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DTE’s Michigan Consumers Saved Millions Last Year Through Efficiency Efforts

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Energy efficiency initiatives saved Michigan utility consumers $585 million in 2014, DTE Energy announced in June, and the steps taken by these residents are projected to have a combined lifetime savings value of more than $4.5 billion.

“In 2014, more than 550,000 electric and 300,000 natural gas customers participated in programs to better manage their energy use and save money,” Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy’s vice president of business planning and development, said in a statement. “We’re delighted that so many of our customers are engaged in programs and services designed to make energy more affordable.”

Energy efficiency refers to accomplishing the same tasks while using less energy, and often relies on upgrading technological components or whole appliances. The average fridge sold today, for example, uses 75% less energy than its 1975 counterpart (despite being 20% larger and 60% cheaper).

DTE offered programs and rebates for the installation of energy-efficient equipment and fixtures to both business and residential customers last year. Highlights of the company’s initiatives include, according to Dimitry:

    • Performing more than 29,000 in-home residential consultations
    • Outfitting more than 27,000 individual apartments with more efficient fixtures
    • Recycling more than 33,000 outdated appliances
    • Offering discounts on more than 4.7 million energy-efficient lights, including compact florescent bulbs and LEDs
    • Drawing more than 15,000 businesses into efficiency efforts

The company also launched the DTE Insight app, designed to help customers track and manage their energy use. The app was downloaded more than 35,000 times in the last year.

Dimitry said all these efforts are part of the utility company’s mission to provide affordable and responsible energy to all its customers. She also announced earlier this month that DTE is looking to cut a 43-cent surcharge from its bills starting next January, lowering overall consumer costs by about $15 million per year.

The utility is now seeking contractors to evaluate its current efficiency programs and shape their trajectories into 2016 and 2017 (with bidding for the contracts due to end June 12).

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