- Turn off the lights! Make sure you turn off the lights when you leave the room. However, if you use CFLs or fluorescent lights, to get the maximum life out of these, only turn off the lights when leaving the room for 15 minutes or more.
- Control the temperature. A recent report from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), announced electricity rates will jump more than 10 percent this winter - the largest spike in 25 years. Try lowering your thermostat. The Alliance to Save Energy claims that lowering the thermostat by even one degree can save 3% on your heating bill.
- Unplug. Unplugging cell phone chargers, laptops, appliances, and other electronics that are not in use can significantly reduce your energy bill by eliminating the use of standby power, also called "vampire energy loss."
- Be Efficient. Use your appliances more efficiently. You can conserve energy by not preheating your oven and not peeking inside it during cook times more than necessary. Also, check the seal on the oven door and use a toaster oven for cooking or reheating smaller items. For tips on more efficient ways to do laundry click here: 5 Steps To Doing Laundry A "Greener" Way.
- Let Your Computer Rest. Set your computer to automatically "hibernate" after 30 minutes of activity. Using the "hibernate" feature is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. According to the USDE, a year of nightly computer sleep will save you $90!
- Make Your Appliances Work Smarter, Not Harder! Replace old and inefficient appliances with Energy Star certified alternatives. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (USDE). Look for the star on the label. According to the EPA, a single-family house that revamps their household with Energy Star products will decrease energy use by 30%, saving the average American family $600/year!
- Replace your light bulbs. Changing to Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) can save you $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifespan. CFLs not only consume up to 75% less energy than the "regular" incandescent bulbs, but also last at least 10 times longer.
- Buy Less "Stuff," but when you buy, buy locally. Reckless spending can lead to overcrowded living spaces, feelings of guilt and empty wallets. When you have to make a purchase, choose only the most efficient product available. You can get help with this by visiting the DOE, EPA and Energy Star websites. Also, remember to support your local businesses! It's the "green" thing to do!