The cost of Utilities grows significantly from time to time. There are petty things you can do to reduce them and save lots of money.
What are Utilities?
Utilities are the basic commodities of a house. They are what we need to make living in a house very comfortable.
- Natural Gas
- Trash Recycling
- Cable Tv/Streaming Service
These six things are key if you want to live in a house comfortably. In most houses, at least four out of the six on the list are available.
It is almost impossible to live life without utilities.
Basically, you can live without internet and TV but definitely not without water, electricity, gas or trash. Trash is something you cannot just throw out of the window, even if you can, you will need a place to throw it.
Average Cost Of Utilities For A House In The US
The calculations of the average cost of utilities for a house in the US are almost inaccurate if you want to calculate based on your expenses. There is someone else who could be living in a house just like yours but paying more utilities than yours.
All the same, you still have to get a fair idea of how much you could be paying in case you are moving into a new home.
The average cost of utilities for a house in the US always evolves between $240 to $400 per month. While some people will be paying more than this, this is still the average and not the actual cost.
Since the figures are just averages, it means people are paying less than that and others are also paying more than that.
What Affects The Cost of Utilities
There are so many things that affect the cost of utility. Most of these things are manageable but there can be others that are completely out of the consumer’s control.
Below, I will explain some of the major causes of the increase in utilities.
Environment And Weather Conditions
Environment and weather conditions contribute greatly to the cost of utility.
Naturally, when the weather is cold, we avoid water as much as possible. We definitely won’t turn On the Air Conditioner on a cold day.
If the weather is hot, we use more electricity and water than if the weather is cold. That is because we have to max the Air Conditioner sometimes to be able to stay indoors. Fridge or Freezers also consume more power when the weather is hot.
We also turn to take quick showers often in hot weather than cold weather. That definitely increases our water and electricity bills.
There are towns in the United States that have warmer weather conditions. If you compare the national utility averages, you will realize the residents there pay more utilities compared to other parts of the country where the weather is colder.
Most of the time, our actions are the reasons why we pay more for utilities.
According to the national average cost of utilities, we pay more electricity bills than the other utilities. The reason is because of our daily activities.
Most of us unconsciously leave the lights On throughout the day. Living the lights on throughout the day for a month will increase your electricity bill by 50%.
There is also the situation where most of us use more gadgets than we actually need. Having TV everywhere will increase electricity bills and Cable TV/Streaming bills.
Sometimes, we also leave our gadgets plugged in when they are not in use. There are so many human actions that affect the cost of utility.
Utility Holding Companies
The utility holding companies have their rates which means some of the rates will differ. Some of the companies charge more for their services than others.
There are other extra charges that some of them add to the bills while others don’t.
This is one of the many things you can not change about how expensive your utility gets.
How To Reduce The Cost of Utilities Significantly
Reducing the cost of utility is a very easy thing to do. Most people think it is difficult because they think they have to change their lifestyle completely.
That is not the case. You just have to make little adjustments to your old lifestyle and you can reduce your bills.
Let us take a look at some of the things one can do to reduce the bills.
Use The Off Button Often
Electric energy consumption is higher in most homes than other utilities. Apart from the Electricity bill, the other higher bill to pay is the water bill.
The reason why they get higher most of the time is probably because we don’t use the Off buttons on our switches.
The number of times you turn On the lights or sockets in a day, that is the number of times you must turn them Off before going to bed.
- If your sockets are not in use, turn them off.
- If there are no Off buttons on your sockets, just unplug the used gadgets since most of them still use power even if they are Off.
- Roll up your curtains and turn off the lights during the day.
- Turn Off all your switches when leaving home.
Limit Gadgets Use To Reduce Cost of Utilities
Having lots of gadgets that use electric energy means increasing your electricity bills. You can reduce your bills significantly by reducing your gadgets.
- Multiple Television sets, laptops, phones, freezers, and fridges mean more increase in utility costs. The TV sets need the power to run, laptops must be charged and need internet access as well. The phones, well… one doesn’t consume much but two or three will. They will increase your internet bills too.
- Avoid electric dryers. Most of them take longer to heat up making them consume more energy.
- If you are paying for gas, then it will be a very good idea to avoid electric cookers. Most of them consume more energy than you will expect.
- If you are comfortable sending your clothes to the laundry, that will be better than turning on the laundry machine all the time.
- Some streaming services including Netflix offer support for extra devices at an extra cost. For me, watching on only my TV is enough. My phone is for calls and my laptop is for browsing and certain office works.
Get A Hobby
Yeah!… It was funny when I realized getting a hobby could actually decrease my bills.
- Go to the library often. Not just because of free WiFi but at least develop the habit of reading. You turn Off lights when leaving and you get free WiFi so you don’t have to pay internet bills for that period.
- When the weather is warm you sometimes have to max your AC just to feel comfortable indoors. If there is nothing much going on, you can just go out a bit.
- While washing your car at home is not much of a trouble, avoid doing it and take it to the washing bay. Most washing bays are designed to wash cars with less water. That means you will waste more water washing it at home.
Install Solar Panels to Reduce Cost of Utilities
I will prefer to stick to the minor things you should do but, I can’t leave this one out.
Using your own personal solar energy is one of the major ways to reduce your bills. Most people are afraid of the cost involved in installation but when you work the calculation, it is worth it.
You can pay about three to four years’ worth of electricity bills with the cost of installing solar panels. But trust me, you can use that solar panel for about 25 to 30 years.
Xcel Energy Inc. was rewarding customers for installing solar panels. You can check from your utility company if they have similar packages for their customers too.
You can’t run completely on solar panels but they will definitely reduce your energy consumption by close to 90% per month.
Why Must You Pay Utilities
It sounds funny but on countless occasions, people have asked me; “Why do I have to pay utilities?“
There are so many reasons why one must pay their utilities. That is not to say it is by force for everybody to pay utilities.
Its a Responsibility
As long as you live in a house, whether rented or own property and have access to all utilities, it is your duty to pay them as you use them.
You pay for what you are using so if you don’t use it, then nobody will bring you a bill. But if there is a bill, then you must pay because it is your responsibility to do so.
It can Impact Credit Score
Utility bills are not loans but trust me, not paying them can ruin your reputation doing business with other companies.
While your utility suppliers won’t report your payment history, they will definitely report the habit of not paying your bills. This will reduce your credit score significantly.
As far as utility is concerned, you must prepare yourself to make the best choices. You must also pick up little habits to reduce spending too much on utilities.
At the end of it all, just know that paying your utilities is another way to stay out of trouble.
If there is something you wish I could touch on, leave a comment below and I will gladly do that.