Imagine my surprise when I walked out on the front porch just before the start of this energy-saving family project to discover a package from DTE Energy, our local energy provider of electricity and natural gas.

For once, they were not calling for my head or sending a bill – they had, instead, sent a Free Energy Efficiency Kit.

Had they read my mind? Did they know what we were about to do?

Well, the short answer is no, they did not. Apparently unbeknowst to me, my wonderful husband had gone online to DTE’s Energy Efficiency Analyzer and, in the spirit of the family project, completed a free online home energy audit. The result, just for completing said audit, was this kit that landed on our doorstep.

Contained in the kit was:

  • Two 23Watt Compact Flourescent Light  (CFL) Bulbs (equal to 100 Watts each)
  • One 20Watt Compact Flourescent Light (CFL) Bulb (equal to 75 Watts)
  • Two 16Watt Compact Flourescent Light (CFL) Bulbs (equal to 60 Watts each)
  • One LED Night Light
  • One Kitchen Faucet Aerator (that will use only 1.5 Gallons Per Minute of water)
  • One Bathroom Faucet Aerator (that will use only 1.0 Gallons Per Minute of water)
  • One Energy-Efficient Shower Head
  • 8-10 Child Safety Caps for outlets (even if you don’t have a child in the house, these are said to decrease drafts)
  • 15 feet of Insulating Pipe Wrap, to wrap the pipes from the hot water heater
  • 17 feet of V-Seal Weatherstrip for doors, windows, attic hatches, around air conditioners, etc

Now, whatever your feelings are about DTE Energy (or any other energy provider), I have to tell you, this thing was completely free. The only catch was that my husband had to complete the energy audit online and, in doing so, register our house for online bill payment (which we did before this anyway, but there is an option to continue your paper statement).

All in all, I consider this a good deal. We’ve already put some of the products in this kit to use, and it sure beat going out and getting all of this stuff ourselves, which I doubt we would have been able to do, either logistically or monetarily. Even if our family was not actively trying to save energy with this family project, if half this stuff works out, we’ll have saved money along the way.

Slightly impressive as well, at least for me, was that there were very little tools needed for most of this kit. Some things that you receive in the mail are worse than a put-together piece of furniture, at least for me – I’m the type that always has 10 screws left and spends the next week in terror hoping the thing doesn’t fall apart! Seriously, though, the only thing remotely requiring tools (at least so far that I’ve seen) is the showerhead, and all that the showerhead needs is a pipe wrench and plumbers tape.

For those that read this blog that are not serviced by DTE Energy, check out your local energy provider’s website – similiar deals may exist elsewhere. I think they’re worth looking into, no matter where you live.