You can save on utility bills and then use the money for your budget. I have a lot of experience with utility bills. The many homes I have owned give me experience in utility choices, use, and maintenance. After living in areas with high utility bills and areas with lower utility bills, I can safely say I have utility experience.
The areas with low utility bills have a way of sneaking high cost in if you do not pay attention. Understanding utility use and care is a large part of maintaining a home.
11 Great Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills And Find Money for Your Budget:
- Lights -use energy efficient light bulbs and automatic on/off switches to conserve energy
- Gas-Keep gas for cooking and fireplaces to minimum to knock a dent in your bill
- Water – Is one of the least expensive utilities, but you can save money by controlling use
- Water fixtures – Us low flow water fixtures and valves
- Septic/sewer – Inexpensive, the problem becomes big with a busted pipe
- Landline phone – You can now get one same monthly fee for local and long distance.
- Heat/air — This is where the cost can be quite high
- Fireplace – A wood burning fireplace is a great alternative for heat.
- Open windows – In places where you get a cool breeze from windows.
- Unplug – plugged up electrical appliances use electricity and generate costs.
- Energy efficient window coverings help to control the room temperature.
1. Lights –use energy efficient light bulbs and automatic on/off switches to conserve energy
When you use overuse lights it makes a big difference in your bill. In some places electric bills are awfully expensive where there is a utility monopoly. Too many families or even singles do not keep what I call, “light awareness”. If you leave a room, turn out the lights, it is that simple.
If you want to use lights for security purposes, use automatic on/off switches. You can pick up one from your local hardware store, there are many examples. These are useful when you go out of town and do not want others to know that no one is home. Just make sure you keep the light use to a minimum.
Energy efficient light bulbs shave considerable money off your bill. Some energy efficient bulbs you will use, will seem to last forever. If you use the combination of low light use and energy efficient lights, you can see low utility bills here by far.
Children are another reason lights are kept on too long. It is OK to explain to your kids, no matter what their age without putting pressure on their little minds. Some kids even feel important when they are asked to help and why.
2. Gas–Keep gas for cooking and fireplaces to minimum to knock a dent in your bill.
Many of you love cooking with gas, so there is a lot of gas being used. There are also gas fireplaces. There are two types of gas. Natural gas usually used in the cities and LP Gas (liquid propane) usually used in rural areas.
Because I have experience with both, I can say that electricity is far cheaper than LP gas in rural areas and natural gas is less expensive than electricity in urban areas.
Because LP gas is so expensive, I never run my pilot in my country home fireplace. Of course, natural gas is cleaner to burn for the environment. To save money, it is best to build a wood burning fireplace, especially where wood is plentiful. Keep all gas appliances during off during non-use to save money on burning. Keeping gas use low, will enable a low utility bills in this area.
3. Water – Is one of the least expensive utilities, but you can save money by controlling use
If there is a leak, you water bill will explode. One way you can find if there is a leak is if your water bill is exceptionally high over past few months. Use only what you need and turn your water off when not in use. Get leaks fixed immediately.
4. Low flow water fixtures are recommended – these save on water and heat
Low flow water fixtures keep the flow to a minimum, so you do not use as much water as if you have a high flow valve. So, they save on water and if it is hot, save on hot water.
The problem is that many people do not understand how important this is and instead they remove the part that restricts the water flow in show heads and faucets. It works best with toilets.
Understanding the difference, it can make in your water and heat bill, will help to understand its importance.
5. Septic/sewer – Avoid busted pipes and improper maintenance
In rural areas or urban areas that have not been fully transformed you will have a septic system instead of city sewer system. It must be maintained with a septic enhancer or you could have an expensive backup. You also must have it cleaned out every few years or you could get into expensive trouble.
6. Landline phone vs cell service – You can now get one monthly fee for local and long distance.
With landline phones you get enhanced 911 calling, which is important for the extremely sick or elderly. This means if you live in a major area the call is traced to your location immediately. The ambulance will know where to go even if you hang up.
With cell service this is usually not the case, they can only tell the general location.
Small Savings Become Big Money Over Time, -Lois
Landlines are usually is less expensive than cell service. The issue is you will not have cell service when you are away from home if you do not own one. There are very inexpensive cell service contracts, you must talk to your chosen carrier and get an inexpensive fit for you. Cell phone contracts are competitive and constantly changing, so stay informed.
7. Heat/air — This is where the cost can be quite high.
The thermostat is king; keeping the thermostat down with heat, and up with air, can save a few thousand dollars a year. Investing in a programmable thermostat will save when you are away. The largest costs come when you must replace your system. Know what the costs are before you ask a professional to replace your system.
Also, updating to an efficient system will save money over time and pay for itself. We upgraded to a complete heat, air, and programmable thermostat modern system and it paid for itself in 3 years. Out bill was almost cut in half. Here is where you can find money for your budget in a huge way.
8. Fireplace – A wood burning fireplace is a great alternative for heat.
You can keep the thermostat down exceptionally low and make up the heat with the fireplace. It will basically take the chill out of the air. But, you will be comfortable.
9 Open windows – In places where you get a cool breeze from windows.
Use natural breeze instead of air conditioning. Air conditioners are an extremely expensive way to cool when you have free cool air. Keeping air conditioning use to a minimum will allow you to find a maximum
10. Energy efficient window coverings help to control the atmosphere.
There are many types of window coverings that control the heat or cold at the surface of the window. Energy efficient window coverings run the gamut from shades to curtains. Check with your local window covering retailer and they will review the best options for your windows.
11. Unplug – plugged up electrical appliances use electricity and generate costs.
Many homeowners and apartment dwellers do not know this. You will see a difference in your electrical bill when you unplug all unnecessary outlets. It is also wise to unplug during major electrical outages to prevent short circuits.
Consistency is the Key to Saving Money, -Lois
If you do not need the lights, gas, air, or heat – keep it off, and you will lower your bill. You will save money on utilities that you can use for your budget, only when you have “utility use awareness”.
Leave home and turn off – do not keep your electricity or heat on if you leave home. There are a few exceptions. An exception would be if you live in an area that gets cold winters and your pipes would freeze if the heat is not kept on low. Remember to wrap pipes, wherever you can to prevent frozen pipes bursting during cold winters.
Use an automatic timer to turn on and off lights when you are away, or they need to be on for an extended time.
Fireplaces are great for heat if you can get the wood at low or no cost.
A septic/ sewer system requires maintenance, find out from your local septic person.
Water is not free, so use it sparingly, in some areas it is downright limited.
You can get an inexpensive landline or cell phone contract, do your research.
These are surefire ways to save money on utility bills. As you use these suggestions, you will see a deep cut in the money you spend on utilities.
You will be surprised that you will find money for your budget, you hadn’t dreamed of. Save money when maintaining a home, by understand how to efficiently use your utilities.
Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency
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