7 Tips to Help You Save on Your Utility Bill

Apartment Tips

When you’re a renter, certain costs are set in stone. Generally speaking, you’ll have to pay the same in rent each and every month. You might also live in a building where certain amenities — like cable — come at a fixed price. But the only thing you do have control over is how much you fork over for utilities . And you might as well save as much as you can here so you can accumulate more money for fun. We turned to Alexander Goldstein, CEO of Eligo Energy, a retail energy provider that delivers electricity to residential and commercial customers in deregulated states, for tips on how to save on the most common utilities.

Contact the Supplier
One of the best ways to reduce your bill is by contacting your provider directly. Some will give you tips on how to save, and some power companies have plans where you can pay more during certain afternoon hours in exchange for a reduction in your overall rate. It varies from company to company, and many will offer you the most expensive plan up front, according to Goldstein, so it pays to shop around to see what’s out there. You’ll want to be up front about your usage so you can get the plan that best meets your needs.
Ensure Your Windows Are Sealed
“If cold air is leaking in, use sealing tape to properly seal your windows, or consider asking your landlord to help fix it,” advises Goldstein.
Try Switching Providers
This only works in certain states. In many, you don’t get to choose the provider. You’re simply given one depending on where you live. But in Texas, for example, you can choose your electricity provider.
Ways to Save on Water

If your faucet is constantly dripping, ask your landlord to fix it. This may end up saving you money over the long run. Likewise, if your toilet has a faulty seal and is constantly running, you’ll want to get that repaired. You’ll also want to only wash full loads in the washing machine. You can try using shorter wash cycles if the clothes aren’t too dirty. Or try only using cold water to conserve electricity. You’ll also want to put your hot water heater on the lowest setting — hot enough for showers but no warmer — to ensure you save energy and don’t burn yourself.
Likewise, you’ll only want to run your dishwasher when it’s full too. If you handwash your dishes, fill one side of the sink with soapy water and another with rinsing water to avoid continuously running the faucet.
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How to Save on Lighting
If you haven’t already, be sure to switch to LED lights, as they can help you save on electricity. Goldstein advises keeping florescent lights in places where you don’t use the lights as frequently — your utility room or outside, for instance — because they will become brighter faster. Install the LED lights in areas where you’re more likely to use the lights frequently, like in your kitchen or bedroom.
Use Your Programmable Thermostat
Goldstein advises putting your programmable thermostat to good use. Be sure to lower or raise the temperature when you’re away so you can conserve energy. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, be sure to turn the heat or AC down or up, depending on the season, whenever you leave your home.
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How to Save on Internet Costs
“For a residential connection, there is no need to hire a super high-speed Internet service. For most home users, connections of around 5 megabytes per second will be enough,” he says. If you have a plan that gives you unlimited data, feel free to surf the net as often as you like. But if your plan is based on data usage, you’ll want to restrict the videos and apps you watch to cut down on costs.
Overall, “being frugal and environmentally conscious always helps. Actively managing water, electricity and gas consumption, as well as Internet usage (if applicable), will always yield savings regardless of the technology and rates you have,” Goldstein says.
For even more tips on how to slash your utility bills, be sure to read these seven ways to save on your utilities here on ForRent.com .