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Energy Tip - April 1, 2013

Conserving energy is one way to focus on your finances

April is Financial Literacy Month, a campaign to help focus on our finances and develop healthy financial habits. One of the best ways to save money—month after month—is to conserve energy.

Whether it’s the middle of the hot summer or the dead of winter, there are several basic no- or low-cost measures you can take to conserve energy and decrease your utility bills:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
  • Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips and turn the strips off when equipment is not in use.
  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Close your fireplace damper when not in use.
  • Take short showers; turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes; air dry when possible.
  • Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® rated compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing new appliances, lighting, and electronics.
  • Have a home energy assessment to identify ways to make your home more energy efficient (weather-strip doors and windows, seal air leaks, add insulation, and more).
  • Go to work via carpool or vanpool, or use public transportation.

For more energy-saving tips, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website. Also, the Division of Energy Resources offers an energy guide called “Appliances, Lighting & Electronics”  that addresses ways to save energy. 

Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Email the division’s Energy Information Center or call 800-657-3710 with energy questions.