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All of us are feeling an extra strain on our wallets with escalating costs on groceries, gas and interest rates. When you're trying to stretch your hard-earned dollars, every little bit of savings helps. Here are ten tips to help you conserve energy and reduce your utility bills.

1. Unplug unused electronics. It is said that "standby power" accounts for 10% of an average household's energy use. Go on, start unplugging!
2. Use natural light. Here in Florida and Coastal Alabama, we are blessed with tons of sunlight. Use it.
3. Reduce your shower time. We all love a nice hot shower, but heating that water is pricey. Experts say if two people reduce shower time by 1 minute, it could save $30 a year.
4. Turn off unnecessary lights. When you leave a room, turn off the light. Easy peasy.
5. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. There's no need to pour water down the drain while you're brushing away.
6. Dry full loads of laundry. Try and fill your dryer at least 3/4's full. Better yet - hang dry your clothes.
7. Reduce the heat in the kitchen. Instead of using your oven, use the barbecue or even your microwave or toaster oven.
8. Use your dishwasher. It uses far less water than washing by hand. For even greater savings, don't use the heat-dry setting.
9. Washing your clothes - use cold water. In most cases, the water isn't hot enough to kill more germs so just use cold water. 
10. Regulate your thermostadt. Be smart about cooling your home. If you're gone during the day for work, turn it up and bring it back down when you get home.
Holiday Builders offers new homes in Florida and Coastal Alabama. New homes are far more energy efficient than older homes. New HVAC systems offer greater efficiency. Combined with newly sealed doors and windows, your cool air stays inside where you want it. Plus, new homes are equipped with Energy-star rated appliances. For information on floorplans, locations and pricing, visit HolidayBuilders.com.