Electricity costs are expected to jump this summer because of the skyrocketing price of oil and seasonally higher demand. But you can take steps to lower how much you shell out.
Making your house more efficient is one easy (and relatively painless) way to cut down on your energy use. Consider these tips from Powerscorecard.org:
¢ Insulate your walls and ceilings. This can save 20 percent to 30 percent of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 140 to 2,100 pounds per year.
¢ Plant shade trees and paint your house a light color if you live in a warm climate or a dark color if you live in a cold climate.
¢ Weatherize your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows. Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy-inefficient. This service may be provided free or at low cost. Make sure it includes a check of your furnace and air conditioning.