Are you looking for ways to lower electricity costs or use less energy? Each year, our reliance on fossil fuels means that we need to generate more electricity to power our homes and our lives. Not only does this increased reliance on fossil fuels mean a higher electricity bill each month, it often means that we need to find more and more resources from the Earth to support our needs.

Since most of our homes are powered primarily by electricity, one of the first things you can do is examine your electricity usage. Reach out to your electric company and have them send you a printout that shows your energy usage over the past twelve months. Here are a few simple things that my family has done to lower our monthly bill.

Skip the dryer.

I know it’s faster to toss the clothes in the clothes dryer after you wash them. But, you’d be surprised at how much money you’ll save if you hang your clothes to dry. During the warmer months, I hang our clothes outside on a clothesline. During the colder months, I hang them on a rack over our heating vent.

Change the temperature.

If you heat or cool your home you can save quite a bit of money by changing the temperature on your thermostat. Try turning the temperature down in the winter and up in the summer. Open windows in the summer to cool your home on all but the hottest days. By running the furnace or the air conditioner less, you will be consuming less electricity and lower your electricity bill.

Close the doors.

Do you have rooms in your home that you don’t use that often? If you have a guest bedroom or a library that isn’t used on a regular basis, keep the doors closed. By closing off rooms, you will be able to keep the temperature in the main part of your home at a more steady level.

Watch your water usage.

By watching your water usage, many homeowners will also save on their electricity bill. Be sure that when you wash clothes, your washing machine contains a full load. Don’t mindlessly run your water sprinklers unless the lawn truly needs it. Consider installing a low flow shower head and a faucet aerator to cut down on the amount of water you are using.

Remember maintenance.

When was the last time you cleaned your refrigerator’s coils? Have you checked your lint trap lately? Has your HVAC system been serviced? By taking care of your appliances, they will run better and this will help keep your electricity costs down.