New Year's resolutions can be hard to keep, but Ameren Missouri reminds you that some simple resolutions for 2011 can help you save energy dollars and money year 'round.
Below are some low-cost and no-cost ways to shave dollars off your monthly bill without giving up any of the comfort or convenience that reliable energy provides:
• Rid your world of “energy vampires.” Some of those nifty electronic gadgets you received as gifts actually draw power even when they are turned “off.” Some even have LED lights that are illuminated only to tell you that the device is "off"!
• Power bars can help you completely cut the power to computers, printers, chargers, video games and other electronics when not in use. If you have some devices that need 24/7 power, look for power bars that have both "switched" and "unswitched" outlets—these allow you to keep critical devices on, while truly powering down non-critical devices.
• Replace five conventional light bulbs with ENERGY STAR®-qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. To find a CFL with light intensity similar to a traditional incandescent bulb, check the box for Kelvin (K) rating of 2,700K-3,000K.
• Lower your thermostat a degree or two in the winter, and raise it in the summer. Every degree difference can cut your energy usage by about 2%. You can save even more by using a programmable thermostat to control temperatures when you’re not at home.
• Consider buying ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances and electronics, too. To be ENERGY STAR-qualified, these products have been tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to verify that they cut 10%-50% off energy costs compared to traditional products.
• Change furnace filters regularly. Maintaining equipment properly helps your furnace run more efficiently.
• Finally, go to www.Uefficiency.com to learn about the rebate and discount programs Ameren Missouri is offering its customers. Some of these can be combined with state or federal programs to increase your savings.
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Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 126,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.