How to Cut Down on Utilities

Anyone who’s paid utility bills knows that they can get way out of hand, especially during the winter months. Between heat, electric and internet bills, they can end up being hundreds of dollars a month and countless headaches. And while utility bills may seem like an inevitability, there are ways to mitigate their toll on your wallet. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to lower your utility bills, so we’ve gathered some of the best ways to cut down
on costs and save money.

Wash your clothes on cold
It may seem like a small tip, but washing your clothes in cold water can significantly lower your electric bill. When using your washing machine, up to 75 percent of the energy used goes to heating the water. Simply washing your clothes in cold water can really put a dent in that utility bill.

Replace your light bulbs
When your bulbs burn out, don’t just replace them with more incandescents! Traditional light bulbs last about 1,000 hours, whereas compact fluorescents last about 10,000 hours, and only cost about a dollar more per bulb. They also use about 70 percent less energy. That sounds like a win-win to us.

Unplug your tech when you aren’t using it
Not many people realize that phone chargers, appliances and other electrical items draw trace amounts of power even when they aren’t in use, and these trace amounts add up. This ‘phantom load’ can reach 200-300 watts, and wind up costing you hundreds of dollars a year. One simple fix is to start using power strips, and unplugging the whole thing when not in use.

Do your chores at night
Many energy companies have a policy of charging more for electricity used during ‘peak-hours’ for residential customers. This Time-of-Use policy can end up costing you a ton of money if you aren’t aware of it. By simply switching the time that you do certain chores such as running the laundry or dishwasher can save money in the easiest way.

Adjust your thermostat, put on a sweater
We’ve all heard this growing up, and unfortunately, for good reason. Simply adjusting your thermostat a few degrees can significantly reduce your heating bill by up to 15 percent. If that isn’t worth putting on a sweater, what is?

Ask
It may sound strange, but simply reaching out to your utility can yield big results. Whether it’s a cell phone carrier, internet, or electric company, many suppliers are willing to work with you to negotiate a lower monthly bill.

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