Here are a few of our favorite cost-efficient ways to slash your energy bills without sacrificing comfort:

1. Upgrade Your Thermostat

The key to energy efficiency is establishing a set-up that automatically reduces heating and cooling when you don't need as much. Install a programmable thermostat to save 10% on cooling and heating costs. DP&L and Vectren customers can receive up to $100 in rebates on a Nest Thermostat. (Photo: Reviews.org)

2. Wash Clothes In Cold Water

On average, you can save about $63 a year with this easy switch. As an added bonus, lower temperatures will protect the dyes used in your clothes and preserve the fit of your clothes by preventing shrinkage.

3. Flip The Switch

Turn off all lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use. The benefits will vary from bulb to buld, but the average household will save $100 a year!

4. Change Filters Regularly

A dirty furnace filter can slow down air flow and make the system work harder than normal to keep you warm. Most HVAC professionals will tell you to change them at least once every 3 months. This trivial task can reduce your energy consumption by 15%! (Photo: ConsumerReports.org)

5. Invest In New Bulbs

Switch to new and improved light bulbs like CFLS, LEDs, and halogen incandescents. Although they will initially cost more than traditional bulbs, they will save you more over their lifetime because they use less energy. Not sure which option is best for you? Check out the Department of Energy's bulb breakdown.

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