How to Cut Utility Charges in Hard Times

In hard times money gets tight and bills start to pile up. So I thought I would share some of my experiences that have helped my family make it through this past year. You hear the words ‘energy efficient’ all around these days but what helps you make your home energy efficient? Well I have some ideas ranging from appliances, timers, and even carpeting.

The house I moved into had a 30 year old washer and dryer, a 10 year old microwave, and the air conditioner was falling apart. The bills were outrageously high the electric was running at $300 a month and the water bill was almost $200 monthly. Putting $500 towards utilities was killing me so I sat down with my landlady and talked to her about what we could do to make the house more cost efficient with the electric and water along with the fact that the weather effected the room temperatures too.

We split the cost of a new washer and dryer that not only saved energy but also saved water when washing because it senses how much water is needed rather than just going by the settings. We replaced the hot water heater that was ancient for a hot water heater that is what they call energy star like the washer and dryer. The results in our bills were outstanding after these changes alone, taking the electric down to $200/month and the water to $75/month. But I looked at our lifestyle and realised there were so many other things I could do.

I decided to put the porch light, the sprinklers, the house lamps, closet lights, and even computers all on timers to shut down after a certain amount of time. Now it doesn’t cost to set your PC to shut down at a certain time of day and you could just manually shut the lamps off if you wanted to save the cost of a light switch timer. Unfortunately, my family is very forgetful and my day gets busy. Alas, I bought some timers and a sprinkler auto shut off then installed carpeting where we had wooden floors.

washer and dryer ($1,119 after tax, insurance, and delivery fees) light switch timers ($19.00+tax each) sprinkler auto shut off (12.72+tax) hot water heater cost (415.67 after tax, insurance, delivery, and installation fees) carpets (Sq. Yard $22.57)

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