Campaign Helps Michigan Residents ‘Avoid Energy Drama’


A coalition of Michigan organizations recently launched a new campaign to help the state’s residents take control of their energy use. The campaign takes a humorous look at “energy drama,” or the conflict that emerges in households between those who want to save money and those who want to be cozy at all costs. The message? Forget the drama—it’s possible to save energy and be comfortable at the same time.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan households use 123 million Btu (British thermal unit, a traditional unit of energy) per home, about 38 percent more than the U.S. average. To help change that, Michigan Saves, a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable, launched “Avoid Energy Drama,” a public service announcement (PSA) campaign that educates residents about energy saving solutions and motivates them to take charge of their energy use.

“We need to wake up Michigan residents to their energy consumption issues while also providing them easy, prescriptive steps on how to make their homes more energy efficient,” said Mary Templeton, executive director of Michigan Saves. “This campaign does that by taking a light-hearted look at the drama that ensues when it comes to making a home more energy efficient, whether it involves critiquing a husband’s handiwork or fighting over the thermostat. It’s a fun way to get the message across that we can stop wasting energy and still stay comfortable.”

The campaign was developed with support from Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and Dow Building Solutions, a division of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., and created by Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications firm entirely focused on sustainability and energy efficiency. Officially launched earlier this year, the campaign has already been broadcast on more than half of television stations in Michigan.

“We know that 80 percent of Americans think they use less energy than they did 5 years ago, and nearly half think their homes are already energy efficient, so they are disengaged and disenfranchised about their energy consumption and generally tune out advertising that promotes energy efficiency solutions and savings,” said Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of Shelton Group. “We also know you can’t educate, scare or trick people into behavior change –you have to meet your audience where they are and lead them down the path to the desired action, and this campaign does that.”

For more information about the campaign, visit