Energy Efficiency Day highlights ways to cut energy use, lower bills

Oct. 1, 2019
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135
EGLE Media Office,, 517-284-9278

Energy Efficiency Day highlights ways to cut energy use, lower bills

National Energy Efficiency Day is Wednesday and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) reminds Michiganders that reducing their energy usage is the cheapest, quickest way to meet energy needs; cut residential, business and industrial utility bills; and reduce pollution.

To mark the fourth annual event (#EEDay2019), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation encouraging all Michigan citizens to join in supporting clean energy goals and moving toward more energy efficiency.

“Energy Efficiency Day is a reminder for all Michiganders that by doing your part to limit energy use today and every day we can work together toward a cleaner environment and sustainable future,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “Whether it’s weather stripping at home or replacing less-efficient machinery at work, energy efficiency benefits everyone by reducing demand for energy, which leads to lower bills.”

Through EGLE grant programs, Michigan schools, communities, businesses, and the agricultural sector have saved a total of approximately 2.06 million kilowatt hours of energy in the past year, or enough to power 174 homes for a year. Thirty EGLE-funded projects around the state have saved recipients more than $181,000 in energy costs so far.

Energy efficiency is also the first step toward making renewable energy a more cost-effective option. By reducing the amount of energy used through energy efficiency practices, the amount and cost of renewable energy needed to meet those energy needs is also reduced.

Here are some more tips from EGLE on increasing energy efficiency:

  • When replacing appliances, electronics, office equipment, or lighting look for Energy Star-rated products, which are more efficient than other models. The average household saves almost $500 annually due to efficiency standards that apply to new appliances.
  • Space heating in homes and businesses uses a lot of energy. Making sure HVAC systems are running efficiently can mean immediate savings.
  • Replacing the light bulbs that you use the most with light-emitting diode (LED) versions will cut energy use and lower bills.
  • An energy audit of your home or business can show you where small investments can have a big impact on lowering energy use, and most utilities offer assessments for free.
  • Reach out to your energy provider to see if you qualify for a rebate for making energy efficiency improvements to your home or business.
  • Kids of all ages can learn energy-saving habits -- such as turning off a game console when they’re finished playing -- by going to the Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids website. There, they can learn about energy, how to use it wisely, as well as find games and activities. The page also includes lesson plans and guides for teachers.

Small things can add up to big savings. Every $1 spent on energy efficiency projects results in $3.51 in lifecycle savings, according to the annual energy efficiency report from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Another way to conserve energy, Clark said, is to follow proper recycling practices. The more items that are recycled, the less energy is needed to make new products. EGLE’s Know It Before You Throw It recycling campaign aims to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually. Michigan’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest.

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