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LOWERING YOUR UTILITY BILLS

For most renters, you will be responsible for your own utility bills. Some apartment landlords will include electricity as part of the rental package but most renters will need to budget for utility bills, such as water and electricity each month. Fortunately, there are several easy yet effective ways to lower your utility bills each year with a few simple lifestyle changes.

Electricity Saving Tips

Electricity bills can be a huge income-stealer, especially if you live in an area where there weather is either extremely hot or extremely cold (or perhaps both!) You may find that you are constantly cranking the heater up during the winter and constantly reaching for the air conditioner control during the summer. If this is the case, then your electricity bill is probably through the roof. You could be paying as much as $300 per month keeping your home at a temperature you are happy with.

Take advantage of your windows, fans and natural sources of light and heat such as the sun as much as you can. You may want to invest in new windows or window sealant to keep the drafts from coming in. Storm windows and windows with a high R-value equate to a better controlled temperature and thus lower electricity costs. Another option is to consider insulation for your roof which helps keep the cool or warm air circulating in your home rather than rising into the attic.

Another big power-waster is your dryer, if you have one. Instead of using a dryer, take advantage of those warmer days and let your clothes hang out to dry - as long as this does not cause neighbor complaints. If you insist on using a dryer for that fluffy soft feel, then only put your clothes and towels into the dryer for the last twenty minutes, just to get rid of any extra moisture. Even simple things like turning off the lights in rooms you are not in, shutting all the windows if you are using the air conditioner and switching to energy efficient light bulbs can all help cut down the costs of your utility bills.

Lowering your Hot Water Consumption

In addition to reducing the amount of power you use, you can also save on your utility bills by decreasing the amount of water you use. Hot water is another big money waster which means you need to think of ways to reduce the amount of hot water you use. Consider showering together if you live with your spouse or let all your kids pile into the bath tub together at night.

Many renters will opt to hand wash their dishes in an attempt to cut back on the costs of hot water; however, recent research have suggested that it is actually better to use a dishwasher if you have one as it can use less hot water. Furthermore, check to see if your washing machine is on the cold rinse cycle – you can buy specially made washing detergent designed for cold cycles which ensures that your clothes remain clean but that your hot water costs are reduced in the process.

If you are in the market for any new appliances or white goods, such as a dishwasher, washing machine, deep fridge or refrigerator, look for one that comes with a high energy star rating. While they may be a few dollars more expensive, they can save you each month on your electricity bill and also help the environment. If all renters do their part to lower utility bills each month, you could save up to 60 percent on your utility bills and help Mother Nature is the process.

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