When managing your household budget, it is helpful to periodically review monthly bills and investigate ways to save money on routine household expenditures. If you household is like most, your energy bill probably accounts for one of your largest monthly expenses.

Learning to save on the energy bill through conservation of energy and increasing your household energy efficiency will save a few dollars each month but add up to significant savings over time.

To save on your energy bill you must first understand your energy consumption. Take a look at your gas, electric and water bill and find out how much you are using. Energy is priced based on consumption so without knowing your consumption you will not be able to accurately determine areas where you could cut back.

If you live in a state that has restructuring utilities which allow for customer choice and competition between energy providers, do a little shopping around to see if you are getting the best rate based on your consumption.

You could realize real savings on your energy bill simply by switching to a provider who offers a better rate. Restructured has created a great opportunity for customers to compare rates and has caused energy providers to offer more payment choices in order to keep existing customers and gain new ones.

The best way to save on your energy bill, however, is to be conscientious about how you use energy in your home. Simple habits like turning off lights when you leave a room and keeping the thermostat a few degrees cooler in the winter and a few degrees warmer in the summer are cost-free and painless ways to start conserving energy and save on energy bills.

Additional steps like switching out traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs such as compact fluorescent light bulbs require a little bit of up-front expense but will result in savings over the long haul.

Appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer are also major consumers of electricity so maintaining them properly and using them wisely will also help you save on energy bills. Use appliances sparingly by only washing full loads of clothes and dishes.

Whenever possible, line-dry your clothes to save the cost of running your clothes dryer. This will also save wear and tear on your garments thereby extending the life of your dryer and your wardrobe. Use cold water for most loads in your washing machine to save on energy bills and never use the heated dry option on your dishwasher.

Taking steps to make your home energy efficient is also important to saving on energy bills. You can hire a professional to perform an energy audit on your home who will offer recommendations on steps to take to retain more of the energy you pay for each month.

But to start saving immediately on your energy bill you can do some simple home maintenance work such as installing foam gaskets behind outlets on exterior walls, sealing any visible cracks in doors and windows with weather stripping or caulk and increasing the insulation in your home.