Electricity bills: Keep an eye on 'vampire devices'
If you are looking for an easy way to cut your electricity costs, you may want to keep an eye out for any so-called 'vampire devices'.
These gadgets, according to Reliant Energy's Pat Hammond in the United States, include gadgets that continue to use power when they are turned off.
Common culprits include anything with a standby mode - including your television, printer, computer monitor and mobile phone charger - she told KHOU 11 News in Houston.
By simply ensuring the power is completely off - or unplugging these gadgets altogether - Hammond estimates that you can save between five and ten per cent on your electricity bills.
She also recommended that homeowners with an air conditioning unit ensure that they keep it set to a reasonable temperature during the summer months - thermostats that are set to too-cold levels can waste needless electricity.
Another way of ensuring that your property stays cool in the summer - and warm on chilly winter nights - is to make it as energy efficient as possible.
Simple home improvements like double glazing on windows, additional insulation and even just extra measures to prevent draughts can help you better-regulate the temperature indoors and potentially use less electricity in the process.
And of course, keeping an eye on electricity prices can help you to keep on top of your bills too.