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Green Energy Savings Tips - Lowering Your Utility Bills

Green Energy

Energy bills are a huge expense for many American households. Thankfully, it is easy to make small changes to dramatically decrease your home's utility expenses. Something as simple as unplugging unused appliances or lowering the temperature on your electric water heater can result in hundreds of dollars worth of savings over the course of a year. Here are some questions and answers that will help you in your quest for energy savings and lower utility bills.

Review the Government Guildlines: One of the first steps you should take in order to decrease your home's utility bills is taking a look at the government's guidelines for energy efficiency. A free online calculator and custom tips for reducing your electric bill can be found at Home Energy Saver, a Web site sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). It doesn't make sense to spend tons of money improving your energy efficiency if you'll only save pennies, but many of the tips given at Energy Savers will result in substantial savings. Return to Top

What is Causing Your High Energy Bills? The next step in lowering the monthly cost of your utilities is to figure out what exactly is causing your energy bill to be so high. A typical household spends forty-four percent of their utility fund on heating and cooling expenses according to the Department of Energy. This is a major expense that can easily be reduced. Installing a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted when your family is out of the house or asleep is one simple step that can lower your heating and cooling bill by twenty to thirty percent. You should look for an Energy Star approved thermostat that includes a temperature recovery system and at least four temperature settings. An easy way to reduce your cooling bill is to install an energy efficient ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can lower the air temperature by about four degrees fahrenheit, without the need for air conditioning. Return to Top

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What Type of Lighting Fixtures Are You Using? After climate control, the next biggest energy expense for most American families is money spent on electricity for lighting and appliances. In a typical household, these expenses account for about 33% of the total energy bill. The simplest way to drastically cut back on your electric bill is to install compact fluorescent light bulbs in all your lighting. Compact fluorescent light bulbs may initially appear more expensive than a traditional light bulb, but these energy saving power houses use 75% less energy and last ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. It is foolish to continue using regular light bulbs just because of the initial savings when you could potentially be cutting your home's electric bill dramatically by using compact fluorescents instead. Return to Top

Do You Have Older Appliances? Replacing your old appliances with a newer, more efficient model may earn you tax credits and can save you money every month on your electrical bill. Refrigerators tend to be the least energy efficient appliances in any given household. A refrigerator that is over ten years old can account for up to 9% of the cost of a household energy bill all by itself. When replacing your old refrigerator, be sure to look for a model that is Energy Star approved. This will result in substantial long term savings on your electrical bill. Return to Top

Check the Temperature Setting on Your Hot Water Tank: Hot water heating can also be a huge energy expense for many households. A very easy way to cut back on your hot water heating bill is to buy a hot water jacket for your water heater. A hot water jacket insulates your water heater and can cut standby heat losses between twenty-five and forty percent depending on the initial level of insulation the heater has. Any water heater with an r-value insulation of under 24 should use a jacket to reduce energy expenses. The jacket you buy should have an r-value insulation of at least 8. Hot water jackets at this level can be found online for less than $20. Return to Top

With these simple and cost effective tricks, you will be well on your way to reducing your families energy consumption and saving money on your monthly energy bills.