Conventional wisdom suggests that everything gets expensive with time and there’s nothing we can do about it. But that’s not always the case. While utility costs are non-negotiable, there are several things you can do to save money on your bills.
Whether your home is old and less efficient or a new build, here are five simple ways to lower your utility costs.
1. Figure Out Where You Use Electricity
To know how to save energy, you first need to know what in your home is guzzling it. The majority of households in the UK use most of their electricity to heat, cool and light their homes. Other things that consume electricity are heating water and running appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and driers, and ovens.
Once you’ve identified what’s guzzling energy in your home, you can take steps to reduce energy consumption. This may include using heat-generating appliances at night, switching to energy efficient light bulbs, washing laundry with cold water, air-drying your clothes, unplugging electronics and replacing air filters monthly.
2. Find Hidden Water Links
Leaks can dramatically increase your utility bills. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, it can waste up to 3,000 gallons a year. A leaking shower head, toilet, or pipe from your water heater can also cause high water bills.
It is therefore important to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, irrigation lines, and toilets. Also check crawlspaces, outdoor spigots and look for wet spots in your yard which may indicate a leak.
3. Shop for Electricity
If you’re paying too much for electricity and not getting the best value per kWh, you may consider switching an electricity supplier. Comparing your energy online can help you find cheaper electricity tariffs.
It is important to mention that there isn’t one single cheap electricity supplier for everyone. Finding the right electricity deal and supplier will depend on the type of tariff you prefer (fixed or variable), the type of metre you have (standard, prepayment or smart meter) and your consumption levels.
4. Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can save you an average of 23% on your heating and cooling costs. This device works in a similar manner as a programmable thermostat – you can control the temperature of your home throughout the day using a schedule. However, a smart thermostat is connected to the internet allowing you to control your home’s heating and/or air conditioning via mobile or other internet-connected devices. This helps you to save as much energy as possible when you are away.
5. Check Your Mobile Data Usage
It’s always good to know what your typical data usage looks like. It helps you know if you’re paying for what you need and how you need to modify your consumption patterns.
If you feel like you are paying more than you need to, consider switching to a prepaid carrier or using many smaller carriers.
These five tips should add up to noticeable savings on your utility and household bills. They don’t require much time or money but it’s not likely you will do all of them in one day. So just start with one and work your way through the rest of the list when you get a chance.