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In wireless sensor networks, energy is commonly a scarce resource, which should be used as sparingly as possible to allow for long node lifetimes. It is therefore mandatory to put a focus on the development of energy-efficient applications. In this paper, we analyze the achievable energy gains when packet payloads are compressed prior to their transmission. As the radio transceiver chips are the predominant power consumers on most current sensor node platforms, we present how local compression of data can be successfully employed to preserve energy. We compare two lossless mechanisms to eliminate redundancies in the packets with regard to the overall energy savings. The results prove that data compression is a viable approach to reduce a platform's energy consumption, as it can reduce the radio transmission durations of packets and thus shorten the duty cycles of the radio device.