Are you looking for ways to save money on utility bills, electricity or energy?
Do you have teenagers who think you get special discounts with the energy company?
If you are a parent who is tired of saying, please turn off the lights when not in use' then I have great news for you.
There are clever ways to circumvent the bad habits of these teenagers who just believe that money grows on trees.
Yes, you have put up signs all throughout the house to remind them about the cost of running a house.
Their teachers gave them an entire term on energy saving, climate change and water conservation.
However, leaving the lights on and the mobile phone charger plugged in just seems to be a habit that is difficult to break.
In this post, you will learn of easy ways to help you and your children to save on energy cost without losing your mind.
Why Save on Electric Bills
All over the world, you will notice that there are several issues when it comes to producing energy for larger countries.
Recently I was looking at a video which featured how the people in Singapore recycle their rubbish without pollution.
They don't even export the rubbish to another country either.
It was so impressive that I was trying to understand why many more countries are not adopting these best practices.
Even though you may not have any interest in climate change the fact that you can save money on utility bills should be of interest to you.
According to Electric Choice, the average household in the US spends 2-3% of their annual income on electricity.
This is for electricity alone and does not include other utilities like rubbish, water, gas and cable TV.
I was surprised to learn that the state with the highest spend was Hawaii which spends 4.5% of their annual salary.
In real terms, this works out at $2,856.00 a year on electric bills. I suppose this relates to airconditioning.
If you are even slightly interested in saving $2,856.00 every year then keep reading.
How to Save Money on Utility Bills
Let's look at some really simple ways that you can help your teenagers to get excited about saving energy.
I must warn you that these do require a change in habits so remember to be patient but persistent.
1. Use Energy Saving Bulbs
Four years ago when I moved into the home where I currently live I made it a priority to ensure that every usable light was energy saving.
You're probably thinking, Alvern energy-saving bulbs are expensive but you need to trust me.
If I told you that I haven't changed the majority of bulbs in 4 years would you believe me?
The electric company even raised their rates and I just ignored them.
Not only do you save money on electric bills but you also save on the cost of buying bulbs regularly as well as the cost of going to the shops.
2. Switch to Lamps
When I moved into this house the living room and kitchen have light fixtures that don't have energy-saving bulbs.
The trick, in this case, is to switch over to lamps everywhere. IKEA had floor lamps for $14.00 each and I purchased 6 of them.
These lamps only take energy-efficient bulbs that last many years which is great news for anyone.
Remove those inefficient bulbs to discourage your children from accidentally using the wrong light.🤣
3. Hot Water Timer
It will take time to get it right but using a timer on your hot water tank will save you having to remember to turn on and off the hot water.
Another benefit is that you just set it and forget it and everyone will have hot water when they need it.
You may need to install one if it does not already exist.
4. A Timer for Home Heating
No one likes to come home to a cold house so using a timer on your heating system will also save you a lot of hassle.
It will take a bit of trial and error to get it right but it would be so worth it.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have left the heating on for too long in the last number of years.
Maybe I need a new brain with a timer to help me in this area.
5. Ditch the Electric Dryer
You are probably thinking that I have gone completely mad but trust me on this one.
It is going to take a little bit of discipline to use an Air Dryer instead of an electric dryer but it really works.
Of course, this will work a lot better if you have a designated laundry room.
Yes, it does take about 48 hours for your clothes to dry so it does require a habit change.
If you have a hot cupboard you can use that to dry clothes overnight.
6. Switch Off Unnecessary lights
Now that you have energy-efficient light bulbs it is still important to switch those off when not in use.
As a parent, you have three ways to handle this challenge.
- Ask your child if they switched off the lights
- Do a check every 1-2 hours to see what needs to switch off
- Install motion sensor lights in the kid's bedrooms
Getting them to adopt better habits might be the best solution but you can decide what works best.
7. Unplug Appliances
Depending on your set up at home it is a good idea to unplug appliances when they are not in use.
Many years ago I had a habit of using the microwave oven as my main clock in the kitchen.
Now, I just use my mobile phone as a clock. It may make sense to have a wall clock as a backup as well.
8. Wash Dishes by Hand
If you have a small family you may want to consider washing all your dishes, pots and pans by hand.
It does require changing habits but you can use it as a way to bond with other family members.
My teenage daughter does find a way to wash the dishes while listening to music so it can be done.
9. Invest in Non-Iron Clothes
Ironing clothes every week is not my cup of tea (I don't even like tea). So, I made the decision a long time ago to find ways to reduce ironing.
I guess I spent too many years watching at my parents iron clothes that I am somehow allergic to it.
Anytime I venture out to buy clothes, which is not often, I check the washing instructions as well as ironing notes.
Knitwear and clothes that can be hung up and worn are my favourites.
10. Motion Sensor Lights Outside
We live in a world that is not as secure as it was a number of years ago. So, depending on where you live you may use security lights outdoors.
The best ones to use outdoors are motion sensor lights unless you have lots of trees or animals like cats that run by frequently.
Carefully spend time considering your options and choose wisely.
11. An Efficient Vacuum Cleaner
Whether you have carpets, tiles or hardwood floors you will know that you probably use a vacuum cleaner daily.
Ensure that you get one that is double AA rated and that does a good job of cleaning the floor.
A very good broom can also work on tiles or hardwood but for stubborn crumbs, a vacuum cleaner is best.
12. A-Rated Appliances
Nearly every home uses stoves, hobs, ovens, fridges and freezers so it really makes sense to ensure that these are all energy efficient.
You may not be able to change them all at once but as they get old, change to energy-efficient replacements as soon as possible.
This is especially worthwhile for refrigerators because your food storage will dramatically improve as well.
13. Charge Devices When Needed
Are your teens charging their devices 3-4 times a day? Yes, this is something that can be difficult to control.
One way that can help is if they see you not randomly charging your devices.
No one is perfect and devices can run out of charge unexpectedly so try and work out a way to bill your teens for charging during peak hours.
Do reward them for charging their phones during non-peak times.
14. Cut the Cable
I know that I already mentioned this in a previous post but the average household spends $107.00 a month on pay-TV.
A great way to save money on utility bills is to cut the cable completely. It will be a difficult habit to break but well worth the effort.
You can replace this habit with something a little more fun like an outdoor activity or games.
Need to save more money? Check out this big list of things to stop buying every month.
15. Invest in a Slow Cooker
Cooking can be fun if it is not a full-time job that involves sweating over a big pot of stew every day.
It is why investing in a slow cooker could be a great idea for so many families.
You just throw all the ingredients in and literally overnight the food is ready to go.
Make dinner while you sleep or work.
16. Install a Thermostat
To have a home that is ultra-efficient when it comes to heating and cooling you may want to install a thermostat.
It means that you set it to a certain temperature and your home will always be at the right temperature.
This means that you will easily save money on your electric bills.
17. Use the Microwave to Heat Food
If you find yourself in a situation where there is a need to heat food for different people during the day then consider using the microwave oven.
A good example of this is if you work from home. At lunchtime, you may want to eat a hot meal consider using the microwave oven instead of the stove.
Of course, it would mean having the food already prepared in advance and possibly sitting in the fridge waiting to be heated.
Remember that it is more economical to cook food in bulk and store them in portion sizes.
You can check more tips on how to save money on food here.
18. Use the Kettle Less
A big hidden energy stealer is the humble kettle. If you don't believe me then think of how long it takes for the water to boil.
In fact, I often see people fill the kettle with water only to use a cup of water to make tea.
Bless their heart they wanted to heat water for friends and family just in case someone can join them for a cup of tea.
The worst is when they want to add a trickle of water to a cup that has gone cold but they heat over a litre or pint of water.😳
On a serious note, the only person thanking you for heating so much water is the electric company.🤣
19. Reduce Air Gaps
The biggest way your home loses heat is due to a lot of air gaps. Depending on your home there are some ways to improve this situation.
Some of these changes can be structural while others can be done via soft furnishings.
If you find your home drafty you may want to consider looking at reducing the cracks and spaces that air can pass to come into the house.
These include windows and doors.
Once these spaces have been reduced another clever idea is to use curtains and shades on doors and windows to retain heat longer.
20. Insulate the Attic
Because hot air rises you may find that despite taking all the necessary measures possible your home does not retain heat.
This could be happening because your home is losing heat just as fast as it is heated.
A great way to combat this problem is by insulating the attic.
Unless you are great at working on DIY projects you may want to leave this task to the professionals.
21. Turn Down Heat and Wear Layers
Now that your home is fully insulated and you have the heating under control there is no need to splash out in bikinis.🤣
Consider turning down the heat 1-2 degrees and wear layers instead of burning through your heating bills.
There are now so many comfy clothes that keep your body temperature just right without the need to look like a penguin indoors.
Fleeces, wool, sheepskin, cashmere and pashmina are materials that can keep you surprisingly warm and comfortable.
Socks are my personal favourites during the winter.
That was one big list of ways to reduce your utility bills using 21 clever hacks.
Here is a brief shortlist for you.
- Energy-saving bulbs
- Use lamps
- Hot water timer
- Timer for home heating
- Ditch electric dryer
- Turn off unnecessary lights
- Unplug appliances
- Wash dishes by hand
- Non-iron clothes
- Outdoor motion sensor lights
- Efficient vacuum cleaner
- A-rated appliances
- Charge devices sensibly
- Cut the cable
- Invest in a slow cooker
- Use a thermostat
- Microwave to heat food
- Use kettle less
- Reduce air gaps
- Insulate attic
- Turn down heating
As you can see this list is very straight-forward but it does require a few sacrifices and new habits to get it right.
What has been your experience in finding ways to significantly save money on utility bills for the long term?
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