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DTE Energy helps customers prepare for colder weather

Energy Efficiency Day is a good time to think about how to manage winter energy bills

DETROIT, Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling for a "Novembrrr" and a "downright Frigid February," the 2017 Farmers Almanac is not alone in predictions for a cold winter in the Great Lakes region.

DTE Energy

So what better time than today, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's first Energy Efficiency Day, to start thinking about how to better manage winter energy bills?

For when temperatures start to fall in Michigan, one thing is certain: most Michiganders will start to use more natural gas to heat homes and businesses, which can lead to higher energy bills.

DTE Energy reminds customers there are a number of ways to prepare this Fall to save energy, manage heating bills and remain safe throughout the cold weather season. These quick, easy tips can amount to big savings as temperatures start to fall.

  • Install a programmable thermostat and set it at 68 degrees or lower – the recommended setting for winter. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save about $180 every year in energy costs.
  • Schedule a heating system check-up. A qualified heating contractor can make sure your heating system operates efficiently and delivers the maximum energy savings.
  • At a minimum, clean or replace furnace air filters every three months. Dirty filters block the warm airflow in both homes and businesses, which causes the furnace to work harder and less economically.
  • Clean and vacuum ducts, vents and heat registers. Check heat registers to ensure that drapes or furniture don't block airflow.
  • Check the chimney for obstructions. Make sure the chimney is not blocked by debris such as bird nests, leaves, loose mortar or dirt.
  • Seal air leaks first, then add insulation to save about 10 percent off your total energy bill. Seal air leaks using caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.
  • Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home or business. Be sure to close the curtains once the sun goes down to reduce the chill that may be felt from cold windows.
  • Install attic and basement insulation to keep out drafts and to improve energy efficiency and comfort.

Saving money shouldn't come at the expense of safety.

Natural gas is safe, reliable and clean. But like other fossil fuels, it can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if it does not burn completely. CO is colorless, odorless and tasteless, and can produce flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. It can also be fatal, so think about investing in a CO detector.

If a CO problem is suspected:

  • Immediately leave the building and get into fresh air
  • If necessary, seek medical assistance
  • Call DTE Energy at 800.947.5000
  • Do not re-enter the building until it is determined safe by a qualified professional

For more information about managing your heating costs and payment options, visit Stay Warm for your home or Heating Season for your business.

About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading.  As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy/.

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SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: Scott Simons or Pete Ternes, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555