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Spring Cleaning For Your Energy Use

With the arrival of spring in Michigan, Consumers Energy encourages customers to save money by including energy efficiency in their "spring cleaning" plans. 

"There's never been a better time to save money by making your home energy efficient," said Teri Van Sumeren, manager of energy efficiency at Consumers Energy. "With improved weather now in Michigan, we encourage customers to embrace Spring by taking practical, simple steps on energy efficiency."

Consumers Energy recommends the following energy efficiency tips:

* Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. CFL bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard lightbulbs. For each incandescent bulb you replace with a CFL this spring, you could save $4 in energy costs by the end of the year. There's no need for any coupons or rebates because the savings are already marked down right at the store. You simply pick up your bulbs and save. Check the participating retailer list at for a store near you.  In 2010, Consumers Energy customers received discounts on more than 1.2 million CFLs.

* If it's more than 15 years old, your old second fridge is using up to four times more energy than today's refrigerators and could be costing you $150 a year in electricity. You can get rid of that energy wasting second refrigerator or freezer at no cost.  Consumers Energy will pick it up for free, recycle it in an environmentally safe way and give you $30. Last year Consumers Energy customers recycled more than 11,000 refrigerators and freezers. "If laid end to end, they'd stretch for over 12 miles, and that's a lot of harvest gold and avocado refrigerators," Van Sumeren said.

* For the ultimate spring energy efficiency make over, check out the Home Performance with Energy Star program. The Home Performance Survey for $50 is a simple first step toward improving efficiency and reducing your energy bills year-round. And it can pay for itself almost immediately. A Building Performance Institute Certified contractor will come to your home, and, using the latest building science, analyze your home's energy efficiency needs and install a simple energy efficiency kit with measures like CFL light bulbs and energy efficient showerheads. The kit itself has about a $38 retail value, which means the savings start right away.

"More information about Consumers Energy's energy efficiency programs, as well as federal and state energy efficiency tax incentives, can be found at," Van Sumeren said

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE:  CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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