How To Save Money On Utilities – A Complete Guide

Saving money on utilities used to be simple. Turn down the thermostat when you go to work. Make sure all the lights are out when no one is home. Check your insulation and the filters on your heating and air conditioning vents. Do all of that and your utility bills will go down, right?

Fast forward to 2021. More Americans are working from home. Children are being schooled online. You can’t just simply “shut down” for a few hours every day to lower utility bills. You need to come with more creative ways to save money. So, want to learn exactly how to save money on utilities? Let’s see what you can do!

Save Money On Utilities By Changing Light Bulbs

Most people have heard the term “Energy Star” by now, but how many know exactly what it stands for? Energy Star isn’t a product line. It’s an energy efficiency program run by the EPA and the US Department of Energy. Any product with their label on it can save you money.

Energy efficient light bulbs use up to 90% less electricity than standard bulbs. That can save you hundreds of dollars per year in electricity bills. If you’re looking for the easiest way to cut down on energy costs, change your light bulbs.

Let you family know, when you make this change, that installing energy efficient light bulbs does not give them permission to leave all the lights in the house on. You can still benefit from being more conscious of using electricity when you don’t have to.  

Energy saving light bulb

Heating And Cooling In An Occupied Home For Saving Money

Let’s go back to that work-at-home, school-at-home scenario. In the ancient days of yesteryear, homeowners and renters could turn their thermostat down or up when they left the house. How do you do that when you’re home all the time?

Mom used to tell us, “Put a sweater on if you’re cold.” It’s not bad advice. Dressing warmer gives you the option of keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature. In warmer climates, shorts and flip-flops around the house can help you stay cooler during the day.

This is an area where a combination of old-school thinking and new technology can help you be more energy efficient. Dress appropriately, open or close the blinds or window shades to either capture sunlight or keep it out, depending on your climate.

Change any heating or air conditioning filters and have the vents cleaned if you have central air and heat. Dust and dirt make a compressor work harder, causing your utility bills to go up. Simple maintenance can eliminate that problem for you.  

Thermostat Temperature For Saving Money On Utilities

Save Money On Utilities By Servicing Your Hot Water Heater

Your hot water heater affects multiple utility bills. If it takes too long to heat up, you’ll see a higher water bill. If it needs maintenance or repair, you might have a higher electric or gas bill. Spending a few dollars to service your water heater is a cost saving move.

Do you or other members of your household like to take long showers? Renters think they can get away with this, because the landlord pays the water bill. Savvy landlords see the increase in usage and raise the rent. Respond with a request for maintenance on the water heater.

Homeowners tend to be more conscious of their time in the shower. They are the ones paying the bill, so twenty minutes allowing the hot water run is literally letting money flow down the drain. Set some limits inside your household if you want to avoid that.

hot water heater

Switch To Low-Flow Fixtures To Save Money

Staying on the topic of water, installing some low-flow fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom will lower your water bill. Believe it or not, this doesn’t have to be an expensive change. Rather than replace all existing features, you can simply add attachments to sinks and showers.

After doing this, you may notice a change in the water pressure. That’s basically what low-flow does. It takes a little getting used to, but you’ll adjust and be able to enjoy all that extra money you’re saving from taking shorter showers with less water.

Apply this same principle to appliances in your home that require water. Skip the pre-rinse cycle on your dishwasher. Use the “Quick Wash” setting on the washer machine. Each of these is a water saver feature designed to save you money on utility bills.

Turn Off And Unplug Electronics That Are Not Being Used

This is the pet peeve of every parent. Kids walk away from televisions and video games without bothering to hit the “off” button. They also leave lights on and open the window while you’re running the air conditioner. If you have children, you’ve seen it all.

Turn all of those devices off and you’ll save some dough. Unplug them and you’ll save even more. Even charger cords draw a small amount of electricity when you leave them plugged in. There’s no need for it. Just pull them out of the wall when you’re done using them.

Use “smart” power strips with on/off buttons to make this easier on yourself. Certain rooms, like the kitchen and home office, use multiple electronic devices that can all be turned off and when you’re not in the room. Smart strips do that and shut off any power draw from outlet.  

Unplug Unused Electronics

Look For Utility Company Programs And Incentives To Save

Your utility bill should have a phone number on it to call for programs to save money on energy costs. All utility companies have something like this. Some of these programs recommend energy star light bulbs and appliances to lower utility costs. Others offer payment programs.

Final Thoughts: Save Money On Utilities

If your energy costs are high, you can save money by following the suggestions we’ve laid out here. Switch to Energy Star light bulbs. Do some maintenance and repair on heating and cooling systems. Service your water heater. Watch your water use. Unplug unused electronics.

Other more expensive ways to save money on your utility costs involve replacing old appliances in the home. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, ranges, ovens, and dishwashers can all increase a utility bill or two when they’re not running properly.

You could also try removing your air conditioning unit and installing ceiling fans. It won’t be comfortable if you’re in a tropical area, but homes in moderate climates can get away with it. Give it a try if you are looking for additional ways to save money on utility bills.

Kevin Flynn

Kevin D. Flynn is a former financial professional with over ten years of experience in the financial industry. He has consulted for financial advisors, online sales reps, and fintech startups. Kevin holds a degree in accounting and finance and continues to expand his knowledge by attending classes and seminars. He commits several hours a day to market research so he can stay on top of the latest news and trends in the financial industry. Kevin's experience in the industry has fueled his successful writing career, which he now focuses on full-time. He currently resides in Leominster, Massachusetts with his wife Evelyn, two cats, and nine wonderful grandchildren.

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