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Seven Ways to Save Money This Winter

Ideas to Help Reduce Your Energy Bill

The average household’s monthly energy bill in Michigan was about $118 in 2021, or about $1,416 annually. Unfortunately, with the rising cost of natural gas, these numbers are expected to go up in 2022/2023. The good news is you can cut energy costs without compromising your comfort. We’re here to help. Below are seven energy saving tips – both large and small – that could help you save money and energy this winter.

Do the free stuff first
It’s simple to save on your energy bill – use less energy and you’ll spend less. Look for opportunities around your house like turning off the lights when you leave a room or turning your thermostat down a few degrees. Have ceiling fans? Reverse the direction to be clockwise and run them on a low setting to propel warm air down toward you. Once you start looking for ways to reduce your energy use just by making new habits, you’ll easily find more!

Banish the energy vampires – and save
Did you know there are energy vampires lurking in your home that cost you money all year long – not just in October? Every day your electronics could be continually running up your energy bill by drawing small amounts of electricity, even when they’re switched off. That’s why we call them energy vampires – and they could be costing you up to $200 a year. You can slay the energy vampires with a smart power strip. Learn more about the advanced devices and help choose one that meets your needs here. We offer smart power strips in our Online Store – so you can find devices reviewed and recommended by our energy efficiency experts!

Turn it down a notch – your water heater, that is
Heating water is the second biggest use of energy in your home – typically 14% of your total energy costs. Turning down the thermostat on your water heater a few degrees is a great place to start. Some water heaters come from the factory set at 140 F. Too hot for most needs! We recommend 120 F for most homes. You could avoid spending an additional $36-61 per year with this simple adjustment. Then install a low-flow shower head which could reduce hot water use by 25-60%. While you’re at it, consider a shower instead of a bath, which saves even more energy. If your water heater is more than 15 years old, give some thought to a new high-efficiency replacement. We even offer rebates to help offset the cost.

A bright idea for savings
Have you replaced the incandescent, fluorescent and other types of lighting in your home with LEDs yet? LED bulbs reduce energy use by as much as 90%. What are you waiting for? A medium-sized home could avoid spending an extra $123 per year by switching from incandescent lighting to LED. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure the bulb meets the highest standards for efficiency. We offer instant rebates at many local home and hardware stores, or you can visit our convenient Online Store to purchase a wide range of LED lighting products. You can even get them free with our Home Energy Analysis.

Get smart
Did you know your thermostat could help you avoid paying an additional $50 annually and earn you cash rewards? A smart thermostat learns your heating (and cooling) use patterns and adjusts the temperature to reduce energy waste. With a smart thermostat, you don’t pay for what you’re not using. Our Smart Thermostat Program also offers incentives for enrollment. Enroll in the program and you could get a new smart thermostat at little to no cost to you, plus a prepaid $25 gift card at the end of each season you participate. Already have a smart thermostat? Enroll and you’ll get a $75 prepaid gift card and the same $25 seasonal incentive.

Had your check-up?
Just like your annual physical, your home’s energy efficiency should be checked regularly. A home energy audit could help avoid an extra 5-30% on your bill annually. We offer several options to help you reduce your energy use. Our trained energy technicians can perform a free Home Energy Analysis. This review will look at your home’s insulation, windows and furnace and provide free energy saving measures that may include LED light bulbs, pipe wrap, a programmable thermostat and more!

If you’re serious about long-term savings, you might want to consider our Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program. This program starts with an assessment by a certified contractor. They will recommend energy efficiency improvements. When you hire a contractor and complete these improvements, you’ll earn rebates of up to $3,750. Interested? Find a local qualified contractor. 

Save on energy efficient home improvements
Are you thinking about home improvements or new energy efficient appliances? Do you know about our rebate programs? Just make a qualifying purchase, complete a simple application and you’ll earn a rebate. Like $15 for replacing a window, or $500 for a high-efficiency furnace. We have rebates for windows, insulation, heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances – even EV charging stations! Learn more on our energy efficiency rebates page.

Save Energy. Save Money.
We want to help you find ways to save energy all around your house. Saving energy not only helps stretch your budget but also helps pave a path to a more sustainable future for Michigan. Want to learn more about how you can make your home more energy efficient, not just in winter, but year-round? Just head to ConsumersEnergy.com/charlesathome to see more! Did you know that some of the improvements to your home could even earn you rebates? They sure can – stop by our Rebates page to learn more.

We’re here to help.
We’re committing nearly $10 million to provide assistance options to help Michiganders stay safe and warm in their homes. You can learn more about programs to help our customers who are having difficulty paying their energy bill on our Payment Plans & Assistance page.