5 Energy-Saving Tips = a Happy Bank Account!

Gas prices have dipped to the lowest they’ve been since spring of 2009. But the difference this time is that it seems that the low prices will stick around for a while. Some experts predict that the per-gallon price will stay below $3 for the rest of 2015. Happy New Year to us!

So now that you’re feeling the weight of all that extra cash in your pocket, what are you going to do with it? My advice: Stick it in your savings account! And then see how much money you can save on other everyday expenses. Get started with your monthly energy bill:

1. When you’re cooking, use the burner that’s the right size for your cooking pot. Using a big burner for a small pan heats up more than just your soup. Switch to a little burner and save about $36 with an electric stove and $18 with gas.

2. Purchase electronics that are marked with the Energy Star designation. An Energy Star computer, for example, will use 30 to 65 percent less energy than one without the rating.

3. Take advantage of sunlight. Yes, it’s limited this time of year, but welcome it with open curtains during the day to heat up your rooms. Close the curtains at night to cut the chill from cold windows and keep your furnace from working overtime.

4. Install and use a programmable thermostat. Otherwise, you may be paying for warm air you aren’t using!

5. Replace your traditional incandescent light bulbs with new, low-energy bulbs. These are not your father’s light bulbs! (Which, by the way, are no longer manufactured due to their energy-wasting heat production.) If you’ve been in the lightbulb aisle of your hardware store lately, you know how many choices you have. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just read each package carefully to choose the right bulb for the area you want it to brighten.