How to cut summer utility costs is a common question. Almost everyone wants to save money when the cost of utilities goes up. Coming out of the Pandemic, the cost of living is at an all-time high and many people can't afford to pay their bills. Utility costs are not going to go down, they are going up. You should put some thought in to saving money on utility bills. There are some relatively easy ways that you can do that, and keep more of your money in your pocket.
Five Utility Savings Tips for Summer
If you need to know how to cut summer utility costs, here are five ways that you can do so.
First of all, realize that the less water you use, the less you will have to pay each month for your water. This means that if you are using fifty gallons of water a day or more, you might want to check into a water alarm to figure out when it's time to use a shower or a bath. Most people think that they only need to take a bath several times a week, but that could be too much. Consider showering with a water saving shower head as opposed to a tub bath. Switching to a shower can help you cut your water used for bating by at least half. However, by far the biggest use of residential water is watering a grass lawn. This is mostly an attitude change. Your grass can survive on one watering per week, although it may not be lush and green.
The second thing that you can do to learn how to cut summer utility costs is to consider energy efficient windows. When you are shopping for new windows, you need to understand how to read the labels. The heat loss rate through a window is indicated in terms of the U-factor. U-Factor ratings for windows generally range between 0.20 and 1.20. The lower the U-value, the more a window will resist heat flow and the more it will save. A window's insulating value is indicated by the R-value, which is the inverse of the U-value.
The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) indicates how well a product blocks heat from the sun. The SHGC is the percentage of solar radiation admitted through a window and absorbed and subsequently released inward. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. Again, the lower the number, the better: A low SHGC means the window transmits less solar heat.
Another step that you can take to cut summer utility bills is to try to repair and or turn off, or turn down appliances throughout the house. As you can see in the above graphic, your air conditioner is the biggest, but not the only energy hungry appliance in your house. Make sure your AC has a fresh filter, and is generally in good repair. After that the biggest savings will likely be found in managing your thermostat better. If you are diligent, you can turn your thermostat up and down as needed to stay comfortable. An easier way may be to get a programmable thermostat that can do the work for you.
Many people use their washers, dryers, televisions, and vacuums when they don't need them. These items consume a lot of energy but are seldom used at all during the year. By turning them off when you don't need them, you are actually saving money. Use power strips on all of your appliances, and switch them off when not in use. Many modern appliances never really shut-off while plugged in, they simply go into a stand-by mode, and continue to consume electricity.
Pay On Time
On top of learning how to cut summer utility bills, one of the easiest ways that you can save money on your utility bill is to avoid paying any of the late fees and reconnection fees. These fees are added because your utility provider adds these extra charges onto your bill each month.
Budget Billing Options
The final tip to cut summer utility expenses is to increase the amount that you're paying for things like electricity and water is to explore budget billing options with your utility providers. Most gas, and electricity companies, such as Reliant Energy as well as most municipal utility providers offer some sort of budget billing option. Basically, these programs standardize your bill through-out the year. These options basically average your bill, and let you pay the same rate 12 months a year. These options can help you live with a budget that you can standardize year-round and make your monthly payments more affordable.