Strategies To Save Money On Utility Bills

Looking for some great strategies to save money on utility bills? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, consumers spend 6 to 12% of their income on utilities so cutting back on your expenses can save you hundreds of dollars. So if you haven’t thought about saving money on your utility bills before, you may want to consider some of these strategies.

Here are some great strategies to save money on utility bills to get you started:

Unplug appliances

When you’re not using your small appliances, unplug them. You’d be surprised just how many of your appliances constantly draw a small amount of current just by being plugged in. This may not seem like a lot but over time, the savings can really add up so unplug the coffee maker, toaster oven, clothes washer and other household appliances when not in use. It will also reduce the risk of fire in your home.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of unplugging your appliances, you may want to consider investing in a Smart Power Strip. They cost around $30 to $45 but they will stop the appliance from drawing electricity when they are off and will pay for itself in just a few months.

Turn The TV Off

When it comes to strategies to save money on utility bills, this is a no brainer. When you are not watching the TV, turn it off. You may be surprised to know that leaving the TV on when not in use is the number one waste of electricity in the world!

Cut back during peak hours

Don’t use any more electricity than necessary during peak times. Electric companies charge a higher rate during the peak hours of the daytime. Wait until evening to wash and dry your clothes and run the dishwasher. Doing so will also save money in the summer time because the appliance won’t be heating up your home during the hottest part of the day making your air conditioner work even harder.

Work With Nature…Not Against It

Save on heating bills in the winter by opening the blinds during the day and let the sunshine help to heat your house. In the summertime, you can reduce A/C costs by closing the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your home.

Turn off the A/C and open the upstairs windows at night during the warmer months when the temperatures dip down to a comfortable 60 to 70 degrees F.

>>Don't stop here, check out the other strategies to save money on utility bills<<

Turn Off The Lights

Something as simple as turning off the lights is a great strategies to save money on utility bills and can save you a bunch of money over time. How many times have you left a room with the intention of returning in a few minutes only to find yourself sidetracked and not returned for several hours? It only takes a split second to flip the switch and you could be saving a bunch of money.

Install Timers

Outside lights often get left on all day. Install timers to automatically turn the lights off and on.

Install CFL Bulbs

Many people are reluctant to change to the new CFL energy saving bulbs because, at $5 each, they are much more expensive than regular incandescent light bulbs but the saving can be substantial when you consider that the bulbs last 10 times longer, uses about 75% less energy and provide four times as much light. The bulbs will save you enough to pay for themselves in about 6 months.

Insulate Your Home

Another of the great strategies to save money on utility bills is by caulking around windows and doors is a cheap way to save a LOT of money. For larger gaps, use the spray foam insulation that comes in a spray can.

Check and replace, if necessary, the weather stripping around your doors and widows.

Install Ceiling Fans

This will decrease you’re a/C costs in the summertime and will also help with your heating costs in the winter by circulating the warm air.

Lower the Temperature On Your Hot Water Heater

By lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to between 110 degrees F and 120 degrees F., you may be able to save as much as $40 a year and you really don’t need it any hotter than that.

>>Keep going, there are plenty more strategies to save money on utility bills<<

Insulate Your Hot Water Heater

If your hot water heater is pre-2004, you may want to wrap a jacket around it. The newer water heaters have plenty of insulation but the older ones don’t. Insulating jackets like a Thermwell blanket cost around $20 but will save you about 10% annually on your water heating bill.

Reset Your Thermostat

How many times have you heard that you need to reset your thermostat to no higher than 68 degrees F. in the winter and 78 degrees F. and the summer? Most people have heard it but never really decided to do it but the savings can be HUGE! According to the Alliance to Save Energy, for every degree you lower your home's temperature during the heating season, subtract 5% from your bill.

Service Your Furnace

Tuning your furnace every two years will have your furnace running at its best and save you about 10% on your heating bills.

Wash Only Full Loads

Small loads of laundry typically use 14 gallons of water compared to full loads that use 21 gallons of water. Several small loads will use much more water than a couple of large loads. Depending upon the size of your family, this could save you as much as $125 per year.

The same holds true for your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is loaded properly and to full capacity. Just by doing this and using the air-dry cycle instead of the heat cycle, you could save as much as $50 a year.

Install new Low Flow Toilets and Shower Heads

The bathroom is, by far, the best place to save money on your water bill. According to the U.S. Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 41% of our indoor water use in the home goes toward flushing the toilet and 33% goes to bathing!

Low-Flow toilets are great money savers especially if your toilet was manufactured before 2002 when toilets ranged from 3.5 gallons per flush to 5 gallons per flush. Check with your local water authority to see if they offer rebates for new low-flow toilets. Many times the rebate will cover the cost of the toilet so your only investment will be in the labor. According to the EPA, switching to high-efficiency toilets cuts the average households water use by 16%.

Ultra low flow shower heads use between 25 and 60 % less water than traditional shower heads. That’s quite a bit of saving especially if you consider that low-flow shower heads start around $8 and they only take a few minutes to install.

>>Don't stop here though. Here are some more strategies to save money on utility bills<<

Fix Leaky Faucets and Toilets

Leaky faucets can waste as much as 2,700 gallons of water a year so fix it!

Check your toilet for leaks by putting a drop or two of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in your bowl, your tank is leaking and could be costing you up to 200 gallons of water A DAY!

Wash Clothes In Warm or Cold Water

When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and always use cold water to rinse. Most detergents today are designed to clean in warm or cold water so the use of hot water really isn’t necessary and you could be saving as much as $50 a year.

Water Outdoors Early In The Morning

Water your outdoor plants early in the morning before the sun can burn off the moisture.

Step On The Grass

The average lawn needs only one hour of watering a week. Before you water the lawn, step on the grass. If the blades spring back, hold off a day or two.

Home Phone Service

Take a good look at you telephone bill. If there is a charge for “Equipment Maintenance Protection”, remove it. Telephones are cheap nowadays so this really isn’t necessary.

Is there a charge for “Inside Line Protection”? Get rid of it. Odds are, you aren’t going to need it and even if you find that you do need it one day, it is cheaper to pay a one time charge for a service call than it is to pay the monthly fee.

Do you have a package of features? These packages aren’t always a “deal” especially if you don’t use them. Talk to a representative at your phone company and compare the package price with the price for the individual services that you need.

If you have a cell phone, you may not need a long distance plan. If you don’t have a cell phone, consider a prepaid telephone card. Unless you make a LOT of long distance calls, prepaid cards are usually much cheaper.

These are just some strategies to save money on utility bills but just by implementing these strategies, you can save hundreds...even thousands of dollars!

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