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Easy Tips to Save on Gas and Electricity Bills

Updated on November 29, 2010

Your Guide to Cheap Utility Bills

Whether you're strapped for cash or simply want a little more spending money, you can stand to benefit from cutting down your gas and electricity bills.  Here's a guide to lowering your consumption of gas, water, and electricity (without giving up creature comforts) that will help you spend less on a month-to-moth basis.  

The added benefit of adhering to any or all of these money-saving tips is that you'll be able to help out the environment and conserve natural resources while you're at it!

Smart Strip LCG5 Energy Saving Power Strip with Auto-Switching Technology and Modem/Coaxial Surge Protection
Smart Strip LCG5 Energy Saving Power Strip with Auto-Switching Technology and Modem/Coaxial Surge Protection

With patented auto-switching technology that saves you money on electrical bills, the Smart Strip LCG5 Energy Saving Power Strip features 10 outlets that work in sync to efficiently power your electrical devices.

 

How to save on your electricity bill

Here are some easy easy ways to reduce your electricity bill:

  • Always turn lights off when you leave a room - You don't need the light, so why leave it on?
  • Unplug devices when they are not in use - DId you know that devices can continue to suck energy even when they're not being utilized?  To prevent this from happening, unplug things when you're not using them.
  • Get a power strip that shut off when devices are not in use or are fully charged - These devices have become extremely reasonable in price and are more sophisticated than ever.  The Smart Strip LCG5 to the right is a good example.  
  • Consider installing motion sensors for outdoor lights - In the winter months, wen it gets dark early, it is certainly nice to have a light at your porch or the side of you house to spare you the pleasures of tripping over rogue lawn mowers and walking through occupied spider webs. Installing outdoor motion sensors will allow you to enjoy the pleasure of walking around your house amidst light while also saving electricity.
  • Consider installing solar-powered outdoor lighting - It's lower in price and more durable than ever before, plus the designs look great!

When washing dishes, fill a large bowl, sink, or tub with warm soapy water instead of leaving the faucet running continuously
When washing dishes, fill a large bowl, sink, or tub with warm soapy water instead of leaving the faucet running continuously

How to save on your water bill

It's not so hard to cut monthly water expenses - here's how:

  • Use your dish washer - Generally speaking, dishwashers are more efficient at washing dishes than humans are (though according to international studies, this can vary by nationality. Fascinating, no?)
  • If washing dishes by hand, use a soapy tub - Fill a tub with warm, soapy water and wash your dishes in there instead of leaving the faucet continuously running. You can even use wastewater from pasta for a base, simply adding soap to make it sudsy.
  • Don't leave the water running - 2uesday points out in the Comments that you can also save water by turning it off while brushing your teeth (a lot of people leave it running).  This same pearl of wisdom can be applied to rinsing dishes (only turn the water on when a dish is under the faucet) and other sink-related activities.
  • Only run water in your shower when rinsing - When you shower, initially run water to get your body and hair wet, then shut it off to apply shampoo and suds up. Turn the hot water back on to rinse out shampoo for the conditioner stage, but turn it back off. There are two additional benefits to this: (1) Reducing the amount of steam and hot water on your skin will help keep your skin from drying out, and (2) a recent study indicated that rapidly switching the body from hot to cold temperatures can help boost your immune system.

Capresso 259 H2O Plus Glass Water Kettle, Polished Chrome
Capresso 259 H2O Plus Glass Water Kettle, Polished Chrome

I'm rather fond of this electric kettle - it's different from most because it's glass and you can see inside!

 

How to reduce your monthly gas bill

Natural gas bills can run high, especially in the winter or if you cook and bake a lot. Here are some ways you can cut back:

In general...

  • Use an electric kettle to boil water instead of heating water on a gas stove - it's more efficient!

And with regard to heating...

  • Winter-proof your home - Often, we spend a lot of energy heating a house only to let that heat seep out through poorly sealed doors and windows. Before the colder months roll around, assess the key energy zappers in your house (windows, doors, and your roof) and consider adopting measures that will better insulate your home.
  • Turn the heat down when you leave - Your home doesn't always have to be a balmy 72 degrees - turn the heat down when you leave, or set it on an automatic timer so that you're not blasting heat while nobody is home.
  • Go with a lower baseline temperature - People can easily adjust to a baseline temperature that is slightly below that which they are used to after about seven days. If you usually have your thermostat set to 75 degrees, bring it down to 72. It might feel a bit chilly for the first week or two, but eventually you'll adjust, and save money in the long-term.
  • Avoid heating the whole house - If you're only home for a little while, it might not be worth it to turn on the heat in your entire house. Consider getting an efficient area heater that you can move from room to room to keep you warm if you're only around for a couple of hours - this will spare you the expense and energy needed to heat an entire house.
  • Bundle up - You know, you don't have to use heating at all. If you live in a temperate enough climate, you just might be able to get by with some heavier sweaters. Living in a colder house need not be uncomfortable if you have nice comfy bathrobes and the like to keep you warm.

When using your stove, try to group as many pans on to one unit as possible :D
When using your stove, try to group as many pans on to one unit as possible :D

Stove / Oven-Specific Tips

These energy-reducing tips can be applied to both a gas or an electric stove/oven

  • Use less units on your gas stove - Buy a triple boiler (a pan with a built in steamer and intermediary level) that allows you to simultaneously cook grain (e.g. rice, pasta, bulgur, etc...), steam vegetables, and heat sauces.  This will allow you to leave two units- which would otherwise be blaring away- off!
  • Bake in batches - If you bake a lot, consider baking things all in one day, so that you don't expend a lot of energy pre-heating an oven over and over.
  • No peeking! - When baking, don't continuously open the oven to check what's inside.  This wastes energy and also can prolong cooking time or negatively effect the baking process of your food.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Harriet 

      5 years ago

      Very useful tips and I taotally agree with johny tomphsom - I did the same to lower my electricty bills.

    • profile image

      johny tomphson 

      5 years ago

      Great tips and I also decided to swiched my energy provider - I used one of those 'compare' websites Tower Utility and thay gave me better deal :)

    • profile image

      bob 

      6 years ago

      thanks really helps

    • profile image

      yalda 

      7 years ago

      I think that the average house in north ameria consumes about 21.5 kwh day that mean that if you pay the end done by.yalda i like to read book.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Neat! Thanks for sharing :D

    • profile image

      John 

      7 years ago

      Very well said. Great tips. I would like to add mine here. As an electrical engineer i recommend to use automatic Energy Saving System which detects humans and switch on or switch off the lights and other utilities. A guide to build your own Energy Saving System is available free at http://projectabstracts.com/329/intelligent-energy...

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, you're on top of things, Victoria! Thanks for the compliment, and good luck with the shower! It's a drag to have one with tough temperature regulation @_@

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 

      7 years ago from London

      Hi SimoneSmith,

      Brilliant article, loads of tips there. I follow all of these except for the shower and I don't own a dish washer. It takes so long to get the temperature right on the shower that it uses less water just to have the whole shower in on go. Hope to invest in a new one asap!

      Best wishes.x

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Hahaa - it's a tough issue, especially since 78 is such a FANTASTIC temperature.

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      7 years ago from California

      This is interesting since my boyfriend and I have this "argument/discussion" all the time! I like the temperature a very warm 78! (I'm originally from New Mexico) and he thinks that keeping a thermostat at 78 is a waste of money.

      It's sad to see that most people agree!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Aha! That's a good one! I'll add that to the Hub!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      7 years ago

      Good tips here for saving on utilities like gas, electric and water.

      One way of saving water that a lot of people forget is that they leave the tap running while brushing their teeth. At first you keep forgetting to switch the tap off and then back on again but a note stuck on the bathroom wall to remind you, worked for me within a week. Hope that is of some use to someone.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, that must be frustrating! Perhaps that's a sign that you should look in to installing solar panels of some sort - or in some other way integrate green energy into your home.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 

      7 years ago

      These are really great tips on saving gas and electricity. Yet here in our place, the electric company always increase its rate that despite all the efforts in saving electricity, people still end up paying very high utility bills. The government seems not to do anything to lessen our burdens.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      @TopUniverse - thanks! And @hudlife - I know, especially if the house is cold! I kind of helped myself adjust to it by using only hot water, so that it'd be too hot to leave running - from there, I moved to more temperate temperatures... just needed that original conditioning.

      But as an alternative, you could use an egg timer to remind yourself to not space out in the shower and just be more efficient with your time :D

    • hudlife profile image

      hudlife 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Great tips! Turning off the hot water in the middle of the shower will be tough :)

    • profile image

      TopUniverse 

      7 years ago

      Easy and super tips. I want that everyone should follow it and help out the environment and conserve natural resources.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks! I studied environmental business in my earlier college years, so some of the stuff got branded into my brain @_@

    • nell79 profile image

      nell79 

      7 years ago from United States

      Some good and interesting tips on saving energy. Well done:)

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