MAE offers tips on how to cut summer energy use, bills

Rick Snyder, Governor
Anne Armstrong Cusack, Executive Director



Contact: Nick Assendelft  T: 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555

Closing curtains, budget billing, ceiling fans all can make summer more bearable

LANSING, Mich. – Today is the first day of summer and the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) is urging Michiganders to Be SummerWise about their energy use as temperatures climb.

“There are many practical ways to cut your energy usage while also staying cool in the summer months,” said Anne Armstrong Cusack, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. “If everyone does just a little bit it will to make a big difference in demand for power, lessening the strain on utilities to meet high demand on the hottest days.”

Moderating usage will be important as demand for electricity is expected to increase in Michigan, according to MAE’s Summer Energy Appraisal. Even if the weather is near normal for the summer, electricity usage is expected to rise about 1.5 percent compared to a year ago. The report foresees residential electricity usage increasing 2.7 percent, with industrial sector usage up 1.5 percent and commercial usage up 0.6 percent. 

Electricity use in Michigan traditionally climbs along with summer temperatures, according to annual figures tracked by the federal Energy Information Administration. The EIA also reports that nearly 60 percent of homes in the state have central air conditioning with more than 20 percent using a window or wall unit.

To keep a lid on bills this summer here are 10 simple tips:

  • Check with your electric or natural gas utilities about energy waste reduction programs.
  • Sign up for a budget billing plan that can spread out your peak energy bills throughout the year.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and save an estimated 10 percent annually on cooling and heating. EIA says 56 percent of household energy use is air conditioning and space heating.
  • Seal air leaks to make your home more comfortable.
  • Use a ceiling fan to lower your home’s temperature by up to four degrees.
  • Keep area around air vents clean. Blocked vents make air conditioners work harder.
  • Unplug cell phones, TVs, video games, and other devices when not in use so they don’t continue to use energy in standby mode.
  • Close window curtains and shades during the day to keep the heat from the sun outside.
  • Use big energy users such as electric ovens, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, and other large appliances or office equipment in the early morning or late evening. Shifting the time of use will reduce the potential stress on Michigan's electric system at peak times.
  • Schedule a home energy assessment to determine energy usage, where energy is being lost, and problem areas to fix.

Want more ways to save? The Be SummerWise website features information on using energy wisely, available energy assistance and weatherization programs, and preparing for and surviving power outages. Or, check out our Beat the Heat and Save tip sheet.

The U.S. Department of Energy also provides low-cost and no-cost tips to cut energy use.

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