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Save money and energy with a few simple tips

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EUREKA- It’s a bill no one likes to pay.

“Typical homes often in the Humboldt county might be spending one, two hundred dollars energy bill per month,” said Matthew Marshall, Redwood Coast Energy Authority Executive Director.

But what if there was a way to cut that 200 dollar bill by almost 20%? You can with just a little effort by making energy saving a habit.

“There's a lot of opportunities to reduce energy use in our homes-especially in Humboldt county where we've got older homes for the most part that weren't built recently so there's ranges of doing large improvements like insulating your attic, but there's also a lot of simple, easy no cost, or low cost things you can do to save energy as well,” Marshall said.

Eureka resident Elisa Abeeleira is one of those homeowners with an older house. Although she’s made several large energy saving improvements, her bill was still not the amount she wanted it to be.  But even for an energy-saving pro, there are things you can do to save.

One of those things includes turning off and unplugging electronics and other appliances when you aren’t using them.

“I didn't realize how easy it would be to separate some components and just put them on a power strip and that's easy, that's really easy,” Abeeleira said.

Another way to save energy is by cutting down your use of hot water. Energy experts say that the water heater is the 2nd largest energy user in most homes.

“Things that can save hot water, like running your laundry on cold water for example, that will save a lot of hot water. Setting your water heater temperature down so that at the tap it's about 120 degrees also reduces the risk of scalding yourself but that will save energy,” Marshall said.

But beware of the cold. Cooling appliances like you fridge and freezer can account for six percent of your utility bill. To help keep costs down and get the most out of those machines, experts say keep your fridge between 36 and 38 degrees, your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees. Also- keep your freezer full for maximum efficiency.

“We've certainly seen folks able to save you know, 5, 10, 15% on their energy savings from just kind of adding up all of those small little things,” Marshall said.

You can also monitor your usage regularly through PG&E’s online portal. At this portal, you can see how much energy you are using at what times of the day. And if it seems like you are using more than you should be- you probably are.

“We have little watt meters that people can borrow and check out from our tool library for no cost and you can plug in and see which different things are using power and get a better sense of which sort of things are the real energy hogs while they're sitting there supposedly off and not in use. so you can identify those opportunities,” Marshall said.

A little effort can equal big savings for both your wallet and the planet.

“There's expensive things you can do and there is inexpensive things you can do so you know figure out what it is you can do and do it,” Abeeleira said.