Our utility bills were hiked at the beginning of the new year and nearly 6 months into it I'm still not used to it. I know that there's only so much I can do with minimal usage and high prices, but each time I open an energy bill I'm just sick. I'm looking for your help on how we can reduce our utility bills as I've tried everything I can think of!
Does your power company offer On Peak/Off Peak (also called Time of Day) pricing? Utah Power does - our provider - and it saves us a BUNDLE of money.
Here's the scoop: I called the power company and requested to be put on the On/Off Peak pricing. We had to agree to stay on it for a year or pay a penalty charge. UPNL came out and installed a new digital meter for our home. We are charged a monthly flat fee of $12.56 plus the per kilowatt price of 10.8 cents on peak time and 3.7 cents off peak time. This DRAMATICALLY reduced our power bill - from several hundred a month in winter to about $100 in winter and just $60 in summer. This is very worth looking into!
I do most of the heavy usage of electricity in off time (dishwasher, laundry, showers, etc) and not much during the on time. Your power company will have more info about this. Here's what mine had to say: http://www.utahpower.net/Article/Article51343.html
These tips may be posted other places on this site. I'm not sure. But here's what I've been doing.
1. Keep as many lights and appliances off during the day as possible. Open the blinds for light. Run the dish washer/washing machine/dryer after dark, when it's cheaper.
2. I know they say things only use power when they're on, but I also unplug anything that's not being used.
3. Don't forget to turn off (and unplug) your computer every night (if you have one).
4. I've heard that lowermybills.com can help but I haven't tried them.
5. Is your hot water heater insulated?
6. How well do you insulate your windows and doors when running the heat or air?
7. Use less taxing methods for heating and cooling. We've been using ceiling fans more and running the air less. I read this somewhere: heat your body and not the house. I think that can work in moderation.
Our apt. has drafty windows and door sills. I got the stick-on foam strips to block the air in the door cracks and used lots of old sheets and towels to keep the cold air out at the windows. Flannel sheets work very well.
Editor's Note: Here's a link to some more:
Also, consider going solar. It's not the cheapest upfront way to reduce utility bills but it can be in the long run. The federal government offers incentives and some state governments do too.
I know that they cost a bit of money- but have you switched to the energy efficeint light bulbs? I have heard many people get them but I have not as of yet- I plan on getting some when they are on sale. I agree with what the other posters put- shut off lights when not needed, unplug any items not being used. One thing that I do since the weather is nice is line dry my clothes- another thing about laundry- wait until you have full loads to wash your clothes- no matter what size of laundry you do- it costs the same amount of money to run it!
We went through the same thing with our electric company this year and we went on the budget plan. It really stinks to pay that bill in the summer (when our prices drop dramtically)- but it will feel good when the prices will go back up high in the winter time!
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