as much as hundreds of dollars a year on electricity, make certain
that any new appliances you purchase, especially air conditioners
and furnaces, are energy-efficient. Information on the energy
efficiency of major appliances is found on Energy Guide Labels
required by federal law.
in load management programs and off-hour rate programs offered
by your electric utility may save you up to $100 a year in electricity
costs. Call your electric utility for information about these
energy audit can identify ways to save up to hundreds of dollars
a year on home heating (and air conditioning). Ask your electric
or gas utility if they can do this audit for free or for a reasonable
charge. If they cannot, ask them to refer you to a qualified professional.
At least once a year review your phone bills for the
previous three months to see what local, local toll, long distance,
and international calls you normally make. Call several phone
companies, including wireless companies, to find an inexpensive
calling plan that meets your needs.
If you make
very few toll or long distance calls, avoid calling plans with
monthly fees or minimums.
phone bill to see if you have optional calling services you don't
use. Each option you drop could save you $40 or more each year.
calls when away from home, compare per minute rates and surcharges
for different prepaid phone cards and calling card plans to find
the one that saves you the most money.
long distance calls directly. Using an operator to place the call
can cost you up to $10 extra.
If you use
a wireless phone, make sure your wireless calling plan covers
the calls you typically make. Understand promotions, peak calling
periods, area coverage and roaming, and long distance requirements
to avoid paying too much.