How to Lower Utility Costs by Going Green


508271-7772374 save-by-go-green-1040356 It is that time of the month again. You find yourself hiding from the mailman, avoiding telephone calls, and reluctantly opening the front door when someone knocks. You are anxious every time the bills arrive. You dread the day when you will be required to analyze your finances and stare dejectedly at the small pile of coins left when you have paid all that you owe.

If you are living in a typical household, you might find that utilities get a huge chunk out of your earnings. But what if you could significantly lower your utility bills? Are you ready to make some green changes? If yes, then check out these eco-friendly suggestions that will help keep the costs down.

1. Waste not, want not.

This may sound simple, yet not a lot of people realize that by simply avoiding waste, they can keep a lid on their expenses. Or the idea has dawned on them but they can’t be bothered with acting on it. Whatever the case may be, do not let yourself become one of these people. Turn off the lights when you do not need them. If possible, make do with available natural light. Water is mighty precious, and every drop counts. Report or fix leaks as soon as you come upon them. Take a shower instead of a bath. Run dishwashers only when you have too many to wash. Unplug electric equipment when they are not being used. According to the Department of Energy, 75% of the electricity powering home electronics or appliances is actually being consumed while they are turned off. Simple strategies such as these will give you a much more reasonable bill statement in the coming months.

2. Use “green” lights.

No. This does not mean using green-colored lights. Lighting can play a huge role in fattening up your utility costs so it is one area you will need to make significant changes. You need to have energy-efficient lights. Instead of the standard light bulbs, using CFLs or compact fluorescent light bulbs require 75% less energy and can lower your bills by up to $60 a year. Another “green” source of light is right outside your home – sunlight. Take advantage of this totally free energy source by investing in skylights. Skylights are not only available in traditional forms but also in tubular designs that can bring natural light into spots where traditional skylights do not work. These include walk-in closets and ground-floor rooms.

3. Make Eco-friendly investments.

Don’t be confused to find the word investment in this article when it is supposed to be about saving money. A good investment on energy-saving methods and items will give you pretty much good returns in savings. For example, insulating your attic can lower heating and cooling costs by about 20% as estimated by Energy Star. Outlet and light switch insulation and weather stripping can also be helpful. You might want to consider buying Energy Star-rated appliances. These use only a fraction of the energy that non-rated ones consume. Other methods of energy saving include installing low-flow shower heads and programmable thermostats. Going green can be a boon not only to Mother Nature but also to your wallet when bills are due. Be a good friend to the environment, and utility bills won’t give you a monthly scare anymore. Start saving now! Thinking about buying your own energy-efficient home? Learn more about piggyback loans.

Amanda is a part-time writer and a financial analyst for Her main interests are those topics related to personal finance, stocks, and other investments.