Tips for saving
money on utility bills
WHEN I T COMES to saving money on your utility
bills, think wisely about how you use energy, from
the kitchen to the attic. Identify the items you use
most, and consider ways in which you can use them
For most people, the electric bill accounts for a
significant part of the monthly budget. In fact, the
energy bill is often surpassed only by the mortgage
or rent payment. Here are some cost-cutting tips.
less costly. Other ways to save money are painting
your roof white to keep the house cool and keeping
the blinds closed during peak sunlight hours.
Reevaluate your monthly bills. Read through
your bills and understand what all of the charges are
for. Start by determining how much electricity you
use. Use the monthly electric bills from the previous
year to calculate an approximate value.
Call the electric company and find out if there
is an “off-peak” time of day when a lower rate is
offered, and take advantage of that time for your
most important electrical needs, such as using your
dishwasher or washing machine.
Cut energy use by your refrigerator and
freezer. Refrigerators and freezers use a great deal
of energy. Make sure to keep the doors closed when
you are not actively using them. Check to make sure
the sealing gasket is undamaged. Keep your refrigerator and freezer away from the wall, helping the
air to circulate in the best way possible.
Use the oven and stove in optimal ways.
When using the stove, use the right pots, usually one
with as small a diameter as possible. Turn the stove
off five minutes before the cooking time ends. Keep
the oven door closed as long as possible, and try not
to preheat the oven if you don’t need to.
Turn off the oven 10 minutes before
your food is ready.
Consider the amount of energy you use
at night. Many people burn a great deal of electricity at night. They leave lights on and appliances running while they sleep, wasting enormous amounts
Make sure all of your appliances have been
turned off before you go to bed. The savings from
turning off the TV set and taking appliances off
sleep mode can add up quickly.
Make sure to unplug gadgets such as cellphone
chargers and radio devices when you are not using
them, as they tend to suck energy.
I feel I have been a victim of
elder fraud. In the mail I
received a ;ier from a local
Toyota dealer advertising
great prices and discounts for
Corollas. I went to the dealer,
and instead of honoring the
;ier he began talking about
payments, interest rates and
overall prices for the Camry
model, which I was not
interested in. After ;ve hours,
I couldn’t think straight.
Instead of walking out of
there, I was persuaded to sign
the contract. I wanted to buy
a Corolla and now I am stuck
with the more expensive
Camry. What can I do?
Change your lighting. Many homeowners expend
a great deal of energy because of the lights they use in
their homes. It is economical to replace a light bulb if
it burns for more than half an hour a day. Use high-quality LED or compact fluorescent bulbs to save
money and maximize the way you light your home.
Pay attention to heating and air conditioning.
The heating and air-conditioning systems in your
house may account for the largest portion of your
monthly electric bill.
Consider what kind of filters you are using in
your HVAC. Using permanent filters and not
changing them regularly will cause your system to
not function at full capacity.
Make sure you have proper insulation throughout the house, preventing heat or cool-air leaks,
and make sure to seal any leaks with caulk or
Use a fan instead of an air conditioner, as it is far
Use energy-efficient appliances. Advances in technology have allowed the most-used appliances to be moreenergyefficient. Everything from washing machines to microwaves has been opti- mized for size and energy use. Many items have been designed to be smaller and use far less energy than the big, clunky appliances of the past. Check to see if there is an Energy Star label on your appliances. Make sure the dish- washer and washing machine are as full as possible before ach use. Reduce the water temperature by using cold water, and use energy- and/or water-saving modes. Being energy efficient is not only good for the envi- ronment, but is one of the most important ways in which you can cut costs. C
Because you signed, you don’t have much leverage. However, that does not mean you are not a person worthy of being heard. Since this is a locally owned ealer, call the president of the dealership and tell him about how unhappy you are, despite being a loyal Toyota owner. Often- times the president will be sensitive to your needs, and although he cannot take back the car, he may be willing to renegotiate the terms of the contract. C
© 2012 FIGHT BACK! INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
AMY CAN TRELL
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate. Visit his blog at www.
fightback.com or email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a frequent guest on
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