Tag Archive: DTE Energy


I just found out that when I read the meter at the start of this family project, I read it wrong. Big surprise, considering as I have never in my 35 years had occasion to read the meter, despite multiple efforts at wondering where our energy was going.

Apparently DTE’s reading on the same day that I did mine, July 19th, was 53707, not 54606.

I think I know the cause, although to be truthful I’ll never be completely sure…the DTE Website tells you that when you read the meter, if the dial is between two numbers, to take the lesser of the two. Well, as I remember it, the needle was almost on top of the four, so I took the four, even though I should have taken the three. Not sure what happened with the seven vs. the six, but hey, I’ll take theirs since it happens to be lower than mine!!

We’ve been doing well this week, despite climbing temperatures. Wednesday night made for a wonderful thunderstorm night, but instead of closing the windows and turning on the A/C we kept the windows open…much to the dismay of the cat, who all but climbed under the covers shaking in his fur. Between trying to keep him calm and the flashes of lightening that came through the open windows, a restful night of sleep was anything but. However, it all evened out in the end when we made it more than 16 hours without having to turn on the A/C!

Side note: I was forced to turn on the A/C the next day, yesterday, by none other than my cat. When I went downstairs around noontime was wearing a desperate expression, and seemed to want to step out of his fur, he was so hot. If a cat could be sweating, he was. As the temperature in the house was nearing 85 degrees, I compromised and told him that I would turn on the air.

All major appliances except for stove, washer & dryer, the chest freezer in the garage and the refrigerator/freezer and dishwasher in the kitchen remain unplugged, except when in use for various hours throughout the day. The dishwasher has not been used since the start of this project, meaning that I have been washing all the dishes, including pots and pans, in the sink with hot, soapy water (with a dash of bleach added).

Thank you to everyone who has been commenting on the blog – it’s great to know that someone out there is reading!

On another happy note, I have added a poll to the blog. Please vote on the poll, as it will decide whether another section will be added to this blog. Future polls may be added to decide what family project we will take on next!

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.

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