In this article we presented the 10 smart ways to cut your utility bills. You can skip our detailed discussion on how to trim expenses and save more funds and read the 5 Smart Ways To Cut Your Utility Bills.
One of the highest expenses borne by homeowners is the periodic payment of utility bills. Since technological advancements allowed people to decide between light and darkness at the flip of a switch, they have become accustomed to, and dependent on, electricity and other household utilities. Moreover, because utilities such as electricity, water, natural gas, internet, and cable TV are expenses incurred automatically as part of our daily lives, they are often not the first thing we consider when thinking about trimming expenses. However, cutting our utility bills can be a huge step towards saving precious, hard-earned money.
Electricity prices in residential areas in the United States are expected to surge by a massive 2.8% between 2020 and 2021. As customers are burdened with heavier electricity bills each year, it is unsurprising that companies like The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), UGI Corporation (NYSE: UGI), and CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) announce rising revenues and become stronger in the stock market. Moreover, natural gas companies such as Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) and Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE: AR) and cable TV companies such as Altice USA, Inc. (NYSE: ATUS) also demand heavy monthly compensation from their customers.
Recent technological developments as well as new, innovative businesses have created many alternative sources of utilities that are more affordable and hence contribute to saving their customers’ resources.
The major utilities generally used in the household are electricity, natural gas, and water, all of which are non-renewable. Electricity is primarily derived from thermal power, natural gas from fossils, and water from freshwater sources. Using all three kinds of utilities poses grave threats to the earth as the non-renewable sources might eventually be used up entirely. Therefore, renewable sources of electricity are being discovered, and slowly being adopted by the general population. For instance, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) sells solar paneling services such as the construction, maintenance, and recycling of the panels in addition to supporting services in the United States.
Let's now discuss the 10 smart ways for you to save on your utility bills.
Smart Ways To Cut Your Utility Bills
10. Waste Not, Want Not
The simplest and most obvious solution to cut utility bills is to reduce the wastage of utilities. Although they may seem redundant, steps such as switching off lights when leaving the room and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth is an easy way to significantly reduce utility bills and waste at the same time. Similarly, closing the refrigerator door as quickly as possible and taking shorter showers would also conserve precious utilities and money. Moreover, running few but full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher instead of running frequent half loads would save on the water and electricity bill both.
Another practice that takes hundreds of dollars off electricity bills is by using still water instead of running water. Specifically, bathing utilizes a mere fraction of the water that showering would use, making hygiene much less expensive. Similarly, using water filled in a container or the kitchen sink saves much of the otherwise running water wasted during washing vegetables or even dishes in the kitchen. However, it takes practice to develop the habit of conserving utilities; until then, families should help by reminding each other to switch off appliances that are not being used.
9. Go Natural
A smart way to cut utility bills is to use natural light for indoor lighting. In the daytime, natural light can easily be used to illuminate most parts of a house simply by opening curtains. Moreover, rearranging furniture such that the light would not get blocked by bigger objects guarantees that more light would enter the house.
Using basic grade-school science and laws of nature can effectively cut electricity bills by significant amounts. Simple acts such as decorating indoor walls by using light or preferably white colored paint or wallpaper ensures that light is reflected off the walls, making the whole space brighter. Moreover, when constructing a house, windows should be placed facing the east and west so as to allow daylight in the morning as well as evening. Placing skylights also contributes to enlightening the indoors.
Adding large mirrors to strategic places indoors is also a simple way to make dark spaces brighter and more illuminated. Differently shaped mirrors, or those with fancy edges, would make the room brighter while adding an aesthetic and personal touch around the house. Mirrors reflect light up to 100% if they are placed in a way that they face the direction of light sources, making the indoors light up while lessening electricity bills.
8. Smart Living
A tech-savvy way of saving on utility bills is by installing smart mechanisms around the house. Smart air conditioning systems switch to standby when the desired temperature is met, hence not only saving electricity by but also being environment friendly and eco-friendly. Moreover, maintaining the temperature of the indoors at a pleasant rate instead of being too warm or too cold is more conducive to healthy living. Furthermore, having smart thermostats means that the air conditioning systems can be controlled remotely and can be adjusted according to your day-to-day schedule. This ensures that less energy is spent by air conditioning systems, therefore reducing the electricity bills by up to 20%.
7. Sophisticated Sensing
Due to technological advancements, motion sensor switches are easily available to customers. These are light switches that automatically turn on when they sense someone in a room and accordingly turn off after a particular period of inactivity. The inactivity bracket can be set as per personal preference. Motion sensor switches reduce the amount of electricity wasted by lights being left on, purposely or accidentally. The switches are relatively inexpensive, as they cost from $20 to $150 depending on the level of sophistication that is required, and they are easy to install. By reducing energy consumption, motion sensor switches may reduce electricity bills by 35%, which may even go up as high as 75%. Such small steps can significantly reduce the wastage of electricity and, in doing so, decrease the carbon dioxide emissions emitted by the burning of fossil fuels in the environment. This change is relatively simple and does not require any substantial effort, yet has many benefits.
Another way that the same technological innovation that can cut utility bills is by using motion sensing faucets and showerheads. Installing motion sensor faucets would reduce the wastage of clean water by stopping its flow every time a person removes his/her hands from under a running faucet. The technology works the same way by stopping water from flowing through motion-sensing showerheads if a person is not present under the showerhead for any amount of time. It is undisruptive to showering as the flow resumes once the person returns under the shower. Installing motion sensor faucets can save as much as 30% to 50% on overall water use, consequently cutting the water bill massively.
6. Netflix & Chill, Cut Your Bill
One of the smartest ways to save money on utility bills is to simply give up cable TV. With news being available online on social media platforms, sports being live streamed directly on the TV, and entertainment being available in a multitude of less expensive ways, paying hundreds of dollars for channels that you do not watch is a complete waste of money. Instead, the smart option is to opt for services like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon Prime that can be used directly via a smart TV, or even utilized via a TV box for non-smart TVs. Moreover, unlike cable TV, the users of streaming services can watch whatever they choose whenever they choose to do so.
Additionally, the same streaming services can be used on smartphones and tablets without any extra costs. Comparing the DIRECTV Premier Package by AT&T (NYSE: T) offered at $134.99 per month with the premium account of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) at a monthly price of $17.99 makes the decision simple enough. Even if cable TV is a permanent fixture in the house, switching to a cheaper provider like Sling, with a monthly bill of $25 is a smarter choice.
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Disclosure: None. 10 Smart Ways to Cut Your Utility Bills is originally published on Insider Monkey.