How you can stay warm and safe while saving money this winter

Energy Use

Winter Storm Elliot brought freezing temperatures to Detroit in late December, and yet we saw warmer-than-normal weather in January. That’s just winter in Southeast Michigan – you never know what you’re going to get.

All of the changes in weather impact your monthly energy bill. When temperatures fall, your furnace runs more often and for longer, which increases the amount of energy you use. You can improve energy efficiency in their homes by setting the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and setting it lower when sleeping or away from home.

Other factors also impact your bill, such as usage and longer billing cycles.

  • Were your kids home for the holidays, or did you host a game night with your friends? Naturally, since it is so cold outside and days get darker, we are spending more time indoors. Increased lighting at night and plugging in more electrical devices all mean you are using more energy.
  • Your bill covers a month’s worth of energy usage, but because of several factors, the exact number of days on your bill can vary from month to month. As a result, you may sometimes receive a bill that covers as few as 28 or as many as 35 days of service. This can make your total bill smaller or larger even if your usage patterns don’t change.

Winter Safety Tips

It’s also important to keep safety in mind this winter by doing the following:

  • Remove leaves from around natural gas exhaust like fireplace chimneys and laundry exhaust, and don’t pile leaves that limit access to your meter for service visits or emergencies.
  • Be careful using a shovel, snow blower or snowplow when clearing snow and ice near your natural gas meter. Instead, carefully remove snow or ice by hand, brush or broom.
  • Cautiously remove ice hanging from roof edges above your natural gas meter.

Remember:  if you ever notice a rotten egg smell or suspect a carbon monoxide problem, immediately leave to get fresh air, seek medical assistance if necessary, call 911 and later report it to DTE at 800.947.5000.

Lastly, if your natural gas service is ever disrupted, you can seek out warming centers while natural gas is being restored. Stay safe this winter, Detroiters!

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