If you want to reduce utility costs, small changes can yield you big results. No one tip, trick, or technique is likely to yield you 4-digit savings per year, but combined you can save several hundred or even a thousand dollars on your utilities.
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1. Line Dry Your Clothing – On average, it costs $117 (using a cost of 9.8-cents per KWh) a year to dry your clothing in an electric dryer. Hang 'em up and save a bit.
2. Cancel the Land Line – The average rate of landline service is $50.00 per year. Cut that and you'll save $600. And guess what – you do not need an active voice line to have DSL. We cut our voice line and kept DSL service when we were still in the house. Plus, the line would dial 911 if we needed it.
3. Keep Your Hands off the Thermostat – No matter if you have a programmable thermostat or a standard one, you need to set it and forget it. If you've got the programmable kind, set it for your family's wake/home/away/sleep schedule and let it be. If you're using a standard one, get in the habit of turning it up or down at a set time of day, and tell the rest of the family to keep their hands off.
4. Wash in Cold Water – Washing in hot water can use as much as 96% more power than cold water. Save hot water washing for extremely dirty things but try to wash a majority of your things in cold or warm water.
5. Open the Curtains and Turn Off the Lights – Fling those curtains open and let the light in! In the winter you can do this all day long, but in the summer, open them in the early morning or late evening, but close them during the day to save money on cooling costs.
6. Ditch Cable or Satellite – Did you know that for less than $23.00 per month you can get Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and Netflix? Yeah. With a Prime Membership and Fire TV (or a smart TV) you can watch for less. Plus, there's Sling TV. This is one of the newest streaming services that has major channels, including live sports! Here's a great article from Forbes on television solutions to cable or satellite.
7. Unplug Electronic Devices – If you want to reduce utility costs you need to unplug! Be sure you are unplugging unused gaming devices, heaters or anything else not being used. Many devices draw power even when not “on”. Also, turn off your computer at night and if you've got a laptop unplug it as often as you can.
8. Set Water Heater Temperature Back a Few Degrees – Another way to reduce utility costs is to set back your water heater. If you have an older water heater, you can save as much as 6% for every 10 degrees you lower the water temperature.
9. Shop for Your Electricity or Gas – As of January 2017, 29 states offer deregulated electricity or natural gas., there is some form of deregulation on natural gas or electricity. This means you can choose your electric or natural gas supplier and are not bound to your local utility company. You do not need new meters or gas lines run into your home in order to switch companies. The switch happens only on your bill where your new supplier's price will show along with the utility charges that must be applied.
Remember, your effort to reduce utility cost won't be a one-and-done thing. The best way to know if you are really saving money is a good system to track your expenses. I recommend Mvelopes budget coaching. Mvelopes allows you to easily track and report all of your expenses. Plus, you can get monthly one-on-one coaching, so you can get your finances in order and learn the best ways for your family to save money and get out of debt.