Feeling lucky about your numbers? Probably not if we’re talking the digits on your energy bill. Check out our tips to shrink your electricity payments and to keep both you and the planet rolling in green.

1. Raid your closet.

Rather than turning to the thermostat every time you catch a chill, grab a sweater instead. Dressing in layers is totally in: It’ll keep you off those fashion makeover shows, save you about $250, and keep 1,000 pounds of CO2 outta the environment per Biter, per year. Get the full Bite.

2. Break the (drying) cycle.

Save $25 a year by turning off your dishwasher’s drying cycle. It accounts for 15%-50% of dishwasher energy usage, and believe it or not, your dishes will indeed dry on their own. Get the full Bite.

3. Make your fridge chill.

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by keeping it full, using glass storage containers, and cleaning the dust off the coils a couple times a year (if they’re at the base; this alone saves up to $20 a year). Bonus: Replace your current fridge with an Energy Star one to save $55 a year. Get the full Bite, and watch our vid.

4. Shed some light bulbs.

Replacing your standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save the average household about $180 a year. Plus, traditional incandescents generate about 2-10 times more mercury than CFLs when you figure in emissions from the power plants that usually power them. Get the full Bite.

5. Get outta hot water.

Turn down the temp on your tank water heater to around 120 degrees (many installers set to 140 degrees) – that’s hot enough to clean you and your dishes but still save you 6%-10% on water-heating costs. Plus, if every U.S. household did the same, we could prevent the amount of globe-warming CO2 emitted by the country of Kuwait. Get the full Bite.

6. Leave your clothes in the cold.

Doing your laundry in cold water instead of hot will save you $61 a year and will keep your clothes looking newer, longer – and it does the job on all but the worst cases of griminess. Households that wash only in cold water prevent 1,281 pounds of CO2 from mucking up the air every year. Get the full Bite.

7. Kick it old school with nonelectric appliances.

Burn a few calories and cut a few dollars off your energy bill by using a manual can opener rather than an electric one. If 10,000 people ditch their electric can openers, in a month we’ll save enough electricity to power a lamp for about 11 years. Get the full Bite.

8. See how your energy use measures up.

Get a home energy monitor to gauge your home’s power usage – down to the LCD TV you left plugged in and your kiddo’s night-light. Seeing where all that energy’s going will remind you to unplug and flip switches. Get the full Bite.

9. Exorcise your phantom loads.

A phantom load is the energy that’s sapped by your appliances when they’re plugged in but not on, and a whopping 40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off. Curb the energy drain by plugging ’em into power strips that you switch off each night. Get the full Bite.

10. Let the sun shine in.

Installing solar panels is an up-front investment for sure, but it’s a great way to cut energy costs (with the right system, you’ll never have another energy bill again) and pollution. Just 1 hour’s worth of the sunlight that hits the earth provides more energy than we use in a whole year. Get the full Bite.

Posted by: jharper on 06/29/2009