Taking these steps to reduce energy use can really pay off.  It may not seem like it makes a huge difference but over a year's time you can save $18-$40 a year! 


ENERGY STAR models:  Choose natural gas water heaters and furnaces that display the ENERGY STAR label.   Older models can use significantly more energy than the ENERGY STAR models.  Make sure to also keep your appliances well maintained as this will prolong the life of the appliance. 


Dishwasher: The biggest expense in running your dishwasher is heating the water.  Set your water heater at 120 degrees to make sure your not using more natural gas then you really need to get clean dishes.  Make sure to only run your dishwasher when it is completely full.  A dishwasher uses the exact same amount of energy and water per load no matter how many dishes are inside. 


Laundry: Heating hot water accounts for about 90% of your washer's energy use.  Wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible.  Wash only full loads if possible or adjust your water level to only use what you need.  Clean out your dryer's lint trap before every load and avoid over-drying clothes. 


Cooking: There are many different ways to save energy in the kitchen while cooking.  Be a SMART cook!  Don't open your oven door while cooking, keep burners clean on a gas range and use a slow cooker, toaster oven or air fryer over your full size oven whenever you can.  Cover your pots and pans while cooking on a range to keep heat in the food and not in your kitchen. (this will also save on your air conditioning costs)  Use the correct size pots on your range and only preheat your oven when required or right before use.