Waste Not, Want Not: Michigan Energy Producers & Efficiency
With Michigan facing an electric capacity crisis, energy efficiency is a major topic of discussion among Governor Snyder and lawmakers in Lansing. Increasing energy-efficiency efforts across the state—by individuals, businesses, and entire industries—will be an important component of how we our energy needs in the future.
Leading by Example
As the organizations charged with meeting most of the state’s power needs, Michigan’s local energy providers are primary players in energy-efficiency discussions. They are leading the way in the development and implementation of current and future efficiency plans, tools, and information.
- DTE Energy. In January 2015, DTE Energy began the process of initiating an ambitious “package of energy-efficiency programs that includes home energy consultations, energy-efficiency assistance, home energy surveys, a multifamily program and a school program.” The work “includes distribution and installation of low-cost energy-efficiency measures, and outreach events with the goal of teaching customers about the impact of their energy usage and introducing them to low-cost ways to start saving energy.”
- Consumers Energy. Additionally, Consumers Energy has reached its annual energy efficiency targets for the last five years, helping consumers to save more and use less. Consumers Energy President and CEO John Russell wrote recently, when “measuring the impact of our energy efficiency programs in dollars—more than half a billion dollars has been saved by our customers and energy efficiency has allowed us to avoid building new generation.”
Partnering with Residential and Business Customers
Michigan’s local energy producers have numerous programs to help both their residential and commercial customers use less energy.
- Online Tips and Resources. DTE Energy offers an array of tools and information on the company’s website to help consumers save energy, including energy calculators, tips for saving energy, the MyEnergy Analyzer (an “interactive tool that helps you easily evaluate how you use energy in your home and where you can save”), as well as an interactive “energy house” to help customers precisely pinpoint areas where they can save. The Consumers Energy website has a similar suite of tools for its customers.
- Advancements in Smart Technology. Michigan energy providers are using technological advances to give customers the tools they need to manage an energy-efficient home. Consumers, for example, is currently in the process of investing $750 million to install smart meters—which keep track of energy usage data and send it back to the company for analysis and adjustment—in all of its customers’ homes. DTE Energy is also making significant investments in smart meters, replacing 2.5 million standard meters with smart meters for its nearly four million customers.
Saving Energy—and Money
Efficiency programs offered by local Michigan energy providers are also helping save their customers money—a benefit that’s equally important as our state continues to rebuild from the recent economic downturn.
Since 2009, Consumers Energy efficiency plans have saved participating customers a whopping $855 million. And DTE Energy saved its participating customers $512 million—in a single year (2013)!
What do you think about the efforts our local energy providers are making to increase energy efficiency? Tell us today.