My electric bills are sky-high. What are some easy ways to save money and be greener?

Tools

Story Updated: Jan 25, 2012

Life & Beauty Weekly: Expert Q+A

My electric bills are sky-high. What are some easy ways to save money and be greener?

By Annika Todd for Life & Beauty Weekly

A few simple changes around your home can make a big impact. After all, electricity production isn’t just expensive, it creates more greenhouse gasses than anything else in the U.S., including transportation.

You probably already turn off the lights when leaving a room, so now go a step further: Replace your home’s lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). They cost a few dollars more than standard incandescents, but CFLs use a whopping 80 percent less energy. By lowering your monthly bill, they end up paying for themselves within 3 months. Then, you keep saving since CFLs last six to 10 times longer than regular bulbs.

CFLs do have a bad reputation for creating harsh light, but don’t believe the rumors. Today’s versions shed warm, quality light that isn’t that different from that of incandescents.

Also try resetting some of your home appliances. Program your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter, and your air conditioner a bit higher at night and when no one is home. Also turn your water heater down to 120 F. (Don’t worry, it’s still high enough that everyone will get a hot shower!) Then, check that your refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher have an “energy saver” mode. If so, make the switch.

Finally, if any of those kitchen or laundry appliances are older than a decade, consider replacing them with new energy-efficient models. As with CFLs, there’s a higher cost up front, but you’ll most likely save money in the long run. You may even be eligible for a rebate from your state. For more information about rebate incentives in your state, go to energysavers.gov.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

fox50.com | Raleigh Durham Fayetteville and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.