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Ever received an energy bill and wished that the expenses were lower? Instead of waiting for energy prices to decrease, there are actually plenty of things that you can do today to start lowering your energy consumption at home. It starts with something as simple as lighting, not just indoors but outdoors as well. On average, electric lighting makes up around ten percent of your energy bill. In many cases, this can even be higher depending on your habits and the style of bulbs installed. Incandescent light bulbs (the older traditional style) are energy hogs compared to the newer spiral-shaped bulbs, called compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). If all the lighting in your home relies on incandescents, you are likely racking up a considerable amount in lighting energy. Another factor is how much lighting you and your family use on a daily basis. Are the lights constantly burning in every room? Do you make it a point to turn lights off each time you leave a room? Perhaps the lights in the backyard are left on all night. All of these instances add up to quite a bit!
The first step in energy conservation is to go around the entire house and perform a lighting energy audit. There are several online website that offer lighting energy consumption calculators and other helpful tools. This will give you a clear idea of how much you really pay in lighting costs. Next, upgrade your light bulbs to energy efficient ones. In many states, there are even government incentives and rebates on offer for residents who are willing to take this important step. While energy efficient bulbs are pricier than incandescents, they offer several benefits. CFLs have been estimated to use up to 75% or less energy than traditional bulbs. Even better, they emit a brighter light despite using less energy, and have a lifespan that lasts numerous years more than an incandescent bulb. That means that a single purchase can continue contributing to a lower energy bill for several years! Apart from upgrading bulbs, it is also important to turn off lights when they are not being used. There is no real point in leaving a light on if nobody is in the bedroom anymore. While youíre on a roll, why not take advantage of sunlight too? The clarity of the sunís light is incredible, and best of all, itís free! By opening the curtains, or installing skylights, you can make use of daylighting instead of resorting to artificial lighting. In the backyard, get rid of the old energy guzzling bulbs. Replace them with solar powered lights instead. The best types of solar powered lights are those that have a stake attached. Simply stick it in the ground and forget about it. During the day, the solar power cells soak up the sunshine and use the energy to emit a bright light at night. These lights are typically quite inexpensive and they last a long time without any hassle or additional costs. After implementing these changes, you should start seeing positive results in your energy bill quite soon. The immediate result is that you save money, but there is a broader benefit too. By reducing the amount of energy consumed, you decrease the energy demands of the hydro company. In turn, they burn fewer fossil fuels, resulting in less pollution and a healthier planet. The following resources will help you to get started in energy conservation through better lighting choices.