The cost of everything seems to be rising nowadays, from food and drinks to gas and electricity. With these tough economic times, how are we supposed to get by without sacrificing some of those important luxuries? Sometimes it's hard to even put together a budget, as prices just keep going up. There's no need to re-mortgage the house just yet though, as here are some top tips on how you can lower those expensive utility bills, and finally have some money to put aside for the nicer things in life.
Shop Around for Cheaper Suppliers
The first thing to do, is make sure you're getting the right deal for your property. If you have stuck with one utility provider since you moved in, you may not be getting your money's worth. Use the internet, or call around, and search for different utility providers. Many will have deals for new customers, but check to see how long these last. It's no good having a great deal if it is only going to last half of your contract length, before becoming more expensive than your current provider. Many utility companies will offer discounts if you have more than one service with them, so check to see what is most cost effective for your home.
Make some repairs
Appliances or equipment that doesn't work well in your home can be a big drain on your utilities. A dripping tap can cost a fortune in water (it really does all add up) or even repairs, when it finally gives up completely. Little holes in the ceiling, walls or roof can lead to big problems with drafts and damp, which can make your home feel colder and will have you reaching for that thermostat. If the washing machine, fridge, oven or TV have been playing up then get them fixed! Putting it off can mean big repair costs later, but will also have a negative impact on your utility bills. As an example, ovens that aren't functioning properly can take ages to heat up. This means you're going to be using more gas, or electricity, just to cook your dinners. Another key part of your home to keep in tip top condition is your boiler, as a faulty boiler really well make those bills soar.
Upgrade what you can
We don't all have the money to make eco-friendly upgrades on the home, but there are some purse friendly options. Simply having double glazed windows installed, which is not very expensive, can reduce those utility bills in the summer and winter. Double glazing can keep your home cool in the summer and nice and toasty in the winter, without having to fiddle with central heating or air conditioning. Other options to look into are water butts, which will catch your rain water and can then be used for cleaning the car, watering the plants, and so on. If you have some spare cash then have a look at solar panels, eco-friendly insulation or perhaps even grass roofs!
These three simple steps can really help reduce those utility bills, without you having to spend a fortune in the first place. Ensuring you have the best deal is the first step to cutting down those costs, so make sure you shop around. Next it's time to make those repairs you've been putting off for ages, in order to make sure everything is working as it should be. Finally, upgrading some of the most vital parts in your home can greatly improve your energy efficiency, even if it is just a more efficient light bulb, or two!
Peter North has been working on lowering his bills for the last two years and loves to lower his bills as often as possible. The biggest impact on his energy consumption was the installation of windows from the supplier of the best double glazing in Essex.