7 Innovative Ways To Lower Utility Bills Before Prices Spike

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The prices of electricity, natural gas and oil are set to rise this winter, but changes you make, big or small, can help lower your utility bills. Here are 7 ways to save on your energy bills this fall.

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1. Adjust Your Thermostat

You can save just by adjusting your thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not at home. By doing this for at least eight hours per day, you can reduce your heating and cooling bills by as much as 10%, according to the Department of Energy as reported by CNET. To make this even easier, you can use a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature at certain times.

2. Turn Down Your Water Heater

While most water heater manufacturers set the temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you only need it set at a maximum temperature of 120 F, reports CNET. Lowering the temperature on your water heater can save you hundreds of dollars per year.

3. Check Seals on Windows and Doors

Have you noticed a draft near your entryway? Check the seals around your windows and doors and replace old weatherstripping. Proper sealing helps keep heating and cooling expenses low. 

4. Take Advantage of Discounted Rates

Electricity rates tend to be higher during certain times of the day (and year). According to Nerdwallet, you can lower your energy bill by 5% to 25% by saving energy-intensive work for times when rates are cheaper. 

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5. Swap Out Lightbulbs

By using compact fluorescent or LED bulbs with the Energy Star label, Nerdwallet says you can save as much as $75 per year. Not only do LED bulbs use less energy, but they produce the same amount of brightness and last 40 times longer than a 60-watt incandescent bulb, reports U.S. News & World Report.

6. Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Regular maintenance on your HVAC unit and ductwork can help reduce household energy consumption. An HVAC unit that’s running efficiently with properly insulated ductwork means less money going towards heating and cooling costs.

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7. Get an Energy Audit

You can get an energy audit — which many electric companies offer for free or at a discounted price — where they inspect your home and look at your electric bills to see where you’re wasting energy, CNET reports. Check with your local utility company for options.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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