11 Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

1. As long as plugs are inserted into an outlet, they're drawing electricity — unplug your phone and laptop chargers when you're not using them.

2. Everyday appliances such as computers, game consoles, plasma televisions, and DVD/VCR players burn up energy — about 40-percent of your total bill — even when you're not using them. Instead of leaving them on standby or sleep mode, turn them off.

3. Attach appliances and battery chargers to a power strip, and get in the habit of unplugging or switching it off when you leave the house for the day.

4. We won't ask you to take cold showers, but you can wash your clothes in cold water, which expends about half as much energy as hot rinses. To save even more, make sure to clean out the lint tray before starting the dryer.

5. Showers account for most of a household's hot-water use. Cutting showers from 30 minutes to 10 could slash water-heating costs by 50 percent.

6. Lower your thermostat to 58 degrees if you're away from home for a chunk of the day. You use much less energy to heat the house up when you return than to keep it heated while you're away.

7. Keep your refrigerator full. It'll operate more efficiently.

8. You still need to wash your dishes, but now you have a great reason to stop hand-washing and invest in a dishwasher. According to Consumer Reports, washing your dirty dishes uses roughly 20 gallons of heated water a day. Don't prerinse: Just scrape the food off and drop them in the washer instead.

9. Alliance to Save Energy claims a 1-degree thermostat reduction can save 3 percent on your heating bill.

10. Replace your lightbulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. CFLs not only consume up to 75% less energy than their incandescent siblings, but also last 10 times longer. Your savings account will appreciate the switch — the average U.S. household will save $180 per year by swapping its current bulbs for CFLs.

11. Refrigerate efficiently — keep your fridge out of direct sunlight and away from the stove or dishwasher, and close your kitchen curtains, especially in the summer.

What recession? Keep your wallet padded with 39 more tips for saving money on clothes shopping, your commute, grocery shopping and eating out, and your taxes.

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