MPSC offers tips on staying cool while keeping utility bills in check
As summer temperatures climb to some of the highest readings so far this year, the Michigan Public Service Commission is offering practical tips to help manage utility bills while staying cool.
For example, keep homes or apartments cool and comfortable by using fans to supplement air conditioning, grill outdoors instead of using the stove or oven, and seal ventilation ducts since air loss accounts for about 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption.
You’ll find many of these low-cost or no cost things you can do to reduce energy waste without breaking a sweat at the MPSC’s Be Summerwise website, which features important information on smart energy use and helpful utility and weatherization programs.
- Ceiling fans allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without affecting comfort. Turn fans off when not in the room.
- Install and set a programmable thermostat to efficiently manage your cooling system. It could help you to save up to 10 percent annually on cooling and heating costs.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower overall cooling bills will be.
- Keep curtains or blinds closed to keep the sun from warming the home’s interior.
- Shut air vents in parts of the house that aren’t used or close off unoccupied rooms to keep the cool air where it’s needed. This can save 5 to 10 percent on cooling costs.
- Use the dishwasher later in the day so you don’t add heat or humidity to your home.
- Keep the cooling system well-tuned with periodic maintenance. Clean or replace the air filter once a month or as needed. Dirty or clogged filters reduce efficiency.
- Seal cracks around windows and doors to keep cool air from escaping.
- Unplug cell phones, televisions, video games and other devices when not in use. Even when not turned on, these devices use energy just by being plugged in.
- If concerned about the cost of running air conditioning, go to an area cooling center, the local mall, the senior center, or a movie theater to get out of the heat.
- Severe weather such as thunderstorms can knock out power or cause flooding. Assemble a power outage readiness kit that includes flashlights, batteries, water, candles, important phone numbers, and a battery-operated radio.
- Stay at least 20 feet from downed power lines and assume a fallen line is live.
- If power is interrupted and you need to run a portable generator, never use it indoors, in the basement, in a garage, or near windows or doors where dangerous carbon monoxide can enter a home.
- Buy an ENERGY STAR-qualified air conditioning unit – on average, they’re up to 15 percent more efficient than standard models. ENERGY STAR products meet strict federal efficiency standards.
- Running large appliances in the evening or at night during off-peak hours can save money.
- Check with your utility provider about voluntarily participating in demand response and time-of-use programs, which can help save money by shifting a customer’s energy usage away from peak times.
- Sign up for a utility budget plan to even out the cost of staying cool in the summer.
- Contact your local utility about programs that allow income-eligible customers to make payments if they receive a shutoff notice and can’t pay the bill in full.
- Eligible active duty military personnel and low-income customers may qualify for shut-off protection through various programs.
- If your power goes out, have the toll-free number for your utility provider handy.
- The MPSC’s Customer Assistance hotline at (800) 292-9555 can help with issues related to utilities.
- The Aging and Adult Services Agency, which is part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, can provide contact information for local Area Agencies on Aging to learn more about local resources such as cooling centers.
- Call 211 for information and referrals for agencies that can help with utility payments.
For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter. To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.
I-96 bridges over Billwood Highway and the Grand River
Start: Summer 2019 End: Fall 2019
Full Highway Closures:
WB I-96 will be closed starting at 9PM Friday July 19th to 5am Monday, July 29th
EB I-96 will be closed starting at 9PM Friday August 2nd to 5am Monday, August 12th
A request has been submitted to close Billwood Hwy between Creyts Road and Aberdeen Dr. – Not sure of dates yet
Performing regular maintenance on bridges helps improve and extend the service life of these structures. Closing lanes during this type of work is necessary to provide the safest work area possible for crews and motorists.
What Is Being Done?
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will invest about $1.3 million to perform critical preventive maintenance and repair work on the eastbound and westbound I-96 bridges over the Grand River and Billwood Highway in Eaton County.
How Traffic Will Be Affected:
All work will be done one direction at a time with all lanes closed on the structure being repaired. Each closure is expected to take place over nine consecutive days (dates will be announced in advance).
During each closure, traffic will be detoured using US-127 and I-69.
Periodic nighttime lane closures will take place throughout the project to accomplish remaining work.
NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION
TUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2019
EATON COUNTY, MICHIGAN
To the Qualified Electors of Eaton County, Charter Township of Windsor:
Notice is hereby given that a special election will be held in Windsor Charter Township on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. The polls of said election will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
For the purpose of voting on the following proposal:
Potterville Public Schools
Operating Millage Renewal Proposal
Exempting Principal Residence
And Other Property Exempted by Law
20 Mills for 10 Years
Full text of the ballot proposal may be obtained at the administrative offices of Potterville Public Schools, 420 North High Street, Potterville, Michigan 48876-9605, telephone: (517) 645-2662.
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT THE BONDS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, IF APPROVED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE ELECTORS AT THIS ELECTION, WILL BE GENERAL OBLIGATION UNLIMITED TAX BONDS PAYABLE FROM GENERAL AD VALOREM TAXES.
Sample ballots can be found at www.mi.gov/vote. To comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), voting instructions will be available in audio format and in Braille. Arrangements for obtaining the instructions in these alternative formats can be made by contacting the township clerk in advance of the election. All polling locations are accessible for voters with disabilities.
Registered voters may contact the township clerk’s office, 405 W. Jefferson St., Dimondale, MI 48821, to obtain an application for an absent voter ballot. For any other questions relating to the election process, please contact the clerk’s office at 517-646-0772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polling Location for this Special Election is at Precinct No. 3, 300 Oak St., Dimondale, MI 48821.
This notice is given as required by law (MCL 168.653a).
WINDSOR CHARTER TOWNSHIP CLERK