The arrival of summer brings family trips to the beach, backyard barbecues and for many homes, higher energy use. July is typically the hottest month of the year, and warmer temps can increase energy bills. The weather plays a role in your energy use and can result in higher bills – sometimes without any changes in your behavior, or how you are using energy. Whether you are at home or away, simple steps will keep your bill low and you cool.

When You’re Home


Keep your house warmer when you are away to avoid unnecessarily cooling your home (wasted energy). Set your programmable thermostat at 78 degrees or higher – the recommended setting for summer.  When properly set, a programmable thermostat can save about $180 every year in energy costs.


Use your windows to gain cool air and keep out heat – On cooler nights, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.

Central A/C, Room A/C and fans

  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Check the size of your AC and know what you need. The most energy efficient air conditioner is sized to the square footage of the space to be cooled. Getting the right size means getting the comfort and the energy efficiency right.
  • Have efficient equipment to save. ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners use about 10% less energy than conventional models, which could mean a savings of about $70 over the lifetime of the unit, on average.
  • Turn off fans when you leave the room to help save energy, because fans cool people, not rooms.

When You’re Away


If your thermostat is set at the recommended 78 degrees when you are home, adjust the temperature 5 – 8 degrees (down in winter, up in summer) when you’re away from home for several hours. The simple change can help save energy and avoid unnecessary equipment use.

Swimming Pools

Got a pool?  Then you should have an ENERGY STAR pool pump.  If you don’t, you are missing energy savings and upkeep.  An ENERGY STAR pool pump uses up to 70% less energy than standard pool pumps, saving you up to $350 a year in energy bills!

Pool covers minimize evaporation from both outdoor and indoor pools.  Covering a pool when it is not in use is the single most effective means of reducing pool heating costs, resulting in possible savings of 50%-70%.   

Running your pool filter only 6 hours a day versus 24 hours, will reduce your energy use by 75%.

We have more tips to help you manage your energy use at dteenergy.com/summer.  Tell us, how do you stay cool and save all summer long?