Save money and lower your gas and electric billLike just about everything else lately, gas and electricity prices are on the rise. Cheaper gas and electric may be hard to find, but following a few simple tips-concurrently-can drastically lower your gas and electricity bill.

#7: Install a Heat Recovery Unit (HRU)

Install a heat recovery unit to save on costs associated with heating your water heater. An HRU uses the heat generated by your air conditioner to heat your water supply. These units are especially good in warmer climates, as the savings from a lower gas and electricity bill can be used year-round to pad your monthly budget.

#6 Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Compact flourescent bulbs

Install these special light bulbs wherever you can to lower utility bills. They may cost a bit more than a normal light bulb, but they can last up to 10 times longer and are more energy-efficient. Since they burn less electricity, they lower your electricity bill by saving you money each time you use them. Call them cheap electricity.

Shade Trees#5: Plant Shade Trees and Shrubs

Strategically place shade trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your home to provide shade from the strong sun. Doing so will result in a lower electricity bill by keeping the home cool so that the air conditioner doesn't have to run as much.

#4: Insulate the Water Heater

From your local hardware store, purchase a water heater blanket/water heater jacket to wrap around the water heater. This insulation helps keep heat inside the tank so you use less gas or electricity to heat water-an easy way to get a lower gas and electricity bill.

#3: UnplugPlug

Unplug appliances whenever and wherever you can. Even when not in use, appliances draw electricity just for being plugged in. Make unplugging appliances part of your routine when you leave a room. Instant electric bill savings! If unplugging is not convenient, purchase a power strip and plug the appliances into that so you just have to switch off one button to get a lower electricity bill.

Caulk#2: Caulk

Be sure to caulk around all windows and doors annually. This keeps both your outside air from leaking out (like you air-conditioned air in the summer) and outside air from coming in (summer heat). The result? You don't waste electricity so that you have a lower gas and electricity bill. Bonus: Ensuring your windows and doors are properly caulked also helps to avoid water intrusion.

#1: Install a Programmable Thermostat

All gas and electric suppliers agree that a lower gas or electricity bill is made possible by installing a programmable thermostat. This way, you can manipulate the temperature when you are out of the home. Set the thermostat so that when you are away, it is a few degrees cooler in the winter or a few degrees warmer in the summer. The thermostat can be set to return to a normal temperature range a few minutes before you return home.