In this report
Overview
How to save
25 simple ways to save

Save energy, save money

Choosing efficiency over energy hogs equals big savings

Last reviewed: August 2009

The average household will spend $6,400 on utility bills and at the gas pump in 2009—$1,700 more than just two years ago, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. But you're far from powerless.

As a general rule, energy-efficient options cost more up front, but you'll often recoup the incremental dollars in lower utility bills over the product's lifetime. (That's not always the case, as our reports on air conditioners, replacement windows, doors, and tankless water heaters have detailed.

Thinking of saving energy by replacing appliances? Start with the oldest, least-efficient units and repair-prone products-and start before they have a major breakdown as it's difficult to make a reasoned decision when you're faced with replacing a broken furnace on a cold night or an ailing air conditioner in the middle of a heat wave. Even if you don't need new appliances, use these 25 simple ways to save. Some of the tips take just a minute.

Note

The energy-saving figures and the products featured here were current as of the September 2008 original publish date of this article. While you might not find the same products here, the advice in the story is the same: Replacing older, less-efficient appliances, as well as older cars and electronic equipment, for more-efficient products can save you money.

Posted: September 2008 — Consumer Reports Magazine issue: October 2008