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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.

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.

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--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.

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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.

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