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My energy bills are very high. I'm thinking about getting a new source of energy supply, such as solar or wind, in order to reduce my bills. Where should I begin?
A. Study your current situation and any proposed options before you start spending money on any new energy supply system. Though some systems can be cost effective today, on-site power systems are generally more expensive than energy efficiency options. Efficiency measures that will save as much as half of your total energy use are typically available at a cost much less than any new supply options.
Even if you think your home is already energy efficient, in most cases a careful investigation will uncover additional cost effective actions that can further reduce your energy bills. Look first to the building envelope. That means the walls, ceilings, floors, foundation, windows and doors. After the building envelope, then consider your appliances. The appliances that use the most energy and have the greatest opportunities for higher-efficiency replacements are your furnace, air-conditioner, water-heater, and refrigerator/freezer. Do not forget the lights, focusing attention on ones that are used many hours each day.
A trained energy auditor or home energy rater can help you to discover more energy efficiency opportunities. The Energy Office maintains a listing of home energy raters. Home energy raters are not certified or licensed by the State of Michigan, so this listing of raters does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the State of Michigan.
A variety of energy efficiency tips are available through our Residential Programs webpage.