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How To Save on Your Monthly Bills - ABC News

By ANTHONY UNDERWOOD and LEE FERRAN

For many Americans, paying the bills every month is downright depressing, but as " Good Morning America " consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy says, there are several ways to ease the pain and save big time.

Check out her tips on how to save on all your monthly bills -- from car costs to cell phones -- and click here to read an excerpt from her book "Save Big".

Home Energy Costs

  Retail Energy Providers Could Save You More Than $2,000 a Year

One of the biggest ways you can cut home energy costs is to look into retail energy providers in your area.

Many states deregulated their power industries so alternative companies, or retail energy providers, can compete for your business. According to Leamy, they often offer large discounts off the old school power company rates and some will let you lock in a rate so you have the peace of mind that your power bills will not suddenly increase.

Jan Underwood from Fort Worth, Texas, saved $2,042 a year by shopping around for power services this way.

Additionally, if you do have a retail provider, check your rates against competing retailers in your area but make sure to check the company's reputation before committing.

Click here to see a list of retail energy providers across the nation.

Making Your Home Energy Efficient Could Save You $1,500.

If you install new energy-efficient windows, insulation and appliances, the federal government, the state government and your utility company will pick up part of the tab. Right now the federal government will kick in $1,500 of your cost for these upgrades in the form of a tax credit.

The government also offers separate bonuses for going solar, Leamy says.

Learn more about the government programs at www.dsireusa.org and www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.

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