To Homeowners who want to save on electric bills often want to “go green” with energy cost savings. You can buy dozens of expensive cost-reducing appliances, meters and generators. But often a few simple tips can go a long way.

In fact, one of the simpler ways to pay less for electicity is to turn to your windows. Windows do not stop heat or cold effectively. Therefore, most homeowners and renters turn to coverings and treatments to reduce their electric bills.

Sunlight can be a major source for heat, which helps reduce your electric bills in winter but can increase your energy costs in summer. Here are a few ways to start.

— During winter, close curtains as daylight ends. You can keep heat inside and block the cold night air at the same time.

As soon as dusk falls close all the curtains in your home. This has got to be one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your heat loss as well as increasing the comfort of your home.

— During summer, solid drapes with white plastic linings will block heat and light effectively. Hang curtains close to the walls with narrow openings or let the panels overlap to enclose the home completely. If you work outside your home during the day, this window treatment will keep your interiors cool, so you need less energy for air conditioning in the evening.

— Some window treatments will be identified with an R-value. According to the US Department of Energy, an R-value reflects the window treatment’s resistance to heat flow. A higher R-value is associated with more effective insulation. Not surprisingly, a thicker, denser treatment will have a higher R-value than a thinner alternative.

— Add awnings that block sun from entering, especially through south-facing window. Today’s awnings are made with synthetic fabrics, so they last longer. Choose an awning with a fabric that is knit tightly, so no light will shine through. A light colored awning reflects light more effectively than a dark-colored awning.

Homeowners in Texas have another way to save electricity: choosing an electric company with the lowest price.

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