Whether you’re living with roommates or you’ve moved on and snagged a place on your own, you’re still going to have to pay the utility bills. If, lately, you’ve felt like your bills are too high or your appliances have been sucking up too much energy, you’re in the right place. Here’s our rundown of some simple changes you can make to your apartment that can help lower your utility bills.?
Your utility bill will include…
Let’s get the basics out of the way: a utility bill usually includes electricity, water, and gas. Some states also combine these with sewage and garbage, so be sure to check your bill to see exactly what’s in yours. A utility bill will show the breakdown of energy and power used to keep the water running, the lights on, and the heater operating. The bills usually come once a month and generally do not include things like internet, cable, or rent.
Lower your electric bill
A great place to start when thinking about managing your electric bill is to do a home energy yardstick, or assessment. To do this, you’ll need the following information about your apartment or home:
- Your zip code
- Square footage
- Number of people living in your home
- The different fuels used in your home
- Your last 12 months of utility bills (usually found in the 12 month summary provided)
The assessment will highlight the biggest contributors to your monthly bills. Is it the use of your kitchen appliances? Are you leaving lights and the television on all day? Once you know what’s contributing most to your electric bill, you can make some changes.?
- Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room
- Plug electronics into power strips and unplug unused electronics
- Ask your landlord to choose ENERGY STAR certified appliances if replacing an old appliance
What about the summer months?
Your air conditioner is probably your largest contributor to your electric bill in the summer months. Here are a few ways to avoid blasting the A/C all day long:
- Consider using ceiling fans as much as possible to alleviate some of the A/C usage
- Close the drapes and blinds to keep heat out, and shut doors and windows during the day to keep the house as cool as possible.
- If you have a programmable thermostat, summer is a great time to use it. Program the air conditioner to a certain temperature when you’re home, and lower it while you’re away to conserve energy.
And the winter?
Maybe your energy yardstick assessment shows that, during the winter months, most of your bill is made up of heating charges. While that’s probably not a surprise, you can still make these simple changes and save some cash in the colder months:
- Make sure your attic has proper air sealing, ventilation, and insulation to prevent any drafts from coming in through the roof
- Install window film insulator to seal off gaps in the windows and window frames; these are really cheap options that make a big difference
- Set your water heater to around 120 degrees to conserve energy
- If you’re traveling or going on vacation, turn off electric heaters and turn down gas heaters — you won’t need them while you’re gone and can easily switch them back on when you get home
Water bill tips and tricks
Gas bill tips and tricks
Your gas bill is largely comprised of your heating usage, so getting that under control will reduce your costs.?
Whether you’re looking for a new apartment or already have a great one, using these tips can save you money on your utilities so you’ll have some extra cash to spend on the things you want.