The numbers don’t lie. Peak demand in Michigan is expected to increase by 2,000 MW in the Lower Peninsula over the next decade. Normally, this type of load growth is met by building new power plants. But these “peaker” plants sit idle most of year, pressed into service only when demand is highest – a few hours per year. A new study commissioned by Advanced Energy Economy Institute finds that Michigan would benefit significantly from using a variety of demand reduction strategies, all of which can relieve stress on the power grid, delay or avoid construction of expensive new power plants, and save money for Michigan electricity customers. Demand reduction strategies include a combination of targeted demand response (DR) programs, time-varying rates, and smart thermostats – options that can save Michigan upwards of $1 billion over the next decade.