JACKSON, Mich., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As the start of summer brings high temperatures across Michigan, Consumers Energy is letting residents and business owners know they can take many simple steps to lower energy costs and still stay cool.
"People should know they have the power to reduce their energy use and manage their monthly energy costs, even during the hottest times of the year," said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy's incoming senior vice president of customer experience and chief information officer. "We offer a variety of rebates and helpful tools that in some cases can lower a household's summer energy bill by as much as 20 percent."
Rich offered energy-saving tips for the summer. These and more can be found online at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/SaveEnergy:
- If you have central air conditioning, clean leaves and debris from the unit and away from the compressor because they can block airflow. Clean the filter regularly. Dusty filters make your air conditioner work harder.
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you're home and higher when you're away. Install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat that starts your air conditioner shortly before you get home. Consumers Energy offers rebates of up to $100 on Wi-Fi enabled thermostats.
- Don't cool rooms that are not used much. Close doors to cut energy costs.
- Make sure to seal and insulate your home. Reducing air leakage can be just as important to keep cool in the summer as to stay warm in the winter. Information about rebates for air sealing, insulation and windows is available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or by calling 866-234-0445.
- Operate your stove, oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the morning or evening when it's cooler outside. They add extra heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder.
- Keep cool with fans. A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning. You can also reduce the need for air conditioning by installing an attic fan.
- Replace or tune up your old air conditioning equipment and receive rebates ranging from $50 to $550. Go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or call 866-234-0445 to choose a participating contractor, who will install equipment, perform tune-ups and submit the rebate application for you.
While the winter heating season is months away, Consumers Energy is also reminding income-eligible Michigan residents to apply now for the Michigan Home Heating Credit and get a head start on heating costs. The filing deadline is Sept. 30 to apply for this year's credit, which on average is worth around $140.
Federal tax credits also are available for the purchase of new heating and cooling equipment: www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/heating_ventilating_air_conditioning
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
HOUSEHOLDS: Learn about energy efficiency programs and rebates: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome
BUSINESSES: Learn about energy efficiency programs and rebates: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/mybusiness
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SOURCE Consumers Energy