It can be so easy to spend "an arm and a leg" on household utilities if you aren't paying close attention to how much electricity you use. It takes a lot of energy to run a house! Fortunately, there's quite a lot you can do to reduce how much you spend on those monthly bills. All it takes is a tiny bit of effort.
When working to save money on utilities, remember:
You can accomplish a lot if you open your eyes and slow things down. Attention to detail is your greatest asset.
The earth is your friend! Take advantage of the natural heat, light and fresh air it provides during the day.
There are lots of great resources out there. Free up some space on your phone for an app or two that will help you in your energy saving efforts.
Ready to get started? Here are five easy ways you can save money on your utility bills this summer.
1. Take advantage of "off-peak" or "night" rates
Off-peak hours are the best time to use electricity, as this is the time energy consumption rates are the lowest. Pricing will be lower than the basic service price between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., so run your laundry and dishwasher then.
2. Unplug electronics when you aren't using them
This takes a lot of practice (trust us, we get it), but it's a great habit to get into! In particular, look out for:
Laptops and desktop computers
Daily-use appliances like your toaster and coffee maker
Table lamps and box fans
Baby monitors (if they hold charge)
3. Install a programmable thermostat
If you haven't done this already, now is a great time to get a programmable thermostat. These devices carefully manage heating and cooling devices in your home by using only the energy required, then turning off when the place reaches a comfortable temperature.
Here are a few favorites. Some of these even pair with your smartphone!
4. Get creative with light bulbs
There are a lot of things you can do to save money by altering the ways you use lightbulbs in the house (or switching them out altogether). Here are a few ideas:
Replace light bulbs with compact florescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs.
Take out some of the bulbs in large fixtures or rooms with multiple lights on one switch.
Remove the lightbulb from your microwave, garage door (or fridge if you're brave).
5. Keep things old-school
If your goal is to save money (really save money), you might want to think about letting go of a few modern conveniences. It can make a big difference! (Don't worry, you won't have to take any cold showers.)
Go to bed early, so you won't need to use lights so late.
Hang your clothes to dry, preferably in direct sunlight.
Take shorter showers.
Increase the insulation in your attic.
Let your hair dry naturally.
Bake in batches to save money on preheating.
Put food in the compost to bypass the garbage disposal.
Get air sealing around windows and doors.
Use open windows and fans instead of air conditioning
I'm sure you have lots of ideas we haven't come up with. Go ahead and drop your ideas in the comments!