Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simple ways to save on your energy bills

As you prepare to conquer spring cleaning, be on the lookout for more than just clutter and dust.

It's a great time to spot ways to save energy in your home--and, as a result, cut those utility bills.

Here are some resources to help you get started:

* Do a free online home energy audit. The audit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, shows you where your energy dollars are going and offers ways to save energy and money.

* Before adding new blooms to your yard, find out how the right plants--and placement of them--can reduce your cooling costs this summer. The U.S. Department of Energy offers a guide to energy-efficient landscaping. On average, the effort provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than eight years.

* Use Alliant Energy's calculators to find out how much you could save by upgrading to high-efficiency equipment in your home.

Want to start lowering your bills immediately? Alliant Energy recommends taking these easy measures:

* Weatherize doors and windows. A few inexpensive tubes of caulk and rolls of weather-stripping can help reduce cooling bills by 10 percent.

* Install a water-saving showerhead. A family of four can cut their water-heating costs by $250 a year by making the switch.

* Give your appliances a vacation, too. Before you leave on a trip, turn off and unplug everything you can, lower your thermostat to 55 degrees and set your water heater to the lowest setting.

 

By Emily Kittle

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