About 50 percent of Michigan’s residential energy bill goes to home heating.
The average home heating energy bills for Michigan households heated with electricity will increase by about $60 compared to last winter. Homes heated with natural gas will see their heating bills remain about the same as last winter. Heating costs for homes using heating oil will decrease by about $350 compared to last winter, while heating costs for homes using propane will decrease by about $225.
Michigan households are projected to spend about $3,450 on gasoline costs in 2008, about $470 (16 percent) more than they did in 2007.
Reducing Home Heating Costs
Turn down the thermostat. In Michigan, lowering it by just 1 degree can reduce heating energy costs by
up to 5% – between $40 and $70, depending on the fuel used to heat the home.
Plug leaks – Gaps between windows and doors may be small, but they can collectively add up to big
energy losses. Plugging these leaks with caulk or other materials is the first action homeowners should take to combat high heating fuel costs. By sealing those leaks and installing proper insulation,
especially in the attic and crawl spaces, Michigan households can reduce home heating costs by up to
$200-$345 per year, depending on the fuel used.
Heat people and pets, not empty space – about 80% of space is usually not being used at any given time. Closing vents in unoccupied rooms and using small space heaters to heat occupied areas can save a
significant amount of energy – and money.
A programmable thermostat costs about $100 – but if used properly, it can save Michigan households up to 10% on their home heating bills – up to $100-$175 a year.
Set the hot water heater at 130 degrees. Use cold water when washing clothes to save more energy and reduce bills for water heating.
Other Energy-Saving Tips
By replacing their four most used bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, Michigan households can save about $130 over the lifetime of the bulbs.
When choosing a new heating and cooling system, windows, or appliances, consumers should purchase models with the ENERGY STAR label.
Vehicle fuel economy can be improved with a few simple measures: tuning the engine (4%), using the recommended grade of motor oil (1-2%), keeping tires properly inflated (up to 3%), curbing aggressive driving such as speeding and rapid acceleration and braking (10% on average, but possibly as much as 33%), and removing unnecessary weight from the trunk (2% per 100 pounds). Even better, carpool, take public transportation, ride a bike or walk to really rack up the savings.
*Statistics compiled by the Alliance to Save Energy using data from the Department of Energy; US Census Bureau; Environmental Protection Agency; Bureau of Transportation Statistics; National Climatic Data Center; Fueleconomy.gov; Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association; Proctor & Gamble.