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We’re all spending more time in the kitchen, cooking meals and cleaning more dishes.  Our lights and electronics are staying on longer and perhaps we’ve readjusted our thermostats for our new, at-home schedule.  These actions can result in higher energy bills at a time when we’re all trying to save.  But there are simple, easy steps you can take to reduce your energy bill that won’t cost you a dime.

  1. Turn off lights when not in use or when natural daylight is sufficient. This can reduce lighting costs by 10 to 40 percent.
  2. The average household owns 24 consumer electronics products, which are responsible for 12 percent of household electricity use. Unplug electronics such as cell phones and laptops once they’re charged. Turn off the TV and gaming systems when not in use.
  3. Wash in cold water. Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. By washing your clothes in cold water only, you’ll save on heating costs—about $66 per year.
  4. Clothes dryers use more energy than any other household appliance. Clean the filter after every load to improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer. It’s also an important safety measure.
  5. Air-dry clothes outside or on an inside drying rack instead of using a dryer not only saves energy but also helps them last longer.
  6. Use the right size pots – heat is lost and energy is wasted if the size of the burner is larger than the pot circumference. A 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40% of the burner’s heat.
  7. Use your microwave—it’s the most efficient (and fastest) means of cooking.
  8. Keep oven and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible. Keeping the oven door closed while the oven is in use can save as much as $20 per year!
  9. Load it up. Dishwashers use about the same energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside, so run full loads whenever possible.
  10. Open or close your blinds depending on the season. Open curtains and blinds when it’s colder outside to allow the sunlight to warm your home. When the warmer months arrive, close blinds to keep rooms cooler.

For more low and no-cost tips to help you manage your energy use and save money on your energy bill go here.