These 11 energy tips can fatten your wallet
April is Financial Literacy Month, a campaign to help focus on our finances and develop healthy financial habits. One of the best ways to save money--month after month--is to conserve energy.
Whether it's the middle of the hot summer or the dead of winter, there are several basic no- or low-cost measures you can take to conserve energy and decrease your utility bills:
--Use a programmable thermostat to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
--Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.
--Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips and turn the strips off when equipment is not in use.
--Turn off lights when not in use.
--Close your fireplace damper when not in use.
--Take short showers; turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees.
--Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes; air dry when possible.
--Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® rated compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).
--Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing new appliances, lighting, and electronics.
--Have a home energy assessment to identify ways to make your home more energy efficient (weather-strip doors and windows, seal air leaks, add insulation, and more).
--Go to work via carpool or vanpool, or use public transportation.
For more energy-saving tips, check out the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers website. Also, the Division of Energy Resources offers an energy guide called "Appliances, Lighting & Electronics" and a fact sheet called "Ten Ways to Save Energy" that address ways to save energy.