Saving energy means saving money

Month after month, one of the best ways to save money is by conserving energy and making your home more energy efficient. 

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is encouraging residents to focus on healthy financial habits – and that includes practical steps to reduce energy costs that can otherwise eat away at the family budget.

“Whether it’s the middle of a hot summer or the dead of winter, there are many simple, common-sense actions Minnesotans can take to lower their utility bills and save money,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “The bottom line is clear: By saving energy, you also save dollars and cents that add up over time.”

Here are just a few tips from the Department of Commerce to help you save energy and save money:

• 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 water heater down to 120 degrees.

• Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes; air-dry when possible.

• Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with longer-lasting, more efficient ENERGY STAR® rated compact fluorescent light bulbs or light-emitting diodes.

• Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing new appliances, lighting and electronics.

• Contact your utility or other resource for a home energy assessment to identify ways to make your home more energy efficient (such as weather-stripping doors and windows, sealing air leaks, adding  insulation and more).

• To help finance larger energy-related home improvements (such as new high-efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, windows/doors, insulation), check out unsecured low-interest Fix-Up Program loans from the Minnesota Housing Financing Agency.

• Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to learn of tax credits, utility rebates, and other incentives for energy-saving improvements.

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