Whether you are operating on a shoestring budget or simply want to pay less, there are many common and not so common ways you can bring your utilities down to an affordable monthly payment. First, search for a site that will allow you to compare the best rates available for your electric and gas in your area. Once you have the company that works best for you, then you can move on to other ways to reduce your bill.
“Ghost” usage costs you dearly
You already know about turning off lights when you leave a room, but how about unplugging it completely. In an article written on Energy.Gov dated October 29, 2015, it provides a list of items found in nearly every home that make up for nearly 10 percent of an average electric bill. Things such as a cable box, phone charger, television, home theater, coffee makers, can openers, toasters and lamps are just a few of the culprits constantly using juice without you realizing it. A quick fix to this problem is to unplug these items before heading to bed. If you don’t want to go through the trouble for your entertainment center, you can opt to plug everything into a power strip. This allows you to disconnect all your electronic connections with one switch. Also, replace all of your light bulbs with LEDs. They cost a bit more initially, but the amount of energy they save will save you money over time.
Is it worth the expense to replace older appliances
Replacing major outdated appliances and replacing them with those carrying an ENERGY-STAR rating will also help to save you money over time. The actual savings on each appliance depends on the make and model you purchase. But, it most cases it’s found on the front of the appliance allowing you to weight the cost to replace with the energy savings to make a decision that best suits your budget.
Survive the Summer Heat and the Winter Chill
On average heating and cooling make up for about 20 percent of your energy bill. Lower the heat at night during the winter and turning up the air conditioning before going to bed can help you avoid those huge spikes in your seasonal bills. You can also save even more by installing a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to make this adjustment when you are away during the day as well. If you have an older home, chances are pretty good your heat and air conditioning is escaping outside. The best way to fix the problem is to replace the windows and doors. But, if this is not in your budget, you can seal off rooms or doors you don’t use. Also, you can purchase window kits to cut down on most of your air loss. Another way to reduce your costs is to add blackout curtains. They provide you with continuous savings year-round. They effectively keep the cold and hot air outside and as an added bonus reduce outside light and noise too.
Reduce your water bill too
If you live in one of the many areas that have a separate water bill you can cut your costs here as well. Instead of running the water while washing up in the shower invest in a pause-able showerhead. They allow you to easily stop the flow and then resume right where you left off. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and turn it back on when you’re ready to rinse. Also, keep a cold gallon of water in the refrigerator at all times. This way you and your family won’t have to waste water waiting for it to get cold enough to drink. Detergents are better than ever at cleaning your clothing. Turn the dial to the “cold” water setting instead of reaching for “hot” and do laundry only when you have a full load. And while you’re at it lower your water heater temperature just a few degrees. You won’t even notice the difference. Lastly, do a thorough check of your pumping, including pipes and connections to make sure it’s leak-free. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, call in a local professional.