This year, make a New Year's Resolutions that doesn't force you to skip dessert or stay out of the shopping mall. Resolve to save a bundle of money on your electric bill-and conserve energy in the process-by painlessly changing five habits:
Wait until you have a full load of dishes before running your dishwasher or a full load of laundry before turning on the washer or dryer.
Examine all of your appliances–from the dishwasher to your computer–to learn if they have an energy-saving feature. Once you find it, set it and use it. You won't notice the difference, but the savings will add up over time.
Unplug clocks, TV sets, night lights, and radios in unused guest rooms. Even when those appliances are turned off, they still use some electricity. While you're at it, check your spare refrigerator and freezer. If they don't have anything in them, unplug them, too.
If you buy a major appliance like a washer or refrigerator this year, read the label that explains how energy efficient it is. Buy on that will save energy, even if it costs a few bucks more. In the long run, you'll save money on your electric bill.
Install a programmable thermostatthat automatically turns down the heat when you're sleeping our out of the house. The difference in your heating bill–and your air conditioning bill in the summer–can be substantial.