DTE Energy asks customers to reduce energy usage during sub-zero weather

By Scott Bolthouse |The Huron Hub | ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

As the region does its best to stay warm Wednesday during sub-zero temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills, DTE Energy is asking customers to try their best to reduce power usage.

According to DTE, conserving power use during the cold weather will help safeguard the reliability of their regional energy grid.

“We know how important it is for our customers and Michigan’s economy to have reliable electric service they can count on day in and day out,” said Christy Wicke, executive director, Generation Optimization, DTE Energy. “While DTE’s plants are running well, our system is connected to energy grids in other states and Canada that are experiencing issues due to the extreme weather. Because of this, we are asking for your support to ensure everyone can stay warm.”

Wicke said customers can take the following steps to help DTE manage the demand for energy:

-Dial down the thermostat several degrees in your home and wear additional layers of clothing.
-Minimize use of electrical appliances and equipment such as washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and humidifiers.
-Turn off all unnecessary lights.
-Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
-Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

“While we’re expecting some relief later in the week from the polar vortex, it’s important that the electrical grid get help from our customers today,” Wicke said. “If every DTE Energy customer does just a little bit, energy demand can be substantially reduced – and that will help maintain reliability of the entire grid during the sub-zero temperatures.”

DTE said they plan for the peak demand periods by making sure its power plants and substations are in top operating condition.

When necessary, the company also uses voluntary interruptible programs to meet peak demand periods. During these same times, DTE also conserves energy at its facilities and postpones maintenance work that might impact the operation of power plants.

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