Read The Meter And (Don’t) Weep How To Save Money on Utilities

Clogged drain atlantis

Last month, the local electric company made up for its having to estimate costs all winter, and jacked everyone’s bill on Long Island up three times. Those of us living on a shoestring budget took a huge hit, and started thinking about ways to save money on utilities. Below are a few tips on reducing your utility usage long term.

Whether you rent or own, the best thing you can do for your water bill is to invest in any needed plumbing repairs. This may seem counter-intuitive, since plumbing repairs are often costly and any leaks or clogged drains seem like mere nuisances. However, small plumbing issues can waste more water (and money) than you’d think. For example, a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year-that’s over six hot tub’s worth! Furthermore, investing in a plumber to give your plumbing fixtures a once-over can lead to the discovery of plumbing issues not immediately visible to the untrained eye, such as a leaky toilet tank(something that plagues 35% of home owners), or an errant tree root that’s left your underground system in need of sewer repair. Overall, paying attention to plumbing repairs can save homeowners about 10% on their water bill-and calling in a professional sounds way more appealing than messing around with the sewer snake yourself.

We Americans have no idea how spoiled we are when it comes to our indoor heating! Whereas in the US the law requires land lords to provide a heating method, in places like Japan, Korea, and Morocco, most homes have no means of central heating and no wall insulation whatsoever. If you’re looking to save money this winter, our advice would be to take a page out of these countries’ books and start adapting your environment, not your indoor air, to the elements. Learn how to layer both comforters and clothing (long underwear is an easy way to stay toasty indoors and is cheaply available almost anywhere), and tape up your windows with plastic in anticipation of those cold and windy nights. Hot water bottles in bed are also a great get-warm-quick method, but we must also be conscious of that third and final expensive utility when it comes to heating up our water…

If you have an electric oven and stove top, it’s a good idea to be conscious of how much you’re cooking. Heating up coils can take up a lot of energy, so if you’re Betty Crocker’s long lost cousin, it might be time to buy a smaller toaster oven, which will take less energy for the every day heating up of frozen goods. Turning lights off every time you leave a room is an obvious money-saving move, but it’s also a good idea to unplug any appliances or lap tops when not in use. A lot of small appliances leech power even when not turned on, which can add up to an unsavory surprise come bill paying time.

Let us know if you have any success with these tips in the comments. We are particularly interested in the warriors who take the “no indoor heat” challenge!

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