With the price of energy (and everything) rising lately, it’s not surprising that many folks are looking for ways to reduce their electric bill. Cutting back on usage and increasing energy efficiency are smart ways to lower your bill. But did you know that saving energy has many positive effects beyond saving money?

In the simplest terms, energy efficiency is doing the same while using less. And the less energy we use, the more positive impact we can have on the environment, the economy, the reliability of the grid, even our own health and well-being. Here are just a few of the ways better energy habits can help all of us:

Protecting the grid – Increasing the energy efficiency of your home reduces your demand for energy, which, in turn, reduces stress on the electric grid. As overall demand for energy continues to grow, any steps we can take to reduce our own consumption translate into a lower need for new power plants. Building fewer new power plants helps to conserve resources, protect the environment and keep energy costs down for everyone.

Environmental impact – A large share of the negative impact on the environment can be traced to excess – generating too much trash, burning too much fossil fuel, running inefficient factories – so anything we can do to reduce consumption will help to mitigate that impact. And remember, not all efficiency measures are electricity-related. Using low-flow showerheads and more efficient washing machines reduces water consumption, which also benefits the environment.

Health and well-being – Measures to improve insulation, heating and ventilation systems can have positive impacts on air quality, helping to reduce respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and allergies. Also, fossil fuels are often burned directly to heat our buildings, such as in furnaces and boilers, and for water heating and cooking. This can impact indoor air quality in your home while also contributing to outdoor air pollution.

So bottom line, saving energy to save money is good sense. AND … it does good … for your health, your community and the whole planet. Look around your home or business for all the little ways you could be saving energy – and making a difference – today!