6 Ways to save money on energy

Dec 28, 2010 at 10:24 p.m. ET

We’re all looking for ways to save money and an easy way to do it is to shave down your energy bill. Saving green by going green is the idea here. And don’t roll your eyes just yet. If you do it right, it doesn’t have to be a ton of work. Small changes to your daily habits could lead to quite a few dollars in your pocket at the end of the month. Here are six tips on how to save money on your energy bill.

Woman cleaning lint trap

1Say buh-bye to old appliances

You have to get rid of your old appliances, like that fridge. We're not talking about that one in the kitchen. We mean the one you have in the basement or garage. You know, the soda and beer fridge. Chance are that it's old enough that it wasn't produced when efficient energy use was a priority. So basically, it's a black hole of energy right now. Wave goodbye and move your sodas upstairs. After all, how many cold Diet Slices do you need at once?

2Your family unplugged

Even when you're not using your electronic devices, leaving them plugged into the wall draws electricity from the outlets. so unplug anything that you don't use regularly, like your toaster, DVD player or gaming system. Look into getting power strips so you can unplug and replug in one swoop instead of having to deal with lots of individual chords.

3Short shower time

You can save so much energy on heating hot water if you trim down your time in the shower. Time members of your family to get a base rate of time spent in the shower. You might be surprised at the time spent sudsing up. It's easy to spend half an hour in the shower without knowing it. Try to cut the number in half and see how that impacts your utility bill.

4Clean your filters

Even energy efficient products are really only efficient when they're running at optimal conditions. Clean the filters of your home's air systems regularly and remove the lint from your dryer every single time you use it.

5Leave a message

Here's a tip from The Green Book ... consider switching from an answering machine to a voicemail service. An answering machine is always on, taking a small bite out of your energy budget. Plus, once the machine is no longer needed, it gets sent to a dump and becomes waste. Voicemail is much more energy efficient and completely waste-free.

6Dish wash with caution

Your mom might not like hearing this, but save the hot water and don't pre-wash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Another washing tip, only run the washer when it's full. Doing this, you can save up to 7,300 gallons of hot water a year according to The Green Book. That's as much as an average person drinks in a lifetime!

Quick tipWhen you're making these changes, do yourself a favor and figure out how to quantify them in cash. Take a look at your utility bill from the month before your green shift or from the year before (to keep the weather conditions similar). We're sure that you'll be able to see a difference in your energy bill so big that you'll be motivated to continue this energy saving mission. You'll barely miss your extra dozen cold sodas and pruney shower hands.

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