How to Save Electricity and Cut Your Electric Bill

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Get plugged in to energy-efficient ideas.
Get plugged in to energy-efficient ideas. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

With electric rates on the rise and with all of the electronic gadgets and conveniences people use today, it's easy to understand why electric bills can be so high. However, there are some relatively simple ways to start saving electricity and, as a result, cut your electric bill. Many of them require minimal cost but add up to savings in the long run. Look around your house or office and consider where you can start implementing cost-saving measures today.

Change your light bulbs. The ENERGY STAR website reports that by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, you will use about 75% less energy, and the CFLs last about six times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Use motion sensors and timers. By using motion sensors, you use electricity only when you need it. Timers can control things such as bathroom fans so they automatically shut off and you wont have to remember to do it and risk wasting energy.

Buy ENERGY STAR appliances. When it's time to replace your old appliances seek out the ENERGY STAR label, which tells you an appliance meets strict standards for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR claims that appliances bearing its label can cut energy bills by 30 percent.

Use power strips. Home electronics that are plugged in still use electricity when they are turned off. You can unplug the appliances when you are not using them, or use electrical outlet power strips with an "off" switch. Turn off the power flowing to those appliances to save electricity.

Change furnace filters. Make your furnace run efficiently and prolong your furnace's life by regularly changing your furnace filter. A clogged filter makes the furnace motor work harder and use more power.

Maintain your refrigerator so it runs more efficiently and uses less electricity. Clean the coils twice a year, keep refrigerator settings at about 35 degrees and freezer settings at about zero to 5 degrees. Make sure the door seals are tight. Use the dollar bill test on your seals: Close a dollar bill in your door, and if you can pull it out easily, it's time to replace the seal.

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