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Anchor intro: If it feels like you’re throwing money out the window on your utility bills, you’re most likely in need of an energy makeover. Changing your habits can cut your utility bills in half and save you hundreds of dollars annually. Here’s how.

Lighting: 25-percent of a home’s energy usage comes from the lighting. It takes about $9 a year to run just one CFL light bulb through the night, $21 for a conventional bulb and $35 for a big ceiling fan on high, the savings from simply turning everything off can add up quickly.

Vampire Devices: To really take a bite out of your electric bill, you should also unplug your “vampire devices.” Cable boxes, DVD players, TVs, microwaves, toasters and computers use up to 10 to 50 watts each while off, but not unplugged. It’s estimate that vampire energy costs U.S. consumers $3-billion dollars a year. It might be inconvenient to constantly plug-in and unplug – but you can save 6 to 26% off your total electric bill annually. *

Programmable thermostat: Heating and cooling your home is a major expense. There are two ways to help decrease your monthly bill. First, buy a programmable thermostat, they cost as little as $25 and can save you a lot of money by allowing you set the temperature when less air conditioning or heating is required during the day when you’re not at home or when you’re on vacation. This can save you as much as 10% on your bill … averaging around $180 dollars a year.

Another way to save on your utility bill is to set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. This not only avoids scalding, but it can save you between $36 and $61 annually in standby heat losses.

Reusable filters: For your heating and air conditioning to run at its most efficient, make sure you clean your air filters. Dirt and neglect can cause your unit to die an untimely death and cost you more money. Keeping them clean and reusing filters after giving them a nice vacuum and rinse saves you big bucks.

Looking for ways to save some green on home maintenance? We’ve got some tips, next.

*Energy saving estimates from the Energy Star Government site