Easy Ways to Cut Down on Utility Bills

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) -- Across the country heating and power bills continue to rise. But there are some easy ways to save money.

In your home - savings start at the top.

Dan Diclerico with Consumer Reports says proper insulation can make a big difference because the cost to heat and cool a home makes up more than 50 % of energy use.

"Managing the temperature in your house is so important. Using a programmable thermostat makes it easy to do," Diclerico said.

He recommends setting the temperature to 68 degrees when it's cold outside 78 degrees when it's hot.

If your tv has an older set top box, ask your cable provider for the newest one, it could be more energy efficient.

In the kitchen you could save thousands of gallons of hot water by simply putting dirty dishes right in the dishwasher.

"These days I promise you you don't have to pre-rinse your dishwasher will do the job with that," Diclerico said.

You can save even more by using less water in the shower.

"Try to put a five minute cap. It's plenty of time. Jericka: Is it really? Dan: It is, if you're efficient in there," Diclerico said.

From insulating the top of your home to the cleaning bottom of your refrigerator.

"that's going to help the compression run more efficiently," Diclerico said.

Diclerico says following these tips could save the average home owner hundreds of dollars every year.

Experts say the average household spends about $2,000 on energy costs, per year.


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