A penny saved is a penny earned. Taking the steps that you need to save money on utility bill costs is like free money. The cost of utility bills is on the rise, taking steps to save money on utility bill costs can help you to realize some significant savings.
Do you really want to keep throwing money away? If you are not looking for ways to save money on utility bill costs, then throwing money away you are.
The Obvious Ways to Save
There are time-honored tactics to save money on utility bill costs like lowering the thermostat a few degrees in the winter and raising it a few degrees in the summer. Your heating and cooling system are the biggest culprits when it comes to running up your utility bills.
Anything in your home that generates heat sucks up a great deal of power. For example, an older water heater can account for about 15% of your overall utility bill. A newer more energy-efficient water heater can keep the costs way down.
Here are some tried and true ways to save money on utility bill costs working with the appliances and equipment you currently have in your home:
- Maintenance of heating and cooling equipment is vital. Partner with HVAC contractors that offer annual tune-ups and inspections to ensure that your heating and cooling units are getting the care that is needed to keep them running at the height of energy efficiency. About 50% of your energy bill is consumed by heating and air conditioning.
- Prep your home for the season. Add weather stripping around doors and windows to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Unplug. It is a fallacy to think that it is better to leave a light burning than it is to turn it off every time you leave the room. The truth is anything that is not in use should be unplugged.
Considering that 50% of energy consumption goes to heating and air an annual ac tune up can go a long way in helping to cut costs.
All of the above suggestions apply to ways to save money on utility bill costs for electricity, and heating fuels, but you may have other utility bills that you want to cut as well. Many people pay for water through municipalities. There are ways to save money on utility bill costs for water and sewer as well.
Here are some ways to save money on utility bill costs for water and sewer:
- Invest in low flow showerheads. Low flow showerheads can help to conserve about 5 gallons of water each shower. That savings can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings each year.
- Consider changing your old toilets out and switching to low flow toilets. If that is not an expense you want to take on right now, putting a brick in the tank can accomplish the same water savings.
- Change your behavior toward water usage. Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth. Use the dishwasher only when full. Adopt habits that are focused on water conservation and your bills will go down.
Other things you can do to save money on utility bill costs for your sewer and water is to fix leaks as soon as you realize you have one. A leaky faucet that drips every second can waste about 3500 gallons of water each year.
Saving Money On Other Utility Bills
Today, most people pay for some sort of cable, satellite, internet service, streaming service, or a combination of them all. How much do you pay each month for all the services you are getting? Most people do not realize exactly how much they are paying for these services because in many cases they are overlapping services.
For example, popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and others are often less than $20 a month which seems reasonable, but if you choose to have all the streaming services you would be paying about $60 a month on top of cable and internet.
The point is the costs can get out of control quickly and frankly, most of what you are paying for is available on each stand-alone service. Yes, there are some “originals” that do not cross over between the streaming services, but you have to ask yourself how much of it can you live without?
A periodic review of exactly what you are paying is important. Many streaming services are loaded with apps that at the moment may seem like a good deal to pick up. Unfortunately, many of the apps are something that you are paying for but never use.
Every six months or so go through all your entertainment costs and take a good hard look at what you can get rid of. You may be surprised by the savings that you find. Typically, it is not the big bills that are draining your budget because they are well planned for, it is all the little things that you are paying out that does your budget in.
See where you can cut the fat by combining services, and letting services go that you really do not use. You can easily save money on utility bill costs by getting rid of services that overlap.
There is another utility bill that you are likely overpaying for as well. Your cell service. How much are you paying for all the bells and whistles on a cell phone plan? If you really want to cut some fat out of your utility bill diet, cutting back on cell service is a way to do it. If you are still paying for data you are with the wrong company. Many cell companies have moved to unlimited talk, text, and data. Switching to a service that offers one low price for it all can really stack up the savings.
Don’t believe the hype about coverage. Many cell companies will sell you on their exceptional coverage as a way to get you to pay more. While it may have been true at one point that not every company can offer the same level of coverage, that is not the truth anymore.
Today, there is absolutely no reason you should be paying over $75 a month (and that is on the high end) for cell phone services. If you are, switch now to a more affordable company.
Less Obvious Ways to Save Money On Utility Bill Costs
Once you have all the things done like your air conditioning service it is time to move on to the less obvious ways you are wasting energy which can inflate your utility bills. Sometimes to save money on utility bill costs you have to think outside the box.
This may sound like a different approach but to save money on utility bill costs you may have to look up. No, not to pray for lower bills, although that would not hurt, to look up at your roof. Any roofer with experience will tell you that your roof can be sucking the energy right out of your home.
The condition of your roof can play a tremendous role in how energy efficient your home is thereby affect your utility costs. A trusted residential roofing service can do an inspection of your roof and diagnose the need for repairs.
There is a wide range of hidden problems your roof may be experiencing that can impact your energy bills that roofing contractors are experts at uncovering. For example, venting issues, worn shingles that are unable to deliver the insulation that your home needs and other issues can act as an energy thief and rob you of your energy efficiency.
The old saying “sometimes you have to spend money to make money” is very true when it comes to keeping your roof in good repair. A roof has a life span of about 15 years (longer in some cases depending on the material) once the lifespan is up, you start to experience problems that not only affect your utility bills but the safety of your whole home.
Investing in a new roof with a roofing installation service can help you to save money on utility bill costs now and in the future, and of course, better protect your biggest investment. Investing in the upkeep of your home may not immediately jump out at you as a way to save money on utility bill costs, but it often does.
Looking up at your roof is not the only place you should be paying attention. Sometimes you have to look under your feet as well. How is your basement? Do you use a sump pump to keep water out during heavy rains?
A sump pump can cost plenty to run. A better option would be to connect with a water proofing contractor that can rid you of the leaky basement problem once and for all. Getting utility costs under control can mean making repairs and investing in your property.
Are Retrofits Worth the Investment?
Remember, we talked about heating and air conditioning being two of the greatest consumption devices when it comes to energy. How can you reduce that cost significantly besides installing newer more energy-efficient equipment? You can beef up the insulation in your home.
Many homeowners are not happy with the idea of taking their home improvement dollars and basically hiding behind their walls and ceilings, but the fact is if you want to get a nice ROI on a home improvement investment, retrofitting insulation is a great way to do it.
The fact is if you have a home that is poorly insulated you can have the cream of the crop of Energy Star appliances installed to heat and cool your home but you are still going to pay more than you need to for utility bills.
Investing in retrofitting insulation is not going to land your home on Architectural Digest, but it is going to help you to save money on utility bill costs, and it will be a lot of money. Of course, if you do not think that you are going to be in the home for the next five years, then you may not want to sink the money into retrofitting insulation.
If you plan on moving in the next couple of years, there are some things you can do to beef up the insulation in your home while you are living it in that is less of an investment like:
- Caulk around windows and doors. A bead of caulking around door frames and window frames can help to keep the chill out in the winter and the heat out in the summer.
- Add an insulation blanket around your water heater.
- Plug up any other holes that may be letting in outside air.
You should retrofit insulation if you plan on being in your home for more than five years. If you do not plan on being there for five years, then do what you can to improve the insulation in your space.
There are no real quick fixes to trick the utility company by attaching things to the meters, as a matter of fact, it is illegal to tamper with meters. There has been a rush of “devices” being offered online that supposedly can affect how utility companies collect information from their meters. It is a waste of money.
You can take a few simple steps to save money on utility bill costs don’t be fooled into thinking that there is a magic bullet that will immediately reduce your costs. Just like managing money, to save on utility bill costs you have to put the time and effort in.
If you really want to test your attempts keep track of your utility costs for a solid year and compare it to your usage from the year before you made the changes. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by how much you saved. Take it one step further and put the savings into a special fund and watch how that fund grows over the next few years.
There are much better things you can do with your money besides handing it off to the utility companies. Saving on utility costs will make sure your money is can be applied where it does the most good.