Monique O'Grady: Sometimes man's best friend can cause your energy cost to jump. Pets can be expensive, but when it comes to energy use, there are ways you can be up thoughtful pet owner without adding extra expenses.
Some pet owners worry whether it will be too cold or too hot for a pet when they leave their furry companions alone in the house. The answer is the best temperatures for a pet will also help you save money. For most pets during the winter you can set your thermostat to 68 and in the summer you can allow your home temperature to go up to 78.
And while you are away from your home, cats and dogs do not need artificial light, so save energy and money by keeping your lights off. Even if it's dark outside animals thrive on nature's schedule of daytime light and nighttime darkness. So it isn't a dangerous choice.
Also, be sure to turn off the TV. If you are in the habit of leaving a television to entertain your pet while you are away, it's better to leave them with pet toys to play with instead.
If you have an outdoor pet and use a pet door for convenience, make sure the extra door is well fitted and shuts tightly. You don't want to loose heat or air conditioning through that space. There are also high-efficiency doors on the market that are specifically created to save energy.
You can continue to pamper your pet, but be mindful of these efficiency tips, so your pet care does not increase your electricity bills.