Ten things you can do every day to keep your energy costs down:

  1. Turn off the lights in any room you’re not using. (And consider installing timers to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.)
  2. Keep the water heater thermostat at 130 or 120 degrees. Hot water accounts for 10-20% of your electric bill.
  3. Wash clothes with warm water and rinse with cold water.
  4. Run appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers only when they’re full.
  5. Cover the pot when you’re boiling water for pasta or rice; it’s faster and it uses less energy.
  6. Use your microwave oven to reheat leftovers or heat water for hot beverages; it’s much more efficient than your electric stovetop.
  7. Cover liquids and wrap foods that you store in the refrigerator; uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  8. Turn off ventilating fans in the kitchen or bath as soon as they have done their job. In just an hour, they can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air.
  9. Take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about half as much hot water as a bath.
  10. Don’t lower or raise the temperature on the thermostat when you first turn it on because you want to cool or heat the house faster. It doesn’t get the job done any sooner and it costs more.