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Energy-Saving Tips

By becoming energy-efficient, you not only reduce your utility bills and increase your indoor comfort, but you also help the environment. Here are some simple ways you can become more energy- and cost-efficient.

  • Turn your thermostat down. For every one degree you turn it down, you’ll reduce your heating cost by about 3 percent.
  • Turn off lights as you leave the room. Lighting, cooking, and other appliances account for about 33 percent of a home’s energy bill. Using them less saves you money.
  • Microwave foods rather than use the oven. It takes less time to microwave and therefore takes less power.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes.
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater. Water heating typically accounts for 14 percent of your utility bill. You may be paying to heat it to a higher temperature than you really need.
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. If you replace just 25 percent of your lights in high-use areas with fluorescence, you can save about 50 percent of your lighting energy bill. Cost $7 - $20 per bulb.
  • Wrap your water heater with a water heater-insulating blanket. This is one of the cheapest ways to save money fast. It may pay for itself in 3 to 6 months. Cost: $10 - $15.
  • Insulate the first three feet of hot AND cold water pipes going into the water heater. The pipes going into your water heater conduct heat out of the heater and into the air, just like a spoon in a cup of hot coffee. Foam pipe wraps are cheap, easy to install and control the heat loss from metal pipes. Cost: $2.50
  • Seal around windows and doors. Poorly sealed houses allow heated or cooled air to escape through gaps.
  • Caulking reduces uncomfortable drafts and high utility bills. Cost: $10 - $25.
  • Visit www.eere.energy.gov for more information on how to make your home more energy-efficient. “Random weatherizing” - that is, investing in home improvements without a plan, can sometimes cost you more money than you’ll save in reduced energy bills.
  • Ask an energy expert for advice: Call 877 337-3463, or e-mail questions to eereic@ee.doe.gov . Your specific questions may be answered by experts at the U.S. Department of Energy for no charge.