Utility rates seem to continually climb higher and higher. No need to panic, though. You
can save money without giving up the comforts of a warm and comfortable home. I have some tips to keep your utility bills under control this season.
1. Make minor adjustments to your home. There are a few easy and low cost energy solutions that can make an decent impact.
Make sure none of your heating registers are blocked.
Keep south-facing window coverings open during day to let in the sun’s heat and close them at night.
If you have drafty doors, which is especially a problem in older buildings, purchase or make a door snake to catch cold air. A rolled up towel can also do the trick.
To stop drafts from windows, purchase window storm kits for inexpensive, temporary insulation.
Check the power management settings on your computer and television to ensure they automatically go into sleep mode when not in use.
2. Control your thermostat. The biggest utility expense in the winter is heating and cooling in the summer. In fact, heating and cooling typically account for more than 505% of energy costs in your home.
The good news is that you can save 3 percent on your heating bill for every one degree you lower the thermostat. For example, if you normally keep your apartment temperature at 75 degrees and lower it to 72 degrees, you’ll save 9 percent on your utility bill or nine cents on every dollar. The average utility bill for a two-bedroom apartment in the Northeast is $125 to $175, which means a simple three degree difference could save you $135 to $189 per year.
3. Avoid vampire energy charges. A staggering $10 billion is wasted every year on vampire energy, also known as standby power, according to the EPA. “New devices automatically power down computers and other electronics when they are not in use. Otherwise, these television sets, video games and other electronics simply waste electricity.” Smart power strips can help. They cost about $40 and can save you $100 per year.Photo by chimothy27 Photo by chimothy27