Published on November 13th, 2015 | by Pete0
How to Reduce Your Utility Costs
It wasn’t that long ago that we gave you 5 Tips to Save Money on Your Heating Bill. In that post we talked about switching heating systems, the benefits of opening a window, eating hot foods, making draught insulators, etc. But what if you’re doing all of those things and your bills are still too expensive? Here are some other things that you can do if you want to cut down on the cost of power, etc.
Here in the UK, we enjoy a deregulated energy market. That means that if your bill with one company is too high you can shop around for another provider (mind the details of your contract, though, you don’t want to end up with outrageous fees). If your bills have been consistently inflated, spend some time researching the providers where you live. You could find a great deal. There are plenty of rate comparison sites out there to help you with this.
The UK is not the only deregulated market in the world. Much of the EU has been deregulated as well. And, across the Atlantic, much of Canada and some of the states in the US have participated in with regulation as well. Residents in these areas can use sites like AlbertaEnergyProviders.com to find a great deal.
It’s not uncommon, particularly in winter (which tends to be a harsh season here), for homes to get very draughty. This is why it is important to properly insulate your home. Many people leave insulation to places like attics and basements but it’s also a good idea to insulate your walls–especially external walls.
In addition to insulating your walls, you’ll want to add layers of insulation around your doors and windows–where the most air seepage tends to happen. Insulate your pipes–especially those leading in and out of the home (this will also cut down on rodent and other pest infestation). And, of course, you should insulate your hot water tank. Insulating your hot water tank helps keep the water inside warmed up which reduces the work your tank has to do to provide you with hot water for showers, washing dishes, etc.
Replace Your Boiler
More than half of what you pay in energy costs every year comes from running your boiler. Add that to the amount of money you might be spending to maintain and repair an older boiler and the cost of the boiler you currently have is astronomical. Switching it out for a newer and energy saving model might cost a lot at the outright but the amount of money it will save you over the course of its lifetime will more than pay off that initial investment.
In addition to these larger plans, it’s worth noting that a large chunk of what you pay in energy and utility costs comes from the development of bad habits. Here are some good habits you need to introduce to your behavior:
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Unplug your charging cords when you aren’t using them.
- Do not allow appliances (outside of your refrigerator) to sit on standby. Unplug them/the power strips into which they are plugged.
- Switch to energy saving lightbulbs
- Use natural sunlight as much as possible
- Only run full loads of wash for both clothing and dishes]
- Hang clothing outdoors to dry when it is warm enough to do so
- Take shorter showers
- Wear warmer clothing instead of turning up the thermostat
- Compost and recycle instead of simply throwing out rubbish
Winter is a massive energy suck, which can wreak havoc on your utility bills and your budget. Making the necessary changes we’ve listed here will help you save money; not just this year but every year.