Consumers Energy is encouraging Michigan homes and businesses to take action to stay comfortable and keep energy bills from rising, with high temperatures near or above 90 degrees expected to hit Michigan for the rest of this month.
“Due to the high temperatures forecasted this week, we are offering tips for customers that will help save energy and money,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “Consumers Energy is committed to helping Michiganders stay in control of their energy use and still stay comfortable, even on summer’s hottest days.”
Weather forecasts say this July could be one of the hottest months in the past six years. Consumers Energy is projecting that customers will use their air conditioning units 40% more than a typical July.
Consumers Energy is sending email, text and voice alerts to electric customers to let them know if they are using significantly more energy, and offering the following tips to help reduce summer energy use:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home and higher when you’re away. You’ll typically save 1 to 3 percent on cooling costs for every degree you dial up.
- Clean your air conditioning filter regularly. Dusty filters can make your appliance work harder, wasting energy.
- Install a smart thermostat and program it to start your air conditioner shortly before you get home. Consumers Energy offers rebates of up to $100 on Wi-Fi enabled thermostats.
- Seal leaks in your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save up to 30 percent on annual energy costs by doing so. Inspect and seal around doors, windows, recessed lights and attic hatches.
- Keep cool with fans. A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning. You can also reduce the need for air conditioning by installing an attic fan. Run your ceiling fan counterclockwise, pushing air downward to cool more efficiently.
- Close drapes, shades and blinds during the day to prevent the sun from heating your home unnecessarily. Open windows and doors in early morning and in the evening to let cooler air in.
- Use your stove, oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. They add extra heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder.
- Sign-up for the AC Peak Cycling program, which lowers the output of your air conditioner unit during select summer days. You’ll get $32 per full year you’re enrolled. Enroll at PeakPowerSavers.com/ac.
Customers who are having trouble paying their bill should call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050, or dial 2-1-1 — a free service that connects people with available resources in their community. Consumers Energy also has assistance programs and can make payment arrangements. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance.