Moving to a new home in Dallas? Planning a budget for your new life? Both home owners and renters often are surprised by the size of their electric bills. Dallas gets really hot in the summer and you probably have air conditioning. Additionally, your refrigerator gets quite a workout, especially if you have kids. When kids are home from school, they open and close the refrigerator door all day, as they make dozens of trips for snacks and drinks.

It’s not unusual for a Dallas house or apartment to pay $200-$500 a month for electricity. The good news is that, with just a few simple tips, you can save $50-150 a month and shrink your carbon footprint at the sae time. Here are some ideas to get started.

(1) Choose Energy Star certified appliances. ENERGY STAR is a joint program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, designed to help consumers save money while protecting the environment. The EnergyStar website estimates that in 2009 Americans saved enough energy save $17 billion on their utility bills while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 30 million cars.

(2) If you buy a refrigerator, typically a smaller unit will use less electricity.
But if you buy an energy-saving model, you may be able to keep more space cold with the same amount of electricity.

(3) Clean air filters every month. Clean dryer filters after every use.
Dust and dirt will interfere with the airflow, so your unit operates less efficiently. That means you need to use more electricity to generate the same amount of cold air.
(4) Turn your air conditioner off or down while you’re at work. When you return home, resist the temptation to turn the thermostat setting down really low to cool the house off. Instead, keep thermostat set to the temperature that’s comfortable. Your home cools off just as quickly.

(5) Washing clothes in warm water can save significantly on electricity. Washing in cold water cuts electricity by as much as 90%, according to some estimates. Choose a cold rinse temperature. This cycle doesn’t make your clothes cleaner.

(6) Run full loads clothes in your washer and dryer and full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. In this way your machine doesn’t have to use electricity to warm up each time. If you have multiple loads, set them up so that one runs immediately after the other.

Of course, your most critical energy-efficient tip is to choose the most economical electricity supplier in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. New home owners in Texas often are surprised at the wide range of options afforded by de-regulation. You may get a lower rate or a lower deposit or both.

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