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Editorial: Look at energy conservation for financial health

Anytime is a good time to work on good financial habits, but April is Financial Literacy Month, with a campaign to help focus on finances and develop healthy financial habits.

One of the best ways to save money – month after month – is to conserve energy. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has some energy tips that will save money.

Whether it’s the middle of the hot summer or the dead of winter, the Department of Commerce says there are several basic no- or low-cost measures you can take to conserve energy and decrease your utility bills:

n Use a programmable thermostat to reduce your heating and cooling costs.

n Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.

n Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips and turn the strips off when equipment is not in use.

n Turn off lights when not in use.

n Close your fireplace damper when not in use.

n Take short showers; turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees.

n Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes; air dry when possible.

n Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star rated compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).

n Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing new appliances, lighting, and electronics.

n Have a home energy assessment to identify ways to make your home more energy efficient (weather-strip doors and windows, seal air leaks, add insulation, and more).

For more energy-saving tips, go to