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How can I Reduce my Utility Bills?

Utility companies offer tips for saving energy and reducing utility bills.
Unplugging electronics that are not in use can lower an electric bill.
Swapping from natural gas to electric appliances may reduce your utility bills, depending on where you live.
Energy efficient refrigerators can help homeowners cut down on electricity use.
Converting from natural gas to propane can reduce costs to run appliances like furnaces.
Using energy efficient appliances — and making sure that they are well maintained — can help reduce utility bills.
Propane is often cheaper than natural gas.
Converting to alternative energy, if possible, is one way to reduce utility costs.
Using an alternative heating source, such as a wood-burning stove, may help save money on utility bills.
Caulking around windows can help reduce heating and coolng costs.
Wind power is a clean energy source.
Electric usage costs can sometimes depend on where someone lives and the time of day when electricity is being used.
Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2014
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Many homeowners and renters encounter sticker shock after receiving their monthly utility bills, especially during periods of extremely hot or cold weather. Even after accounting for additional heating or cooling expenses, utility customers may find themselves wondering where all that electricity, gas and water actually went. Knowing precisely where your utility services go is one key to reducing utility bills. Some people have little idea just how many appliances and devices are currently drawing power in their homes.

One way to reduce your utility bills is to consider converting certain appliances from natural gas to electricity. Natural gas prices have spiked significantly over the past decade, while electricity rates have stayed relatively stable. Maintaining a gas-powered stove may still be cost-effective, but other major appliances, such as water heaters and gas furnaces, require a lot of fuel to operate. Even converting from natural gas to propane may decrease the monthly utility bill. There will be some initial expense when converting from gas to electric appliances, but the overall savings should be worth it.

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Another way to reduce your utility bill is through improved weatherproofing. Many homeowners fail to notice small gaps under doors and around windows, but these small air leaks can add up to increased utility bills. Warm outside air creeping indoors can cause air conditioning units to work much harder than necessary. Conversely, cold outside air can keep thermostatically controlled heaters and furnaces from shutting off efficiently. It pays to invest in adhesive weather stripping for doorways and silicone caulking around windows.

Check the seals on refrigerators and freezers. Use shades to reduce the amount of interior heating caused by the sun. Have your insulation inspected and/or upgraded.

Many people reduce their utility bills by cutting down on wasteful usage. Turning room lights off when leaving can save on electricity, for example. Turning down the hot water setting or investing in an on-demand hot water delivery system can save energy. Use window or room fans instead of expensive room air conditioners on milder days.

Close off unused rooms to conserve on heating or cooling costs. Check and clean filters used by heating or cooling systems. Consider switching from floodlights to motion-detection lights for outdoor security. Turn off computer towers and monitors whenever possible.

Some people save money on utility bills by using alternative energy sources such as solar heating, wood-burning stoves or wind-powered turbines. In fact, if the energy output from these devices exceeds the needs of the home, the local utility company may be required to purchase the excess power by crediting the homeowner's account. It is not unusual for certain homeowners to receive utility bills with negative numbers. Converting to alternative energy sources is not a practical solution for everyone, but the prospect of much lower utility bills should encourage homeowners to consider investing in at least one alternative or green power system.

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Discuss this Article

anon137917
Post 9

I would agree with billeater - natural gas prices are still a lot cheaper. Also, wholesale electricity prices mirror the forward curve of natural gas prices as a lot of electricity generation is done using natural gas.

anon134067
Post 8

It is important to implement energy efficient technology to decrease your utility bill for a better living or work environment and costs effective. Electricity costs are very high and are important to keep low. The T5 Retrofit Kit is also a great product to use for energy efficient lighting, which can save up to 70 percent on lighting expenses.

anon84978
Post 7

remember to run your dishwasher during off peak hours. Most dishwashers have delayed starts. Set it to run while you are sleeping.

ahsank3
Post 6

just buy Hydro Power saver which will save your electricity up to 30 percent.

anon50019
Post 5

1. Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees and off while not in use. Turn it on 10 to 15 minutes before use.

2. Turn your AC thermostat to 81 degrees and use ceiling fans.

3. Heating: just use space heater in bedrooms or set heat to 73 degrees in your house.

4. Don't use your oven; use a crock pot.

5. Buy power strips to fully turn off all phantom power for TV, cell chargers etc.

6. Don't flush the toilet every time and males consider using the yard if you have a fence, it won't hurt anything.

7. Don't use your dryer; use a clothes line or insider hanger dryer.

8. Use microwave; it's faster and cheaper.

9. Only full loads w/cold water only in washer

My electric bill averages $70-$90 per month.

My water bill $22 per month.

anon25735
Post 4

O.k. So we've done all of the above and still our utility cost keep going up! In the last two months our utility bills have nearly doubled. Anybody have any other ideas??

chillmyblls
Post 3

Caulking around doors and windows saved me about 15% on my monthly electric bill.

billeater
Post 2

Interesting article, but I would say that natural gas is still cheaper than electricity in many places.

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