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Are your electricity bills giving you a shock as they come in each month? Perhaps you're doing all the right things such as switching off your lights and trying to use less heating and cooling, but electricity prices still seem to be getting the best of you.

Every little bit does count, so here are some more tips and tricks that might help you save those precious cents on your power bill.

Turn it down

Many of us sit staring at computer screens all day or fiddling away on our cell phones, oblivious to the bright white shine they are emitting. It's not necessary for most people to have the screens of their devices on such a high setting - try turning it down to the lowest level comfortable for you.

Many technological devices will have 'power saver' modes that, when enabled, will operate the object at a greater level of efficiency and save you both electricity and dollars. Find out which of your various devices have adjustable brightness and change the settings for all of them. It won't take long at all to get used to the change.

If you run a business, consider implementing a policy to make sure your various technologies operate on a more energy efficient level. Similarly, if you work in an office, consider suggesting to your managers that you can become more cost effective and environmentally friendly by taking this step.

Make it quick

It can be easy to leave devices plugged in long after an item has finished charging, or to put a load of washing on the longest cycle so you feel your laundry will be 'extra clean'. However, if you make an effort to only charge and plug in items like your laptop, cell phone and music players when necessary, you will save electricity.

As well as this, washing your dishes and clothes on the shortest possible cycle is usually enough to get them clean, unless they're heavily soiled. So don't waste all your power, water and money on your clothes swishing around for too long when you can cut down easily and save!

The more of these tips you can adopt and integrate into your life on top of the usual 'turn off your lights' type tricks, the more you will save - and you'll enjoy planning what you can spend your newly found pennies on.

Posted by Matthew Cole