DTE Energy Offers Tips to Help Manage Winter Heating Costs


DETROIT, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- With the heating season fast approaching -- and with natural gas bills expected to rise -- DTE Energy has a number of tips to help customers prepare their homes and their budgets for winter.

Some simple steps taken now can pay big dividends when temperatures start to plummet. DTE Energy also is offering a number of free energy efficiency workshops that can help consumers save even more money and better manage their utility bills (see schedule below).

The following tips can help customers manage their energy costs and save money:

Budget wisely ...

DTE Energy's Budgetwise Billing program can take the seasonal ups and downs out of energy bills. DTE Energy will calculate an average monthly payment, based on your previous year's usage. You pay that amount for 11 months; the 12th bill of the year will reflect the difference between the energy you actually used and the 11 payments you made. Enroll online at or by calling (800) 477-4747.

Dial down ...

The best way to manage your energy costs is by using energy wisely. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save about three percent on your heating bill.

One way to accomplish this is with an automatic set-back or programmable thermostat, which can automatically lower the temperature when you're away from the house, and automatically increase it before you get home.

Homes with proper humidity levels will provide greater comfort at lower temperatures. When humidity is kept at a proper level -- about 35 percent at 70 degrees -- windows will not sweat and the air won't feel dry. Replace the humidifier pad or clean it of calcium deposits for best results.

Fine tune your furnace ...

Schedule a heating system check-up. A qualified heating contractor will make sure your heating system operates efficiently and delivers the maximum energy savings.

Clean or replace your furnace's air filters as needed during the winter season. Dirty filters block the warm airflow in the home, 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 do not block airflow.

Add insulation ...

Install attic and basement insulation to keep out drafts and make your home more energy efficient and warm. Adding blown cellulose on top of rolled fiberglass insulation will increase the insulation value of your attic.

Insulate all heating ducts located in attics and unheated crawlspaces, and make sure there are no leaks in your ductwork.

Place an insulation blanket around your hot water heater. Electric water heaters should be placed on an insulated surface, such as foam. Adjust water heater temperature to the warm setting (about 120 degrees F)

Keep the cold air out and the warm air in ...

Seal windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping to block unwanted drafts. If caulk cracks and peels away, it allows your home's heat to escape.

Install a fireplace door to prevent cold air from entering your home. And, be sure to close the damper unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like having a window wide open during the winter. However, if you have a gas fireplace, the flue should be partially open to allow fumes from the pilot light to escape.

Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warm air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done their job.

Let the sun shine in ...

Open curtains on south facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Be sure to close the curtains at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Energy efficiency forums provide more money-saving info ...

DTE Energy is offering a number of free energy efficiency forums that will provide even more tips on how residents and businesses can reduce their energy usage. Vendors of energy efficient products will be on hand to talk about what's new in their industries, information will be available on energy efficiency rebates available from DTE Energy, and all attendees will receive a free gift.

Here are the dates and locations of DTE Energy's free energy efficiency forums:

  Sept. 29: Muskegon - St. Thomas Catholic Church, 3252 E. Apple Ave.
  Sept. 30: Big Rapids - United Church of Big Rapids, 120 S. State St.
  Sept. 30: Warren - The Gazebo Banquet Center, 31104 Mound Rd.
  Oct. 2: Grosse Pointe Farms - Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore
  Oct. 6: Grand Rapids - St. James Catholic Church, 733 Bridge St. NW
  Oct. 7: Grand Rapids - Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 514
          Eastern Ave. SE
  Oct. 8: Port Huron - Thomas Edison Inn, 500 Thomas Edison Parkway
  Oct. 15: Northville - Genitti's Hole-in-the-Wall, 108 E. Main
  Oct. 16: Auburn Hills - Crowne Plaza - Auburn Hills, 1500 N. Opdyke Rd.
  Oct. 18: Novi - Novi Civic Center, 45175 W. Ten Mile
  Oct. 20: Detroit - New Galilee Baptist Church, 11241 Gunston
  Oct. 21: Detroit - Fellowship Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive
  Oct. 22: Trenton - Westfield Community Center, 2700 Westfield Rd.
  Oct. 23: Monroe - Lazy Boy Center Meyer Theater, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd.
  Oct. 27: Detroit - St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, 10400 Stoepel
  Oct. 28: Detroit - Second Ebenezer Church, 14601 Dequindre Rd.
  Nov. 5: Dearborn - Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, 15801
          Michigan Ave.
  Nov. 8: Ann Arbor - The Ark, 316 S. Main

For more information on the free energy efficiency forums -- or to register for an event -- go to , or call (800) 477-4747. Advanced registration is encouraged.


CONTACT: Len Singer, +1-313-235-8809, or Lorie N. Kessler,
+1-313-235-8807, both of DTE Energy

Web site: