Saving money starts by knowing where your hard-earned dollars are going. Your energy bill can be a serious drain on your bank account, especially in a frigid winter or hot summer. But there are ways you can save money without too much trouble.

1. Buy an Advanced Power Strip

When electronics like a television, toaster, or lamp that are not in use, they can still use a small amount of electricity. This passive drain on energy is called a “vampire load.” An advanced power strip (APS) prevents idle electronics from using power. There are different types such as an activity monitor APS that will automatically turn off electronics if the device has not been used for certain amount of time. A masterless APS makes sure that all your devices are off but does not monitor how long they have been idle.

2. Replace Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs put out a significant amount of heat that causes more electricity usage than necessary. There are many new bulb options that use far less energy and last longer. Your options include: 

  •          Halogen Incandescent
  •          Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
  •          Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

CFL and LEDs work well in- or outdoors. While halogen incandescent bulbs can be used anywhere a traditional incandescent bulb can only it will last far longer.

3. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

You don’t need to go out and replace all of your appliances at once. But when it’s time to buy a new dishwasher or refrigerator, replace it with an energy-efficient model. Appliances with an ENERGY STAR rating use anywhere from 10-25 percent less energy than traditional models. That’s a loss of savings in a year.

4. Weatherize Your Home

Properly weatherizing your home keeps heat inside during the winter and outside in the summer. Putting insulation in the attic or making sure the insulation you have is still in good condition can be ways to reduce your energy bill. Some weatherizing projects may require the services of a professional, but there are some you can do yourself. Such as:

  •          check and caulk air leaks around your windows
  •          hang blackout drapes
  •          seal any gaps or leaks around the attic access

5. Time-Based Energy Savings

In many areas, electricity rates go up during peak hours and down at night. Smart meters can help you reduce the amount of power you use during peak usage times. Another option is a home energy management system that helps you coordinate the use of your appliances at off-peak times. This type of control does require appliances to be wirelessly connected to your management system. These systems can also control lights and other wireless devices while you’re away from home so energy won’t be wasted while you’re gone.

Saving Money with Wise Investments

Some ways to saving money on your energy bill are simple and only require a change in shopping habits. Others are more of an investment upfront, but in the long run, you’ll save money while also contributing to the future health of the environment.