ve already experienced the first taste of winter, but more moderate temperatures are forecast to return and—best of all—natural gas costs are predicted to fall once again this year, just as they have since 2008.


Net Zero Emissions Requires a Comprehensive Approach

You’ve probably heard that DTE has raised eyebrows across Michigan and the entire country by announcing an ambitious new plan. DTE is going beyond its commitment  of 80% carbon reduction to a new goal of reaching for “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.


Local Energy Gives Back, Locally

We recently discussed some of the ways local energy providers work to support local communities by participating in an array of community-focused projects and initiatives. Today, we want to take some time to recognize some other ways local providers are giving back to help support everything from good old summertime fun to wildlife restoration and environmental education to economic and neighborhood development in communities across the state.