The new year is a great time to make simple lifestyle changes, and, of course, save energy with home upgrades. Here are six of the most effective ways to slash your energy usage and lower your monthly energy bill. Both the planet and your wallet will be grateful!

  1. Turn off the lights. Each year, an estimated $2 billion in lighting is wasted across the U.S., which emits 14.1 million tons of carbon dioxide. By only turning on needed lights, you can reduce your lighting usage by a third.
  2. Heat Responsibly. Water heating makes up 14%-18% of the average family’s annual energy costs, but there are some easy steps to reduce this. Set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees, insulate your water heater (if it isn’t already), and install water-efficient measures like low-flow showerheads and aerators.
  3. Get Smart Power Strips. Even when your electronic devices are “sleeping” or your chargers have nothing to charge, they still consume significant amounts of power when plugged in. Smart power strips detect drops in usage and withhold energy from these gadgets until they are back on. This alone can reduce 5%-10% of your household’s total energy usage.
  4. Replace Light Bulbs. LED technology has proven to be a cheaper, more efficient, and longer lasting alternative which can save energy, money, and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Consider switching to LED bulbs to save hundreds of dollars on your electric bill and on replacement costs within a few years!
  5. Keep Warm. Efficiently. It’s cold, but there are more ways to stay warm than cranking up the heat. Consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat, or turning down your heat by just a couple of degrees. Blankets, socks, and coats are great ways to stay warm too!
  6. Wish Upon an (Energy) Star. ENERGY STAR certified appliances use about 17% less water and energy than traditional counterparts, are guaranteed to last, and can save roughly $750 over their lifetime. What’s not to love?

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