Don’t overlook these simple and effective energy-saving strategies

There are plenty of people who may be interested in converting to energy-efficient homes, but are intimidated by the potential costs or amount of work that may be required to implement such changes. But, the good news is, while you may not be able to afford buying new Energy Star-rated appliances or installing solar panels on your roof, there are some simple, cost-effective upgrades you make to reduce not only your carbon footprint but also the amount of money you spend on your utility bills each month. 

A recent article from Business Insider presents some suggestions for homeowners hoping to save energy: 

Eliminate "vampire" power – Did you know that power is still consumed when your electronics are in standby mode – or even when they are turned off entirely but still plugged in? The source suggests that this can account for 10 percent of a home's electricity use each year, so by adjusting the power-saving mode on your computer, Xbox, or other device, you can save money. 

Get an energy audit – A professional home inspection contractor can examine your home and help you determine different ways to cut costs and reduce the amount of electricity you consume on a monthly basis. 

Invest in a programmable thermostat – According to Energy Star, these devices – which cost a couple hundred dollars – can save you approximately $180 each year. There are even thermostats that allow you to change the settings remotely from your smartphone or laptop. 

Maryland residents hoping to convert to a more energy-efficient lifestyle will be happy to hear that there are many rebates and incentives to take advantage of, including those available from Pepco and Potomac Edison