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By Mary Ripley on  April 3, 2017

So you noticed your utility bills are getting a little out of hand and you want to do something about it. But where do you even start?  Here’s a list of quick, simple things you can do RIGHT NOW to start on the road to conserving more energy and saving some money on your utility bills.

1. Change your light bulbs.

LED bulbs may cost more than incandescents, but the savings you’ll see over the life of that bulb will be worth it. Incandescent bulbs use a crazy amount of electricity, are hotter to the touch and burn out years earlier than LED bulbs. Switching to LEDs can mean a nearly 90% drop in light bulb energy use!

2. Clean the lint trap in your dryer.

Not only is your dryer’s dirty lint trap slowing down your dryer’s energy efficiency because it has lower airflow, it’s also a huge safety hazard. Lint gets stuck in the lint trap and will catch on fire if too much accumulates. Each time you dry a load, remove the lint from the trap.

3. Turn off unused lights.

Go around your house or office and flip off lights in currently unoccupied rooms. Seriously, right now. Go do it. If you have LED lights, this is much less important as LED bulbs are already so energy efficient that switching them on and off every time you exit a room is not going to save you any money in the long run. However, incandescent lightbulbs are such energy suckers because 90% of the energy they emit is actually heat and only 10% is light. So unless you really want to warm your unoccupied room in the most inefficient way possible, turn off those incandescent lights!

4. Clean your refrigerator coils.

Refrigerator coils are magnets for dirt, lint and dust. These pollutants cling to your refrigerator’s condenser coils and cause it to run harder and more inefficiently. For best results and a longer life for your fridge, clean your coils at least once every six months. Homeowners with pets should clean their refrigerator coils even more often.

5. Make sure your fridge and freezer are on the right temperature.

Set your fridge to 37-40ºF and your freezer to 4-5ºF. Setting it higher means it won’t keep your foods cold enough and setting it lower means that it’s working inefficiently. Just because it’s set at a lower temperature doesn’t mean your frozen foods will stay fresh any longer. In fact, keeping too low temperatures leads to frost buildup, which makes your fridge and freezer run even harder.

6. Check your refrigerator, oven and microwave seals. 

There’s something called the dollar bill test to check the integrity of your appliance seals. Just close the appliance door with a dollar bill between the seal and the door. When the door is closed, try to remove the dollar bill. If you encounter resistance, your seal is good. However, if the bill slides out easily, you may have a seal that needs to be cleaned or even replaced.

7. Unplug unneeded appliances.

Keeping appliances and electronics plugged in that aren’t being used may not seem like a big deal. But even though they may be in “standby” mode, they are still drawing something called phantom power. And phantom power can end up costing hundreds of dollars a year. If there is an appliance or device you don’t use frequently, either unplug it or plug it into a power strip and turn the power strip off until you need it.

8. Check out

Check out the government’s website on all things energy for tips and guidelines on keeping your home as energy efficient as possible.

9. Log in to myNOPEC to start tracking your energy usage, earn rewards points to use towards purchases in the myNOPEC Rewards Store, and learn new ways to save on energy.


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