Steps to manage energy use as transition to fall begins

Stock image. (DTE Energy)

Fall is a time of transition with kids back to school, fall sports in full swing, leaves starting to change colors and the temperature starting to drop.

This transition can also create opportunities to lower your energy costs. Below are some simple steps to help you manage your energy use and save.

1. Purchase Estar school supplies/equipment.

2. Adjust your thermostat to align with your family’s new schedule

  • For the average American household, almost half the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings will help you save money and stay comfortable in your home.
  • Many smart thermostats learn your temperature preferences and establish a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away.
  • As temperatures drop, layer up with sweaters and blankets instead of manually increasing your thermostat setting.

3. Use appliances efficiently when making school lunches and family dinners

  • Household appliances account for nearly 11 percent of energy use in an average house.
  • Minimize the number of times you open your refrigerator and freezer doors, take out everything you need for each meal at once.
  • Use your microwave, crockpot or air fryer instead of your stove and oven.
  • After efficiently using other appliances, make sure to load up the dishwasher. Dishwashers use about the same amount of energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside, so run full loads whenever possible.

4. Unplug devices when not in use

  • Consumer electronics play a large role in your home’s energy consumption. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment can use a small amount of electricity. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.

5. Take advantage of Mother Nature

  • As the temperatures drop, open blinds and curtains on sunny days to use the heat from the sun to naturally warm up your house. At night, close them to reduce drafts.

For more room-by-room tips visit DTE’s virtual, Energy Efficient home at