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KTEN News Special Assignment Report

Saving Energy at Home


Gas and food prices are still high, forcing many of us to stretch our dollar and find ways to save a few bucks. Just look around your own home, and there are ways to cut down on your bills, especially during the dog days of summer. KTEN's Alyssa Moreno reports.

Food prices... going up. Energy and electric costs... going up. Gas prices... going way, way up. Now consumers are trying to find ways to save money, and many are turning to saving energy. Brian Trinkle, an appliance sales specialist from lowe's, says saving money is the customers number one concern.

"Well, gas prices and people's electric bill going up, it's been increasing a lot," said Trinkle.

Michael Gutierrez from TXU Energy, says just a few simple adjustments will make a noticeable difference on your energy bill, and it all starts with your thermostat.

"Well, really, the number one tip we have to share without customers, we all know that the air conditioning takes up about 55 percent of your monthly bill, and so if you can learn how to pair that down, that will equal a lot of cost savings each month," said Gutierrez.

Now, the way to save energy and still stay cool; keep your thermostat at 78 degrees when your at home, and 82 degrees when you're not.

If that's still a little two warm for you, here's a huge tip: turn on your ceiling fan, and it can make your home feel up to eight degrees cooler. Here's a bright idea: change you traditional light bulbs to CFL's, or compact fluorescent light bulbs.

"We recommend switching out traditional light bulbs with CFLl's. Those last eight to 10 years longer than traditional light bulbs. They also save you 30 dollars a year," said Gutierrez.

So the next time you would need to change out your light bulbs could be the year 2018...and that's a savings of at least $300.

Weather stripping also helps to keep your home cooler, by keeping hot air outside, while your cool air inside. One more energy-saving habit you may want to get into: unplug your appliances.

"We all have coffee makers, we all home microwaves at home. It's as easy as going in a kitchen, and whatever has a light, you can probably unplug that, you can probably save money," said Gutierrez.

That's everything from the toaster, to your floor lamp, to even your cell phone charger and lap top computer. Add up all that energy, and it's like putting money back into your wallet.

You may have seen a certain  logo around stores, it's the 'energy star' logo, and it's a program put together by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Anything with this logo will help consumers save energy, which translates to saving money.

"'Energy Star' products are going to use less water and less electricity...the main thing is look for the energy star label," said Gutierrez.

Now, some of these appliances are more of an investment purchase... such as a tankless water heater. We found one that cost 600 dollars...but the savings are up to 40 percent on your electric bill. The newer energy efficient washing machines...we found one for less than 650 dollars, they use a fifth of the water of a traditional washing machine, and as for the savings.

"They usually average 15 to 20 dollars on your electric bill, and 10 to 15 on your water bill a month," said Trinkle.

And for the latest in energy star products... refrigerators. Energy efficient one's will consume 30 percent less electricity. So, if you follow these'll be sure to see the benefits when you receive your monthly bills.

For KTEN News, I'm Alyssa Moreno.