How to Conserve Energy

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Energy costs are through the roof, with the average energy bill running as much as double what it did just a year or two ago. Even if your utility bills are reasonable, there are still things you can do to conserve energy. That's a good thing for your pocketbook and for the environment.

Tip

Did you know that cellular shades can help reduce energy costs saving up to 17 percent on your energy bill over the course of a year? That’s because cellular shades feature a unique honeycomb shape with an insulating layer which that air in pockets before it enters or leaves the house and helps keep rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Turn off the lights. Simple as that sounds, turning off lights and other electrical appliances when you leave the room can save you hundreds of dollars and literally tons of carbon emissions each year.

Contact your local electricity supplier to see if you qualify for an energy audit. If your electric usage is high enough, your utility company will pay to have an energy auditor examine your home and make recommendations on things you can do to improve your energy efficiency. You may even qualify for free bulbs, faucet heads and rebates on new appliances to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

Switch to fluorescent bulbs. Today's compact fluorescent bulbs cast much nicer light than those glaring tube fluorescent lights you may have had in school when you were younger. And CFCs, as compact fluorescent bulbs are known, consume a fraction of the energy that traditional incandescent bulbs do, slashing your energy bill. Many utility companies offer rebates on the bulbs, too, saving you even more money.

Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Whether you heat your water using electricity, oil or gas, lowering the temperature on your water heater a few degrees will inevitably save you money on your energy bills. Experts recommend setting your water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This promotes energy conservation and prevents burns.

Hang your clothes out to dry. It'll conserve energy, cut pollution, save you money and your clothes will smell better.

Buy Energy Star appliances. Energy Star appliances use at least 10 percent less energy than regular appliances, plus many utilities offer rebates of $50 to as much as $250 if you replace an old appliance with an Energy Star appliance. Refrigerators are the biggest energy hogs, so you'll conserve the most energy starting there.