Top Ways to Reduce Utility Bills
Whether you have just moved or have been settled in awhile, paying attention to your utility bills can cut uneccessary costs while reducing waste in the process! Especially if you have moved to a new home or apartment, your utility usage can be estimated based on past tenants – and until you catch it, it could be costing you money. Utility companies won’t offer a refund, so be sure to be aware as soon as your very first utility bills start coming in, or as you notice big increases from previous bills.
Reduce Water Use and Rates Ensuring that your home, office or apartment isn’t experiencing a water leak can have a big impact on your monthly bill. A dripping fawcet or a running toilet can double your water bill each month! Many home improvement stores have easy, affordable repair kits to get the problem under control fast.
If you are new to your home, be sure to make sure that you water meter is up to date and functioning properly – schedule an appointment with your water company to send a representative out. If you are in an apartment or duplex, the local water company should be able to tell you where your meter is, provide you with historical usage rates and ensure that you are not being charged unnecessarily. It is not uncommon for older apartments and duplexes to have shared meters – so be sure to ask before you move!
Cut Electricity Spending in Half There are endless ways to cut electricy usage and reduce utility bills, some of them so simple it is easy to overlook! Begin by making sure that your first few bills in your new place are not estimates. Past tenants may have much higher usage rates, and you could be paying the price! Call your electricity provider and get the details on your usage and your meter. Many companys are offering smart meters – which automatically send your exact usage rates in every month. However, be sure to read the fine print if your company wants you to sign up for a smart meter! Rolling black outs and locked in rates can accompany a smart-meter committment in some areas.
Another way to reduce utility bills is to simply un-plug certain items when not in use. We aren’t talking about your coffee pot or cell charger – Although those savings can add up too! Focus more on large items, like a treadmill or freezer chest. These can hike up your electrical rates big time, and unplugging them can save 20-50% on your monthly bill!
Lastly, check out your lighting and if you can, upgrade to energy efficient bulbs throughout your house. The new technology translates to extreme energy and cost savings – An entire household of energy efficient bulbs can be in use at one time, and still be using less energy than a single old standard light bulb.
Heating and Cooling Reduce utility bills when it comes to heating and cooling by following these common best practices. Start by ensuring that window and door seals are working, and if necessary replace any that are worse for wear. In foyers and entry ways, close off the vents to reduce the air that escapes each time a door opens and closes.
Talk with your local energy and gas service providers to inquire on ways to save money – some cities offer reduced rates as part of a budget plan or for participating in usage studies and testing new to market equipment. If you have just moved into your home or apartment, have your furnace and AC unit checked out to be sure they are operating efficiently and correctly. Sites like Angie’s List and Groupon often offer great deals from reputable service providers!
Reduce Utility Bills by Paying Attention! The above tips and best practices are by no means a comprehensive list! Your home is unique to you, and simply paying attention to the trends in your usage and billing amounts can help you and your family save big on utility bills. The best tip is to simply pay attention, and never be afraid to call your utilities service providers to ask question, enquire about deals and promotions and more!