Have you after sat down at the end of the month to tally up the total cost of your utility bills and had a number staring back at you that was bigger than you expected? It’s not uncommon for families to be faced with hundreds of dollars in utility bills each month. This can be a tough pill to swallow when you’re living paycheck to paycheck and just trying to make ends meet. If you find yourself in this group, it might be time to start looking at ways to save on energy and slash some of those pesky utility bills.
This might be a little trickier if you’re living in an apartment and don’t have as much control over your environment, but if you’re trying to save on energy, there are still things you can do to help cut back on utilities and lower your monthly expenses. Here are five energy saving tips to help you cut back on your utility bills.
If you’re trying to find ways to save on energy and lower your monthly expenses, sometimes the best place to start is at the source of your bills: the utility companies. A lot of these companies will have programs that incentivize their customers to save on energy. Spend some time looking through their website to see if they offer more ways to save in addition to the energy saving tips you’ve already been following.
You might also be able to call and negotiate a better price. But if you don’t want to deal with hassle of negotiating, a company like Billfixers can help take this process out of your hands. They speak to your service providers on your behalf and try to get you better rates. If they don’t manage to save you money, you won’t spend a dime. If they’re successful, they take half the savings they’ve negotiated for you for the first year while you get the rest.
One of the easiest things to do if you’re trying to save on energy is to swap out your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). The problem with an incandescent bulb is that between 90 and 98 percent of its energy is wasted as heat. A fluorescent light bulb on the other hand uses a significantly larger portion of its energy to produce light, using nearly 25 percent less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.
While you might not want to shell out the extra cash up front for a pricier CFL, the savings will be worth it in the long run. A typical incandescent bulb will last around 750 hours, while a comparable CFL will last around 10,000 hours. You could burn through 13 incandescent bulbs in the time it takes to get through one fluorescent bulb. If an incandescent bulb costs you $1 and a CFL costs you $9, you’ll still be saving $4 for the cost of replacement during the lifespan of the fluorescent bulb.
A low-flow fixture is a plumbing fixture that uses significantly less water than a conventional one. They can be used on toilets, faucets, shower heads, and more. These fixtures will generally reduce water consumption by at least 20 percent, making them a great way to save on energy and cut back on your water bill for the month.
You can either have your current fixtures replaced with low-flow fixtures, or you can add an attachment to any of your faucets, shower heads, or even toilets to cut back on your water consumption without losing too much water pressure. If you live in an apartment, make sure you ask your landlord if they’re comfortable having you install these fixtures, and remember to take them with you when you move.
If you want to save some money and do the installation yourself, take a look at this guide to help you get started.
It might seem reasonable to leave the electronics and appliances we use every day plugged in at all times, but there are probably all sorts of things that you have plugged in that you don’t use regularly. Even when these items are plugged in but not in use, they still use small amounts of energy.
Do a walk-through of your home and make note of the things that are plugged in but used infrequently. If you don’t want to unplug and plug in your appliances individually every time you want to use them, take advantage of energy saving power strips to turn multiple appliances on and off with the flick of a switch. They even have smart power strips that will shut down the appliances that are plugged in automatically when they go on standby mode.
Whether your in the hottest days of summer or the dead of winter, there are a few ways to help you save on energy and cut back utility bills by regulating the temperature in your home.
When the sun is shining on a cold winter day, keep your blinds open and let it help to heat your home. The natural heat of the sun may help to warm up your house or apartment during the day. This obviously won’t heat your place as much as keeping the heat on would, but you might be able to lower the temperature on your thermostat without turning your home into a freezer box.
Another trick to regulate the temperature in your home during the winter months is to use temporary plastic window film to take some of the bite out of the cold and wind. This film is clear and applied right onto your windowpane, so you’d barely notice it and you’ll still be able to make use of your blinds. This is a cheap way to help keep the cold out and save on energy during those chilly winter months.
During the summer, you can take some of the strain off your cooling system by having your blinds closed during the day. By keeping them shut or using a heavy drape, you can keep some of the light out of your home and cut out a portion of the heat created by the sunlight seeping in. This could help to reduce the heat gain by between 33 and 45 percent.
It might not seem like any of these energy saving tips will save you much on their own, but when you start to put them all together, you may start to see some noticeable progress in your quest to save on energy and lower your utility bills. And the more you start putting these energy saving tactics into place, the easier it’ll become to practice energy saving habits!
Do you have any tips to save on energy? Share below!