Warm weather has finally made its way to the mitten and, after months spent inside through the winter, we want to make the most of it. But fun in the sun is all the better when you have a cool home to come back to. You can enjoy the season and stay cool this summer without breaking the bank with your energy bill. Start today with the tips below to maximize your savings and summer fun!
- Make the most of your AC: Make sure your air conditioner is operating efficiently by changing your air filter regularly – at least every three months – and checking it monthly; getting a checkup of your cooling system and planting shade trees or installing an awning around your unit. Helping your air conditioner work less pays off!
- Have your schedule work for you: Install a programmable thermostat to make sure your AC isn’t working overtime and try to save heavy duty appliance use – like dishwashers, washers and dryers – for the evening hours when the outside air is cooler.
- Cool off without AC: Use a ceiling fan with blades run counter-clockwise to feel cooler and open windows for cross breezes to get air moving in your home.
- Embrace cool cooking: Instead of the stove or oven, utilize the microwave or a grill to avoid heating your home when making breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Use the recipe below to embrace the rising temperatures without raising your electric bill and enjoy an energy-efficient Michigan summer.
Kabobs are a fun, flavorful way to use your grill. Since they are so customizable, they can please even the pickiest eaters and are sure to be a routine centerpiece on your summer table.
- 8 fresh, whole mushrooms
- 2 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 small onions, cut into wedges
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into eighths
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks (optional)
- ¼ red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
Skewer vegetables and meat to your liking, alternating between ingredients until skewers are filled. Put the kabobs in a shallow pan and cover in marinade. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and heat your grill to medium heat.
Once marinated, grill your kabobs for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, turning frequently.
Serve immediately, with a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and feta or tzatziki and pita to round out your summer meal.
For more tips on how to stay cool this summer, visit dteenergy.com/staycool.
If higher temperatures have caused a spike in your energy bill and you are struggling to make your payment, contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to see if you meet the federal income guidelines to qualify for State Emergency Relief (SER). SER provides immediate help if you have a past due bill or disconnect notice. DHHS can be reached at 855.275.6424 or newmibridges.michigan.gov.