Tips for Saving Money on Utility Bills
From the Costco Connection – Consumer Connection June 2012 (summarized)
Tips for Saving Money on Utility Bills Summary:
Saving money on your utility bills is easier than you may think. The simple solution lies in thinking wisely about how you use energy everyday. By identifying the items you use most, you can also consider how to use them most effectively.
First off, reevaluate your monthly bills. Understand how much electricity you use and when you mostly use it. Call the electric company and find out if there is an approximate “off peak” time of day when a lower rate is offered. Taking advantage of this time for cost important electrical needs, such as using the dishwasher or washing machine, can have a huge impact on your monthly costs. Also try considering the amount of energy used at night and turn off or unplug any unused devices, such as vacant cell phone chargers.
Remember, it is economical to change your lighting if it burns more than a half an hour a day. High-quality LED or compact fluorescent blubs help you save money while maximizing the light in your home.
Also pay attention to heating and air conditioning. Changing permanent filters regularly will help your system function at full capacity, and applying proper insulation thorough out the house will prevent heat or cool-air leaks. Using fans rather than air conditioners, painting your roof white, and making sure to close your blinds during peak sunlight hours are all other helpful hits that help preserve hot and cool air.
In addition, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed when not in active use. Check to see if the sealing gaskets are secure and keep the refrigerator away from the wall, in order to aid air circulation.
You can also learn to use your oven and stove in optimal ways. Remember to keep the oven door closed as long as possible, only preheat the oven when needed, and turn it off 10 minutes before cooking time ends. Turning the stove off 5 minutes before the cooking time ends and using the correct size pots will also save energy.
Lastly, use energy-efficient appliances and check to see if they are Energy-Star certified. Use cold water and energy-saving modes, and make sure to only use the dishwasher or washing machine if it is completely full.
Being energy efficient is not only good for the environment; it is also the best way to save money. If you follow any one these simple guidelines, you’ll be one step closer to living healthier while cutting down on mayor costs.