Families in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, Allentown, and throughout PA are looking to find ways to tighten their household budgets—especially since the economic outlook is unclear. One immediate way families can cut costs and save money is by taking steps to lower their residential electric bills. There are some surprisingly easy things families can do to save on energy costs.

Tips to Reduce Your Residential Electricity Costs

Here, UGI EnergyLink has several tips you can follow to slash your energy expenses:

Look for the ENERGY STAR Logo

ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), aims to help us reduce our energy use, save money, and protect the environment through the promotion of energy efficient products and practices. Make it a habit to buy ENERGY STAR qualified appliances—they incorporate advanced technologies and use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard appliances. From refrigerators to clothes washers, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances save energy and money, and help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants at the source.

Be Careful with Lights

To really cut down your household’s energy consumption, be sure to turn out the lights in any room where lighting is no longer necessary. Lighting makes up between 5-10 percent of a home’s energy use. When you consider the number of people and rooms in your home, the potential for waste is huge. You should also consider replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)—they use about a quarter of the energy that standard incandescent bulbs do and last ten times longer than a comparable incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Locate and Seal Air Leaks

Did you know that locating and sealing cracks, gaps, and leaks—as well as adding insulation—can help you save up to 20 percent on your heating and cooling costs? You can follow a simple trick to test for air leaks—hold a lit incense stick next to windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, and other areas where there may be a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have identified an air leak.

Inspect Your Windows

You can significantly reduce your home’s energy use by replacing old windows with new high performance dual pane windows. These windows are highly efficient, and they will keep air and heat inside your home, reducing your heating and air conditioning system’s workload. This offers an excellent opportunity to save on residential energy costs.

Shop for Lower Residential Electricity Rates

One of the best ways to lower your residential electricity costs is by simply shopping for lower electric rates. Thanks to PA electricity deregulation, you can now choose to buy your energy from a different provider than the local utility in your area by transitioning to a well-established residential electricity supplier, such as UGI EnergyLink.

Regardless of which energy provider you choose, your electricity will continue to be delivered safely and reliably by the local utility company—which is still regulated by the Public Utility Commission. You will not notice a change of service when you switch your energy provider, but you can experience a reduction in overall residential electricity costs.

Make UGI EnergyLink Your Residential Electricity Supplier

Saving just a few pennies on the amount you pay for electricity per kilowatt hour can help you save a significant amount of money on your energy bills. At UGI EnergyLink, we don’t just buy and sell electricity in the marketplace—we own key generation facilities, which are part of the PJM Power Pool. By optimizing the combined use of our own generation and the broader PJM Pool, we can supply the most reliable and cost-effective electricity to your home.