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    According to a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the average energy bill for a typical single-family American home is approximately $2,200 per year. By being more energy conscious and by following the three tips below, many homeowners can lower the home-energy bills significantly.

    1) Lower your home's requirement for heating, cooling, and lighting.

    This means carefully sealing and insulating the "shell" of your home. A typical house leaks 475 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) enough to fill a hot-air balloon in less than three hours. Today's most efficient homes leak only 68 CFM.

    Properly placed high-performance windows let in the warming rays of the sun in the winter, are shaded in the summer and can provide natural ventilation.

    2) Install water-saving appliances and ultralow showerheads.

    According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs, but can save $350 from retrofitting with WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR qualified appliances.

    It takes a considerable amount of energy to deliver and treat the water you use every day. For example, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 22 hours.

    With ultralow showerheads, homeowners can have far more control over their water usage by managing shower times, water pressure, and even water flow.

    Hot water equals energy down the drain, so this is important for reducing energy usage.

    3) Install efficient equipment and systems.

    While it may not be feasible to replace everything at once, you can make small changes that help. Next-generation LED bulbs are 75 percent more efficient and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

    As for home appliances, it's important to keep in mind that not all refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines are created equal even those bearing the Energy Star label. Compare models and brands carefully to find the most efficient models to meet your needs.