6 Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill and Your Environmental Footprint By Reynard Loki

According to the latest figures [3] released by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the average monthly residential electric bill is $111.08. The state with the lowest average bill is New Mexico ($76.56) and the highest is Hawaii ($190.36).


To see how your state ranks, click here [4].

How does your electricity usage impact the environment? Well, the less energy you consume, the less energy your energy provider needs to produce. And that means less global warming gases spewed into the atmosphere.

“Using energy more efficiently through more efficient end-uses or through more efficient generation, such as combined heat and power, reduces the amount of fuel required to produce a unit of energy output andreduces the corresponding emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases [5],” says the EPA.

The amount of electricity we use is a major part of our personal environmental footprint: Almost 40 percent of the total energy that Americans consume is used to generate electricity. Moreover, of the four kinds of energy consumers tracked by the EIA, residential consumers account for the largest share at 37.4 percent — more than the commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. And in a country with a population of 319 million, every kilowatt counts. Clearly, our individual decisions as electricity consumers are an important piece of any climate solution. There are many ways to reduce your environmental footprint and save money on your electric bill. Here are six effective ones.

1. Use Energy Star Products

Established in 1992 by the EPA and the Department of Energy, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, the Energy Star program is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products. Since the program was launched, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have adopted it. Products that carry the Energy Star service mark generally use 20-30 percent less energy than required by federal standards.

According to the EPA:

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