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Expert tips on how to keep electricity prices from rising

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With energy bills on the rise and electricity prices constantly increasing, it is not surprising that a number of residents are looking for innovative ways to cut costs and help out the environment in the process.

And by putting in place simple changes, it is easy to have a positive impact on the day-to-day running costs of your home.

Life & Beauty columnist Annika Todd suggests people look for practical ways to reduce costs associated with heating, lighting, appliances and storage rather than investing in the latest solar technology.

In a post on the BBC's official blog, Ms Todd explained the link between energy production and green house gases, writing: "Electricity production isn’t just expensive, it creates more greenhouse gasses than anything else in the US, including transportation."

Ms Todd suggested taking things a step further than you normally would in order to cut down, which may involve spending a little extra in order to get ahead in the long term.

"You probably already turn off the lights when leaving a room, so now go a step further: Replace your home's light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They cost a few dollars more than standard incandescent, but CFLs use a whopping 80 per cent less energy," she said.

Recent data on these types of lights shows that customers can recuperate their initial outlay on these products in as little as three months, which makes smart consumer sense.

Another top tip includes replacing out-of-date appliances with a more energy efficient version of the product, in order to reduce the amount of power you use making simple meals in the kitchen.

But rather than throwing these items in the trash, it might be a good idea to see if there is a way they can be recycled or put to good use.

Setting your dishwasher, fridge and washing machine to their energy saving setting is also a smart and effective way to reduce the amount of power your family uses in a day without having to feel like austerity measures are being put in place.

During summer it is often impossible to live without some form of cooling system in place, but running an air-conditioner all day is not an option if you are looking to cut back on bills.

Drawing the blinds during the day and setting the temperature to a comfortable 15 -18 degrees can help to keep people cool without running up costs.

Posted by Charlie Moore