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20 Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bill

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20 Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility BillIf you are like me then you are always searching for ways to save money.  Around this time of year utility bills tend to skyrocket for many people.  Fortunately there are some easy ways to lower your utility bills.

Although some of these ideas do require making a purchase, many, if not all of these purchases will likely pay for themselves in a year or less with the money you will save.  Any items that require a purchase should be available at your local home improvement store or online.

Save on Water

1.  Use water-saver toiletsAs the name suggests, these toilets use less water, meaning more savings for you.

2.  Turn off the water when you are shaving or brushing your teeth.

3.  Use low-flow shower headsWe all love to have good water pressure in the shower; fortunately these help you use less water while generally only reducing the water pressure slightly.

Save on Energy

4.  Use a programmable thermostat to better manage your energy costs.

5.  Consider replacing old, energy inefficient appliances with new, more efficient and reliable ones.  Home Depot, Sears, and other stores generally carry a great selection.  ENERGY STAR products tend to get especially good energy efficiency.

6.  Wash all of your clothing using warm or cold water rather than hot water.

7.  Install weather stripping for your windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

8.  Use a smart power strip. This will prevent you from wasting (and paying for) electricity when your electronic devices are turned off.

9.  Run your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer at night when rates are cheaper.  Only run them when they are full.

10.  Put in foam gaskets behind your switch plate and electrical outlet covers.

11.  Install insulating door sweeps on the bottom of your doors to reduce air leakage.  I’m not a very handy person but these are very easy to install, even for me.

12.  Plant shade trees around your house.

13.  If you live in a place that gets really cold, consider using a heated mattress pad, which should pay for itself over time by allowing you to turn your heat down at night much more than you otherwise could.

14.  Connect your electronics to a surge protector to protect them from a power surge.  They are surprisingly affordable and much cheaper than replacing damaged electronics.

15.  Turn off the lights when you leave a room.  As a kid it used to drive my mom nuts when we would leave a room and not turn the lights off.  Now that I am the parent, I find myself frequently walking around the house turning off lights :).

16.  Replace furnace air filters at least every 2 months.

17.  Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) instead of the traditional incandescent light bulbs.  CFLs are more expensive but they use much less energy and last much longer.
 
18.  Lower the heating temperature on your water heater tank.  This will reduce the cost to heat your water.
 
19.  Invest in a water heater blanket to lower your overall energy bill.
 
20.  Use a clothesline or drying rack to dry your clothes rather than throwing them in the dryer.  Doing this will save you money and help your clothes last much longer.  My wife and I have been trying this out for the past year and it has worked out just fine.

I hope you have found this list to be useful.  None of the suggestions above will be able to completely eliminate your utility bill.  However, my hope is that they will put a big dent in it, leaving extra cash in your pocket each month for other important goals, such as the following:

For additional suggestions of how to save money, check out our list of easy ways to save $1,000 right now!


What am I missing?  What ideas do you have to save money on utilities?

Image: brento/bigstock

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Mary Beth Elderton February 8, 2013, 7:31 am

    A slow cooker uses less energy and produces less heat in the kitchen than turning on the oven.
    About cfl’s–LED’s are much more efficient…but also much more expensive. We went to cfl’s all over then looked at which lamps we use the most and put LED’s in those three (two bedside lamps and one in the living room.)
    For those of us who do not have access to an outside clothesline, my tip is to go ahead and dry the heavier things like towels and jeans, but to lay out lighter things–I use a table and chairs. It saves something like two dryer loads a weeks for us–that’s about a hundred dryer loads a year.
    Saving money and/or “going green” does not have to be an all-or-nothing, all-at-once kind of thing.

    Reply
    • LD February 8, 2013, 7:39 am

      Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  • Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide April 11, 2013, 7:36 am

    Most of these a great ideas! The low-flow toilet will only save you money if you have the very highest water and sewer rates in the US–I actually did a study on this a few years ago, out of curiosity–but the numbers jsut don’t work for 99% of Americans. The low-flow shower head, if you get a cheap one, will pay back quickly, though.

    A modern water heater is so well insulated that the blanket really doesn’t help much. More heat is lost through the pipes coming out of the top. Insulate the hot water pipes as far up as you can, and that will save the most!

    The foam gaskets are a GREAT way to save, too. It’s not just that insulate a little bit–their big payback is that the enormously reduce air infiltration. Of course, you only need them on exterior walls.

    Love the post! :)

    Reply
    • LD April 11, 2013, 12:40 pm

      Thanks for the comment Jenny. I think a lot of people would disagree with you about your low-flow toilet and water heater blanket thoughts; however, I agree that not all money-saving ideas may be appropriate for everyone and people should always do their own research. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research in this area though!

      Reply

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