DTE Energy suggests customers turn down thermostat among other tips to save energy

As the brutal cold settles over southeast Michigan, DTE Energy is asking consumers to know their own power by taking a few steps to reduce energy - one of which is to dial down the thermostat.

Temperatures are -5 with windchills at minus 40. That all spells for a strong desire to stay nice and warm inside. But all of this use across Michigan, other states, and Canada can put a big draw on the system.

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DTE official Christy Wicke explained how the systems are all connected.

“While DTE’s plants are running well, our system is connected to energy grids in other states and Canada that are experiencing issues due to the extreme weather. Because of this, we are asking for your support to ensure everyone can stay warm," Wicke said.

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To help DTE manage the demand, the energy company offered a couple tips:

  • Dial down the thermostat several degrees in your home and wear additional layers of clothing.
  • Minimize use of electrical appliances and equipment such as washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and humidifiers.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights.
  • Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

The good news is that the polar vortex ends Friday and we'll be back in the 40s by the weekend. But the electrical grid has to get through the week first, Wicke said.

“While we’re expecting some relief later in the week from the polar vortex, it’s important that the electrical grid get help from our customers today,” Wicke said. “If every DTE Energy customer does just a little bit, energy demand can be substantially reduced - and that will help maintain reliability of the entire grid during the sub-zero temperatures.”

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DTE says it plans for peak demand periods like this by ensuring power plants and substations are in top operation condition. DTE says it also conserves energy at its facilities and postpones maintenance work that impact the operation of power plants when conditions like this merit.

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