Energy Hogs in your home: Avoid high power bills

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Check your power bill -- and pay close attention to what's eating up most of the energy. For most customers, almost half the annual utility spending goes toward eating and AC. To lower that cost, seal your ductwork, change your filter and install a programmable thermostat.

The average hot water tank drains $40 a month. It becomes inefficient if the temperature is set above the standard 140 degrees. You can lose up to $50 a year.

Large appliances account for 13% of your total bill. All of mine are Energy Star, so they use about 30% less electricity than older models. My refrigerator only costs about $5 a month to run. I love my top load washer, but it can use twice as much energy as a front loader. Hot/warm loads cost 89 cents a load, if I switched to cold the price drops to 26 cents. The dryer runs about 50 cents a load.

Lighting uses almost as much energy as large appliances. Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL's will cut your lighting expenses by two thirds.

Computers, TVs and DVD players make up the smallest portion of your bill. This 50 inch plasma only costs about $4 a month with average viewing times. The computer uses even less.

And then there's everything else like phone chargers, the coffeepot, cable boxes and video games...altogether they only account for about $20 of my bill.

So when it comes to lowering my power bill, I'm going to concentrate on heating, cooling and my hot water tank and then I'll worry about the smaller stuff.

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