1. Monitor the thermostat - keeping the thermostat turned down in the winter by as little as two degrees and up two degrees in the summer can result in significant savings on utility bills.   

 


2. Increase comfort with insulation - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates a homeowner can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating around the home.

 


1. Monitor the thermostat - keeping the thermostat turned down in the winter by as little as two degrees and up two degrees in the summer can result in significant savings on utility bills.   
 

2. Increase comfort with insulation - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates a homeowner can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating around the home.
 

3. Use “green” household cleaners - shop for non-toxic, environmentally safe and biodegradable cleaning products. Another option is a homemade cleaners, such as white vinegar ‹ a common household item used for cleaning grease, mildew, stains and more.
 

4. Plant shade trees and shrubs around the house - A great way to cool homes in the summer and add to landscaping. A tree not only looks good it blocks some infrared radiation that heats up houses during the warm summer months. One tree can also offset tons of carbon over its lifetime.
 

5. Keep the refrigerator isolated - A refrigerator works to keep its contents cool so putting it next to a vent, stove or dishwasher - which all give off heat - make it work even harder. Placing it in an isolated location saves money while saving the refrigerator from exerting unnecessary energy.


6. Use compact florescent bulbs - They use about 66 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last about 10 times longer.
 

7. Upgrade the roof - Solar reflective roofing shingles feature advanced colored granules that reflect the sun’s rays and can reduce a roof temperature by as much as 20 percent in the summer. Ultimately, this keeps your air conditioner from working overtime in warm weather.


8. Unplug unused energy addicts - electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computers, video game consoles, and cell phone chargers continue to use electricity in the “off” setting. In the average household, this can account for up to 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually - enough to power an entire home for two months. Avoid unnecessary energy waste by unplugging electronics that are not being used or use a smart power strip that automatically stops the electricity when an item is turned off. 


9. Replace older electronics and appliances - installing products that are ENERGY STAR® certified can go a long way in reducing energy usage. Certified products include lighting, fans, washers, dryers, roofing, computers and more. 
 

10. Put rainwater to good use - collect rainwater for use in gardens and on lawns instead of using potable water from a drinking water utility. Local hardware stores often carry barrels specifically for rainwater collection that can be connected to a down spout from the roof of a home and come equipped with a detachable hose for easy use. 
 

11. Don’t overlook the foundation - exposed concrete slab foundations can be a conduit for air leaks and a drain on energy bills.  Install insulation to the exposed slab edge of the home can save 10 percent or more in heating costs. 
 

12. Go low flow - exchange old water-guzzling toilets for modern low flow toilet can save homeowners up to $100 a year. 
 

For additional water-saving tips, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.