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8 Tips for Saving Money on Your Utility Bill

According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fourth largest expense in your home is the monthly utility bills. The typical American family spends roughly 11% of their total budget on “Utilities and Other Household Operational Costs.” The only higher expenditures are for your mortgage or rent, taxes and transportation. You actually spend more for utilities than for food, or the total of (Social Security Contributions, Personal Insurance and Pensions), or Healthcare.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can employ that help to reduce the cost of your utilities and free up more of your income. Here are eight tips that you can use today and save money in the months and years to come.

Invest in a Tank-less Water Heater

Utility Bill ManagementHave you ever wondered how much it costs to keep a tank of water at the ideal temperature around the clock? In fact, you pay a little every time the heater cycles on to warm the water in that tank. Eliminate the waste by installing a tank-less water heater. The water is heated on demand, so there is never any heat wasted just to keep it warm.

Use Insulated Drapes Wisely

The sun shining through your windows can add quite a bit of heat to your house. In the winter this can help reduce your heating load but in the summer it can greatly increase your cooling costs. By closing drapes at night in the winter and opening them to let the sun in during the day you can make a significant heat saving. Conversely, in the summer if you block the sun coming in and open the drapes on the opposite side of the house to let light in you can reduce your cooling costs.  If cooling is your major concern you can also plant trees to provide shade in the hottest part of the afternoon. If heating is your biggest expense it might help to take down a few trees.

Only Run the Dishwasher When It’s Full

Forget about running the dishwasher when you only have a few things to clean. Rinse them off before placing them in the washer and wait until you have a full load. The little bit of water you use for the rinsing will pale in comparison to what you save by only running the dishwasher once it is full.

Jettison the Landline

The time has come to cut the cord. If you want a home phone, put your high-speed Internet connection to workwith a service like MagicJack and opt for a wireless based phone service. The expense will be a fraction of what you are paying now and you’ll still have the convenience and sound quality that comes with a landline.

Turn It Off

Turn off lights, fans and computers when not in use. By getting into the habit of turning things off you can save a lot of electricity.

Disconnect Electronics

Did you know that keeping your electronic devices plugged in at all times can waste money? Any item with a D/C adapter (usually an extra box in the power line) uses electricity whenever it is plugged in, whether it is on or not.  Making sure appliances are disconnected when not in use can significantly help reduce your utility bill each month.

Negotiate the Best Electric Rates

Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money on utilities by switching electric suppliers. Remember, saving just one cent per kWh could translate into more than $100 a year in savings, depending on usage. So it pays to take a few minutes to find the best utility costs available to you. Professionals, like those at Electricity Match, can help you compare rates in the areas they serve.

Cook a Lot at One Time

You have to heat up the oven to cook that casserole anyway, so why not prepare several other dishes at the same time? All the cooked food can be stored in freezer containers and taken out when the need arises. Use a microwave oven or a toaster oven to heat up the frozen food instead of using the oven so often. Along with ensuring the air conditioner does not have to work harder, you’ll cut your power consumption by a noticeable margin.

Take a good look around the house and make a note of how you could make some changes and save money. While there will not be any one thing that saves a bundle, the cumulative effect of implementing several changes to your energy consumption will provide significant rewards. Start today and try a few ideas. The next billing cycle will bring a welcome surprise.

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+