Looking for ways to save energy can be intimidating. Far too often you’ll come across suggestions that sound great and promise significant energy savings, but they’re based on buying something that carries a hefty price tag. Energy is often one of the most expensive commodities we have to factor into our budgets, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to shop for a provider on energyproviderstexas.com. For some, being on a tight budget is the entire reason they’re aggressively going after energy savings. As opposed to those posts that suggest spending hundreds of dollars on new technologies, this is a list of 5 energy saving tips that won’t cost you a penny!

1. Stop unwanted energy waste

Did you know that many electronic devices use power even when they’re “turned off?” From televisions to cellphone chargers, many devices are constantly in stand-by mode, even after you press the power button. In order to keep your devices from using power after you’ve turned them off, in most instances you have to physically break the connection to your home’s circuit. Whether breaking the connection means unplugging your devices or just using a power strip, ensuring that your devices don’t use unneeded power will help you save money each month.

2. Program your thermostat

Do you have a programmable thermostat? If you do, it’s highly likely that you’ve never taken the time to actually program it to optimize your heating and cooling efficiency. Depending on the model, programming can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely one worth taking on. When you program your thermostat you can prevent the system from running when no one is home. In just a few minutes, programming your thermostat can save you lots of money on energy costs, simply by limiting when the biggest energy consumer in your home is turned on.

3. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full

If you have the bad habit of running the dishwasher at the end of every day, regardless of how many dirty dishes there are, making one simple change to your behavior makes it possible for you to save more energy than you’d expect. Running the dishwasher uses the same amount of energy regardless of how many dishes are being cleaned. The same thing goes for your washing machine. If you’re not washing full loads, you’re wasting money on energy. Next time you need to reuse a particular utensil that’s dirty, consciously think to wash it individually before starting the dishwasher when it only has one meal’s dishes in it.

4. Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient models

I know, I know. I told you this post was all about ways to save energy without spending money, and while energy efficient bulbs can be expensive, there are also ways you might be able to get replacements for free! Many utility companies have recently instituted programs that distribute energy efficient bulbs to their customers free of charge. These sorts of efficiency projects are incentivized by the government, and if you’ve got lots of incandescent bulbs in your house, you should contact your utility company to see if they offer one of these programs to their customers.

5. Adjust your home’s temperature by just 1-2 degrees

Whether you’re talking about raising your home’s temperature in the summer or lowering it in the winter, just a degree or two can make a significant difference when it comes to your energy costs at the end of the month. Furthermore, just a degree here or there won’t make that much difference in your overall comfort. After all, you can always run a fan in the summertime or throw on an extra blanket in the winter.

If you take the time to embrace some of these energy saving tips, with any luck you’ll be able to save money on your energy costs, and when you’re on a tight budget, we all know that every dollar counts.