This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IGS Energy. All opinions are 100% mine.

Go beyond switching light bulbs and turning down your AC with 5 smart changes that will REALLY help you conserve energy in your home.

Earth Day may be over, but we should be thinking about ways we can conserve energy to help our planet every day, right? Not just to save natural resources, but also to save our wallets from taking a hit every month when that electric bill comes soaring into our mailboxes.

By now, you know all the little tricks to conserve energy. You know that you should switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, turn off the lights when you’re not in the room and turn down the heat (or AC) by a few degrees. I’m not going to regurgitate lists you’ve read a thousand times, don’t worry. Instead, I’m sharing a few smart routine changes that can not only help save money on energy, but also get enhance your overall well-being.

5 Smart Changes that Can Help You Conserve Energy

Go retro and make friends with the sun again

It seems that we as a collective whole are on a big “let’s be cavemen” kick these days. When it comes to food, it’s not really my thing. When it comes to lights, though, I’m totally on an ancestral energy diet!  I avoid turning lights on in my house until late afternoon most days, working by the natural light coming in through my windows. If our great-greats could see by the sunlight in their little, practically windowless houses (or caves!) then I think we can get by without blaring the lights in every room first thing in the morning. You might be surprised at how much light your windows let in! You might also find yourself able to rise and shine a bit easier, since all that sunlight is telling your brain it’s time to be productive.

Get out of the house and get moving

Get out of the house and get moving to help conserve energy!

The more time you spend outside your home, the less time you’re running electric-consuming appliances and gadgets, right? Now that spring has sprung, look to the great outdoors for fun family adventures. Ride a bike, sign up for that triathlon you’ve been thinking about, go hiking. Of course, you could just go to the movies more often, but the overall idea here is to save money. There are plenty of free outdoor activities year-round to do.

Embrace Your Hair’s Natural Beauty

Put that dryer and curling iron (or flat iron) away and start loving your hair’s natural flow.  I have crazy thick hair, so when I break out the heat, it literally takes over an hour to completely blow dry it then straighten it. That’s not just bad for my hair, but bad for my energy bill too. Think a blow dryer isn’t a big drain on energy? I used an energy calculator and discovered that using it for an hour a day can cost over $55 a year. More, probably, because I was doing it during “peak” times. Save the hair dryer and irons for those fancy occasions. The rest of the time, go natural.

Cook Smarter

Want to save time and conserve energy? Change the way you approach cooking. Cook two casseroles for the week together at the same time. Then you can just use your microwave later on to reheat one, since microwaves require less energy to run. If you really don’t like microwaved reheated food, it still takes a lot less energy to heat it up a bit in the oven than to bake it from scratch.

Other ways to save energy while cooking: use a pressure cooker instead of your regular stove top to save time and energy, cook with your lids on to reduce cooking time and always defrost your frozen food in the fridge before cooking. Keep your microwave clean, too. It not only prevents last night’s spillage odors from permeating this morning’s muffin, it helps operate at maximum efficiency.

Exercise Your Right to Choose Your Own Supplier

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, exercise your right to choose the energy supplier that offers the best rates for your needs. Obviously, this only works for those of us in “deregulated states,” like PA, MD, OH, IL, and MA. Through the Energy Choice program, we have the option of purchasing our electricity and natural gas from an independent energy supplier, like IGS Energy. We can shop around and compare pricing, then pick the supplier that fits our needs based on how we consume energy.

To understand the benefit of shopping around, we need to look at the difference between a utility and a supplier. In my area, we actually have two power utility companies. These companies are responsible for maintaining and repairing the infrastructure that carries electricity to us: the poles, the wires and the pipes. A supplier is the company that sells the natural gas and electric supply products that the utility delivers.  Regardless of which supplier you go with, your utility will still deliver it to you. The two work together, not in competition of each other. Learn more about energy choice and deregulation.

IGS Energy

Your utility company charges you rates based on market conditions. They go up and down throughout the year, depending on factors that I honestly don’t understand and could never try to explain. With energy suppliers, on the other hand, you can lock in rates at today’s prices for a longer term. If rates go up, you don’t have to worry.

Why IGS Energy?

IGS Energy is an independent energy supplier that serves over one million customers in 10 states, making them one of the largest indie suppliers in the country.  They not only provide energy, but also offer great home protection products to help protect you from costly repairs of your utility lines. Did you know that the utility company only covers the lines up to a certain point? That last leg of the journey is all on you, my friend. If a tree falls and knocks it out, guess who has to pay?

They also offer lots of awesome product options. You can opt to lock in a fixed rate for a specific time period that works for you, go with a flat bill so you always know how much you’re paying, or do a hybrid plan to lock in a rate during those crazier times in the market, then switch to a variable rate when the market isn’t so wild.

IGS Energy gets involved in the community in many big and small ways.

IGS Energy doesn’t just set themselves apart by offering great protection, though. They’re also passionate about community involvement. For example, on March 10th, they had their first All-Employee Day of Service. Throughout six states, IGS Energy employees spent their work day volunteering at one of 39 different non-profit organization. They donated a combined total of over 3,000 hours of volunteer work that day!

Employees also volunteer at food banks or get together to cheer on local high school teams during sporting events. Learn more about IGS Companies community support.

Check out the enrollment opportunities on IGSenergy.com. It’s easy to compare their different plans with just a few clicks. Enter your zip, the type of customer you are (residential or commercial) and your current utility provider. You can also schedule a local home energy consultation or enroll by mail or over the phone. All of their associates are Trusted Energy Advisors, so their goal is to help you choose the best option, not just sell you something.

By making a few changes to your usual routine and exercising your right to shop around, you can save money on your energy bill without investing thousands in new appliances.

Did you make any changes to your routine that helped shave money off your energy bill? Tell me in the comments!

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