How to Save Money on Utility Bills
Lower your utility bills and grow your personal savings account with these tips
If you're trying to increase the balance in your savings account, reducing how much you spend on utilities could help. There are several easy-to-form, daily habits that can help you save money on your utility bills in the long run. By learning how to be more conscious of your home energy usage, you can reduce utility expenses and put the savings earned toward your goals. Citizens Bank has compiled a list of ways to save on energy bills in everyday life so you can grow your personal savings account.
How to reduce utility bills on a daily basis
Consider these ideas for lowering your energy usage, then open a personal savings account to grow your funds and meet your savings goals.
Check your vents - Ensuring that vents are open is a painless way to save on utility bills. A large portion of your electricity usage comes from maintaining your home's temperature. When the vents are closed and your HVAC system is on, the air is not getting to the rooms of your home. This means the HVAC will continue to run as it is not getting a signal from the thermostats to shut off. Opening the vents avoids unnecessary spending on heating and cooling.
Turn down the thermostat - The less you run your HVAC, the more you'll save. So, when you're trying to save money on utility bills, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat to turn the HVAC on and off automatically based on the temperature of your home. Then, during winter, set it 10 - 15 degrees lower than your normal comfort level when you're not at home, or when you can bundle up instead of turning it up. A programmable thermostat that only turns on the system when it's absolutely needed - and keeps the home at lower temperatures in the winter (or higher in the summer) - can save you 5 - 15% on your yearly utility costs.
During the summer, you may wish to switch to budget-friendly alternatives such as opening windows or using fans to stay cool. If you live in a warmer climate and need air conditioning, you can also set the thermostat higher so the air conditioner only kicks on when the temperatures reach an uncomfortably warm point. Whenever you are out of the home, program your thermostat to lower (or higher) levels than normal depending on the season.
Banish energy vampires - Energy vampires are plugged-in electronics that are slowly pulling energy from the outlets, even when they are off. Unplug appliances such as lamps, televisions, toasters and more when you are not using them to reduce your overall energy consumption. To make this easier, consider connecting appliances to a power strip with surge protection and switch off or unplug the strip when you're not using the attached appliances.
Take advantage of the sun - By keeping south-facing windows uncovered during the day and covered at night, you can use sunlight to naturally warm your home and save money on utility bills.
Wash clothes in cold water - Washing your clothes with cold water doesn't just reduce color bleed, it also saves money. In fact, 90 percent of a washing machine's energy consumption comes from heating water. By using cold water, you can significantly reduce your electricity bill. You can also save by using the right amount of detergent, loading your washer to capacity and cleaning the lint trap on your dryer before each use.
Choose energy-efficient appliances - Look for the ENERGY STAR label when you're buying new appliances to ensure your equipment meets the highest standards in energy efficiency, which will help reduce your utility bills.
Install low-flow faucets, showerheads and more - Reduce your water bill by installing fixtures and appliances that use less water. Chances are you won't notice a difference on a daily basis, but your bill will be markedly lower.
Turn off the lights - This is one way to save money on utility bills that you've probably heard since you were a child, but turning off lights and other appliances when you're not in the room really can add up - so can installing new compact fluorescent bulbs, a dimmer switch and a timer. A timer is great if you forget to turn off the lights or like to leave a light on when you're out of the house.
Achieve your savings goals with a personal savings account
Now that you know how to save money on your utilities, grow these savings by contributing to a personal savings account and enrolling in the GoalTrack Savings® program from Citizens Bank. GoalTrack Savings is a free savings tool that can be added to any eligible personal savings account with Citizens Bank. Once you enroll, you can set a savings goal and use online banking to transfer the money saved monthly on your utility bill to your savings account. Use the above tips to conserve energy and save on utility bills, then grow your savings by signing up for the GoalTrack Savings program today.