US state saves $5bn on energy bills since 2008

Utilities energy efficiency initiatives deployed in the US state of Michigan have helped consumers save $5 billion on their energy bills since 2008.

In its 2016 energy efficiency review, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) states that Michigan has exceeded its energy efficiency target set in 2008 by 20%. This was made possible by an increase in the implementation of policies supporting the adoption of energy conservation measures.

The regulatory initiatives are said to have allowed an increase in investments and implementation of programmes to improve consumer awareness on the benefits of energy efficiency.

In addition to reducing energy bills, energy efficiency projects have helped utilities to reduce their carbon emissions by limiting power generation using fossil fuels.

These programmes have also helped the state’s 65 utilities to reduce their operational costs by offsetting new investments generation plants and rather, improving the reliability of their grid networks.

According to the MPSC, utilities operating in Michigan have invested $262 million towards implementation of energy efficiency projects in 2015 alone. The Michigan state energy regulator projects that energy efficiency programmes deployed in the state in 2015 will result in benefits of up to $1.1 billion over the next several years.

The energy regulator said consumers can reduce their energy consumption by up to 35%, by shifting to less energy intensive LED lighting systems, insulation and automated controls.

The policies include the Senate Bill 437 and the SB438 both of which have increased the state’s energy efficiency targets from 10% by 2015 to 15% by 2022.

The Michigan State’s Energy Optimisation programme mandates electric utilities’ energy efficiency projects to achieve 1% of utilities total retail energy sales.

Energy efficiency projects deployment

In the 2nd quarter of 2016, Michigan-based power utility DTE Energy upgraded its energy efficiency tool ‘DTE Insight’ to help consumers reduce their power consumption and electricity bills.

The new feature allows customers to use the DTE Insight app to set an energy budget target, monitor their energy efficiency targets through access to daily, weekly, monthly and annual energy costs.

The app now connects mobile devices with smart gas and electric meters to allow consumers to receive notifications when they are approaching their targets. [Consumers Energy budgets $750m to complete AMI rollout].

In addition, the platform provides energy efficiency tips with step by step instructions and powerscans appliances to allow customers to view their monthly operating cost of a selected appliance.

DTE Energy claims the new feature allows the app to help consumers reduce power consumption by as much as 10% per month.

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