Share tips on saving on your utility bills

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Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644
Share tips on saving on your utility bills

What are some of your tips for saving on your gas and electric bill?

It's coming into winter time in Ohio and we live right in the snowbelt! So we get hit hard and it's cold!

For gas I only do hot water loads on 1 day every Sunday and I wash in cold the rest of the week. I also only set the heater to 65. We buy warm pj's and lots of socks! If we turn it past 70 our bill is hundreds of dollars and it's a waste. None of my kids complain it's cold!

Electric I try to hang dry as much clothing as I can and the rule is when you leave a room the light goes off. And for the bathroom we have nightlights that turn on when you walk in and off when you walk out so we don't have to turn the lights on in there!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

We use all CFL lightbulbs and have done so for about 7 years. We bought a programmable thermostat, and we have the heat set to go down when we're not home and at night. It goes up before we get out of bed, which is really nice.

Keep your curtains open during the winter to let sunlight in. Also, if you run a humidifier, during the winter, it's not only better for you but it also makes the house feel warmer, so you can turn the heat down without feeling chilled.

We also turn off lights when we leave the room and turn off the computer at night.

We have great windows, but one of them is drafty, so we cover it with plastic during the winter.

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

I forgot about the lightbulbs! We use those too. A few months ago our electric company offered 3 boxes for free to each customer. So that was 6 free bulbs which was nice!

We rent do we don't have a programable thermostat but that would be nice!

We also leave the curtains open in the winter.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

Taking short efficient showers. I cringe when I think about how much water and heat I wasted as teenager living with my parents...I would live in the shower until the water went cold. Now I can take a 5 to 6 minute shower though I would consider getting a timer if I had family members who had a time management issue in there. Sometimes DH & I even share a shower so that while one is soaping up the other can rinse off under the shower and switch.

I also swear by our programmable thermostat which we can set for weekday vs weekend schedules. I like how it will start heating the house just before I get up in the morning and before I return home from work.

We unplug pretty much any appliance or electronics device when not in use (except for our fridge, washer/dryer, etc). We also use a smart power strip that automatically turns off certain electronics if others are powered off to reduce phantom power being drawn (e.g., when we turn our tv off the strip also shuts down power to our DVD player & game console).

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

I am all for short showers! But now that I am so far along the hot water feels so good on my back! So 1 shower a week I will let it run! Haha but I also give my son a shower with me on this day and he can play in the water don't worry I don't burn him!

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

Turn things off at the wall or get stand by eliminators which do a similar job. We are coming into summer and I refuse to run the air con often, so it's fans and windows open. I take short showers with my DS hubby on the other hand takes up to 3 half hour hot showers a day which sucks. I really want to get solar hot water but we can't afford it right now, I had it most of my life and at the last house we rented.

Joined: 02/24/11
Posts: 1651

Love this board !! Well what DH and i do is unplug things that we are not using ! Only thing that stays plugged in are fridge,microwave and thats basically it because they say even though something is not being used , if its plugged in then energy still flows!

celticbandgeek's picture
Joined: 06/14/10
Posts: 950

This is an area that my DH and I are still working on improving. I love all the ideas.

The best things that we do are turning things off as much as possible at the switch, and we actually do all of our laundry on cold. We both generally take pretty quick showers as well.

Breen31806's picture
Joined: 09/05/06
Posts: 1172

We live in FL so we have HOT summers and Winters can be pretty cold. During the summer we run the AC or you'd die. We keep the AC at about 77 during the day and 75 while we are home....our highest electric bill was $180. Once the weather cools down like now we have the windows open whenever we are home and if it gets really cold we open the windows and put a fire in the fireplace. In the winter our electric goes down to $120.

Usually at night we don't have any lights on at all except the glow from the TV.

I take quick showers in the mornings and I only shave like once a week in the winter so that cuts about 5-10 min out of my shower. Hubby on the other hand showers twice a day but his 2 showers equal the time of my 1 shower.

We wash all of our clothes in Cold water and we have a HE front loader. We only wash towels and sheets in hot water. We only water our lawn in the summer time on the days we are allowed to.

We only run the dishwasher like once a week. If hubby can handwash it quickly we handwash it.

Hubby unplugs all the kitchen appliances except fridge (obviously) and the microwave. Everything else only plugs in when in use. I always unplug my hair appliances.

heatherliz2002's picture
Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 2273

Definitely keeping windows/curtains open during the winter months- makes a HUGE difference in the kids' bedrooms. Turning off any lights/appliances/etc. when we're not in the room or using them. This probably sounds gross, but if we use the bathroom during the night we wait until morning to flush. That way it doesn't wake the baby up and saves water- win/win. i realize that's not related to gas or electric, but water is expensive here and I'm always looking for ways to conserve. I rarely use the "hot" option on my washing machine. Cold or warm does a great job for most things. I also wait to do laundry until I have a full load. We discovered that our dishwasher is more efficient with water than we are when hand washing dishes (our dishwasher was broken for four months- there was a noticeable difference in our water bill). We wait until it's full to run it, usually every other day. We also keep the thermostat lower and dress warmly!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"Mommyin04060809" wrote:

We rent do we don't have a programable thermostat but that would be nice!

I wonder if your landlord would let you put one in. I bought one for DH for Christmas one year and installed it myself. It cost about $50, but was so worth it!

Heather, we do that with the toilet too.

Also, we have a water saver shower head. It works great, because before we had it we ran out of hot water really quickly. Now we can take longer showers without using as much water.