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The average American household spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, according to the government’s Energy Star program.
Whether you’re preparing for the heat of summer or for winter’s frigid temperatures—or looking to lower your gasoline expenses—there are many practical ways to cut down on costs, according to the California Society of CPAs (www.calcpa.org). And when you reduce your energy use, the environment benefits from lower greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can conduct your own home energy audit to identify problems that could be costing you money, such as drafts that let in cold air; insufficient insulation, poorly maintained heating and cooling equipment; or inefficient lighting. The department’s Web site (www.energy.gov) has instructions for conducting an audit.
If you’d like to bring in an expert, many electric or gas utilities offer these audits for free or at a reasonable charge, so find out if one is available in your area.
If you look for the Energy Star label when selecting any number of products, you’re likely to use less energy, save money and help the environment. These products are not made by any one manufacturer, but they have all met energy-efficiency specifications set by federal government agencies.
There are Energy Star-qualified products in a wide range of categories, including household appliances, heating and cooling equipment, home electronics and office equipment. You can look for the Energy Star label when you shop or find more information online at www.energystar.gov.
As you can see, there are many simple ways to cut expenses by lowering your energy use. If you interested in learning more about the best steps to reduce costs in any aspect of your financial life, consult your CPA. Your CPA can provide money-savvy ideas that you can apply to your every day life.
To listen to podcasts with more financial tips, go to http://www.calcpa.org/Content/community/financialempowerment.aspx.