Rising Energy Costs Bringing You Down?

Here is some advice to help you conserve.

Today we know a lot more: how important it is to keep costs down and to preserve energy and the planet for future generations. Still, the cost of energy is rapidly rising and putting an even greater strain on our already-strained budgets.

The facts support this. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical American family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills. And much of that energy, unfortunately, is wasted. But take heart–there are a lot of little things you can do to realize some pretty big savings:

Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® labels. And look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products, too. ENERGY STAR products meet strict guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house at a set temperature in both winter and summer.

  • Turn off your computer and monitor when you are not using them.
  • Use power strips for home electronics; turn them off when not in use.
  • Take short showers, not baths.
  • Air dry dishes rather than using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Wash clothes in cooler water, unless you absolutely need to wash on the hot cycle.
  • Use online banking and bill paying. Save money on paper and stamps, and save a few trees, or maybe a whole forest. It is estimated that if everyone in the U.S. went to paper-free bill paying we could save 18.5 million trees per year.
  • Think about anything you print on your home computer. Does it really need to be printed?  Or can you send an email or file documents on your computer for later reference?
  • Try a solar powered cell phone or battery charger.
  • Fix leaky faucets and running toilets.
  • Recycle as much as you can, whether it is paper, plastic or glass. Many communities require recycling now, but even if yours does not, there are centers where you can drop off your recyclables.
  • Make sure your attic is insulated, and use weather stripping in the winter to prevent cold air from coming inside.
  • Walk or ride your bike when you can. The rewards are even greater than simply energy savings – you will get some good old-fashioned exercise.
  • When driving, keep your speed consistent. Speeding and frequent braking and accelerating waste a lot of gas.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • When you leave a room, turn off the lights.

Involve your family. If you have children, teach them the importance of saving energy. Assign one child as recycling manager and another as light monitor to ensure lights are turned off.

These are just some simple steps you can take right now to lower your costs and make a difference. For more advice, you can visit a number of energy websites online.

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