Though the averages are always shifting, U.S. residents generally spend around $115 a month on electricity alone. While this amount varies due to a number of factors (location, size of the house, number of residents, personal habits), using this amount as a baseline, we've come up with several ways you can make that number drop even lower. Lowering your monthly electric bill will not only save energy overall, but it will also help you keep your personal costs low and save money over time. The same could be said of all your utilities. So let’s see how you can lower your utility bills this month!
You may not feel like investing the time and energy in these steps right now, but think of how good it will feel to pocket the savings down the road.
1. Check your appliances.
Though we don't always take this into consideration, our appliances both large and small play a contributing factor in how much electricity we use every day.
Consider refrigerators. In general, they come pre-set from the factory, sometimes at lower temperatures than are actually needed to keep food safe. According to Consumer Reports, most factory settings are programmed a few degrees lower than necessary. Checking up on the settings of your large appliances and making small adjustments can lower your energy consumption and therefore your electric bill.
Don't forget about small appliances, either. Though we tend to leave them plugged in between uses so that they're always ready to go when we need them, some of them have background programming that runs continuously, meaning they're using energy while we're off at work all day. Keeping them unplugged can put a dent in your overall electric bills.
2. Look out for drips and leaks.
Dripping faucets aren't just annoying. They're also expensive. In addition to producing unwanted sounds, they're also wasting untold gallons of water.
A very typical leak of 10 drips per minute wastes nearly one gallon per day or 29 gallons per month. In many places, this costs less than $1 per month. But what about fast drips? A faucet that leaks 120 drips per minute wastes 11 gallons per day, or 330 gallons per month. This could cost $6 per month, depending on where you live. (Rainbow International)
The same could be said of leaky pipes and running toilets, both of which can really wind up costing you—even as much as $70/month.
Rather than watching your hard-earned savings leak away, be sure to check on all the potential causes behind needlessly high water bills.
3. Purchase energy-saving light bulbs.
Yes, all the reminders your parents gave you to turn off the lights when you leave a room are valid. Shutting off switches and maximizing natural light can both go a long way toward helping lower your utility bills each month. But there are further steps you can take. One is to install energy-saving light bulbs.
Newer types of bulbs, such as LED's, not only produce light more efficiently but also emit considerably less heat than traditional halogen bulbs. That means you have the option of lighting your house for less while also lowering your cooling costs. Experts estimate that switching to LED lights can save consumers up to $75 a month, all things considered.
Though these steps may sound small, you can see that they could make a big difference in lowering your utility bills this month.
The truly beautiful thing isn't just the one-month change, though. The savings don't stop there. Once you take these simple steps, you will continue to save over time.