Chances are you’ve already found a few ways to lower your utility costs. You’ve gotten a programmable thermostat, switched to CFL light bulbs and unplug electronics to avoid vampire power waste. But those are just a few pieces of the low hanging fruit.
Making a few more of these lesser known adjustments can lead to significant savings on your utility and cable bills.
Switch up your providers. Many people can choose a new cable or utility supplier, but instead they stick with their current provider. And it usually ends up being more expensive. Cable providers offer special rates to new customers for up to a year, and electric rates vary from one provider to the next on a sliding scale. Click here to see an example of a website that helps customers compare providers.
Do late night laundry. Washing machines and clothes dryers consume a lot of energy. Peak usage typically happens in the afternoon, early evenings and mornings depending on the season. Waiting to do laundry until after 9pm in the off-peak hours will reduce the cost of each load.
Do late night dishwashing. Waiting to wash dishes until after dinner will also make it cheaper to run your dishwasher.
Put your water heater on a timer. Using a timer to keep the water heater off during certain hours can significantly reduce expenses in the winter. If you take a shower in the morning set the timer to turn off at 6am so there’s still enough hot water. People that skip the morning shower can turn it off even earlier and then back on at 10am.
Use smart power strips in the office and for the entertainment system. Smart power strips make it easier to reduce vampire power without having to plug and unplug everything at once. This infograph using Department of Energy stats on vampire power shows the two most financially beneficial places to use smart power strips is entertainment system and office.
Prepare meals in bulk. Cooking requires a decent amount of electricity, gas and water each time food is prepared. Save yourself time and money by cooking food in bulk and packaging up leftovers for a few extra meals.
Move your refrigerator away from the wall. When a refrigerator is right up against the wall it’s hard for air to circulate, which makes the motor run harder and lowers energy efficiency.
Insulate your water heater. This tip produces savings in two ways. By adding insulation around the water heater and its pipes less heat is lost when water is transported and stored. The water will also get warm quicker so less water is wasted waiting for it to heat up.
Reduce the number of rinse/wash cycles on the dishwasher. Newer dish washer models often allow people to select how many wash/rinse cycles dishes go through. If plates aren’t heavily soiled one or two should be enough.
Fill your freezer. Freezers are one of the most power hungry appliances in a home. When they are full less energy is wasted. When it’s not filled with food use gallons of water to make sure there isn’t a lot of open space.
These same tips and energy saving tricks can also be used to reduce utility costs for businesses. The more steps you take the more money you will save month after month.