Saving money shouldn't cost a pretty penny.

Reduce electricity bills with these no- and low-cost tips.

  1. Not Using It? Unplug It.
    • Unplugging underutilized appliances in your home can lead to big savings in your electricity usage.
    • Chargers for mobile phones still use electricity even when the phone is unplugged.
    • Your home entertainment electronics pull a great deal of electricity if they remain plugged in. Plug TVs, stereos and DVD players into a power strip and shut them off using the power strip's on/off button.
  2. Take Advantage of Your Computer's Energy Saving Features.
    • If you have an ENERGY STAR® qualified computer, enable its shut-down features.
    • The "sleep" mode reduces electricity usage by up to 70 percent during inactive periods.
    • The "hibernate" mode shuts the computer down after a specified time, allowing you to restart using less electricity.
    • Shut off the computer if you're going to be away more than 2 hours.
  3. Control the Temperature.
    • In the winter, try setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you're at home and lowering the temperature at night or when you're away.
    • In the summer, set the thermostat to a minimum 78 degrees; circulate cool air using box fans and ceiling fans.
    • Open shades in the winter to let sunlight in. Close them in the summer to keep your home cooler.
  4. Use Appliances Wisely.
    • Set your water heater to between 120 and 130 degrees.
    • Wash full loads of laundry in cold water.
    • Clean your dryer's lint filter after each use.
    • When possible, dry clothes on a clothesline outside.
    • Wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher; use shorter wash/rinse cycles; dry with the air-dry setting.
  5. Turn Off The Lights.
    • Turn off the lights when you leave a room at home and in the office.
    • Incandescent bulbs are inefficient, so turn them off when you don't need them.
    • Turn off fluorescent lights if you're going to be gone 15 minutes or more.
  6. Weatherize Those Nasty Leaks.
    • Caulk, weather-strip and insulate your windows and doors wherever you find air leaks.
  7. Install Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.
    • Swapping five incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescents can save you about $60 a year.
    • CFLs cost 3-10 times more than incandescents, but last 6-15 times longer.
  8. Conserve Water Heat.
    • Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket.
  9. Change Your Heating and Cooling Filters.
    • Replace filters on your air conditioner. Clean filters can lower the air conditioner's energy consumption 5-15%.
    • Replace furnace filters monthly or as needed.
  10. Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures.
    • Install low-flow showerheads; investing $10 on a low-flow showerhead can yield hot water savings of 25-60%.
    • Install faucet aerators (the screw-on portion of the faucet) that have a flow rate of no more than 1 gallon per minute.

Now, take the ENERGY STAR pledge to make your home even more energy efficient.