How to save money on heat as temperatures drop


As winter weather finally rolls around in western Michigan, Consumers Energy has some tips for saving on your electric bill.

MICHIGAN, USA – After the first snowfall in western Michigan since March, it’s not a bad idea to try to find ways to save on your next electric bill and have a plan in the event of a power outage.

A spokesperson for Consumers Energy said the utility company’s focus for the next few years is on upgrading its power grid and effectively reducing the number of power outages in the region.

“We are in the process of completing over 2,000 power projects that will strengthen the grid for more than one million customers here in our service territory,” said Josh Paciorek of Consumers Energy. “The work includes clearing trees, plants and other vegetation around power lines – it’s the number one cause of power outages in Michigan.”

The new technology in their lines is also said to help prevent weather-related outages and increase response time in the event of a power outage for residents.

But for residents, winterizing your home is an effective way to save on your next electric bill.

“One of the best tips I can give is to check the areas around your doors and windows,” Paciorek said. “Even just an eighth of an inch of a crack around a door or window is equivalent to a softball-sized hole right in the middle of the door – it just gives you a visual idea of ​​how much hot air that could escape, and any wasted hot air is simply more heat your furnace will need to generate – the longer your furnace runs, the higher your energy bill will be.

Paciorek recommends that those with an older furnace have theirs professionally serviced to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency.

“The more efficiently your furnace operates, the less energy it will need to heat your home,” he said.

Still, Paciorek suggests residents should have a plan in case of a power outage, which could happen anytime there’s a winter storm forecast with freezing rain, sleet or strong winds.

“Sign up for outage alerts at consumerenergy.com, make sure you have enough food and supplies,” he said. “Know where your flashlights are – have that emergency kit ready, make sure you have extra cover in your car just in case.

“And whenever there are power outages in winter, you’re going to see our crews working at night… Especially with the slippery winter roads. We would like to remind people to slow down, go around, give space to our teams when working on power outages.

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