Cut Your Utility Bills with These Ten Steps

Winter is coming and many of us have turned on the heat to keep our houses warm.  As our utility bills get bigger, this is a great time to find some small ways to conserve.  Try these tips:

  1. Clean the dryer lint filter with every load.
  2. Close curtains at night, and open them when sunlight is coming in those windows.
  3. Consider purchasing insulated draperies, or hang quilts or blankets over drafty windows and doors.
  4. Replace standard light bulbs with compact flourescents.
  5. Install a programmable thermostat.
  6. Check with your utility company to see if they have any energy saving programs.  Some offerings might include free or low-cost energy audits, rebates on energy efficient appliances, or installation of energy savings devices.
  7. Look into budget billing.  Using this program, you will pay the same or nearly the same amount for your utilities all year long.  Your bill will be a bit higher in the spring and fall but will be lower in the summer and winter.
  8. Invest in warm slippers, heavy bedcovers and warm sweaters.  A fleece jacket will keep you warm even with the thermostat turned down.
  9. Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator.
  10. Turn off the lights when you leave the room, or when the sun is providing enough light for your activities.

These tips aren’t exciting, nor are they difficult, but they will help lower your utility bills.  Give them a try!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Tyler

    Not quite as applicable for those of us living in the barracks. Of course, you can never go wrong with a cozy pair of slippers.

  • You’re right, Tyler. I’d love to hear more about your financial challenges. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Gunny

    Turn the heat down to 68 and WEAR CLOTHES, its winter not the dead heat of summer. Use a comforter on your bed and forget all the PJ’s, make your body do its job keeping you warm and comfy. Its also much more healthy. Another comforter across your lap or your sweet thing close at hand while you’re watching “American Idol”. Hot QUICK showers with the bath door closed and a circulating fan for the moisture. Close drapes at night and open them on sunny days.

  • Robert David Hummel

    borrowed a few dollars from a credit card.
    Installed a energy saving water treatment system .
    Installed a solar attic fan.
    Installed a solar water heater.
    The electric company gave me a great credit.
    The state of florida is pending another great credit.
    The federal”irs” will give me another great credit.
    My utility bill is reduced 28%.
    I dry my clothing inside my garage, save on softener and clothes last longer with out the sunburn, and indiscriminate rain, I save a lot of steps to the back yard, and save all my store hangers to help hang the clothes(no more fussing with worn-out clothes pins.
    Fifty% of the solar equipment will be paid for in “rebates”, so the huge sum and interest on the credit card will be paid faster with less interestfees as long as I apply the rebates along with the regular monthlycard costs.
    Solar is a win-win situation.

  • Robert David Hummel

    FURTHERMORE, INSTALLED A 13″ SOLAR LAMP IN THE GREAT ROOM, “FREE LIGHT FROM SUN-UP TO SUNDOWN, CLOUDY DAY STILL GIVE ME ENOUGH LIGHT TO READ THE DAY PAPER.”…
    NO SUNBURN TO CARPET OR FURNITURE BUT A HUGE SAVING ON ELECTRIC

  • Mr. Hummel, those are great ideas for homeowners. I’ve been seriously considering adding some of those features and I’d love to hear how they are working out for you. I’m particularly interested in the solar lamp.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.