How To Save Money By Reducing Your Water and Sewer Bills

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under On Utilities

Water is one of the most abundant and vital substances on the planet, however this does not mean that we should be wasteful. Water has to go through a lengthy and expensive process to finally be released for our consumption. Letting that precious water run down the drain is a green light for those water bills to creep up.

Sewer charges are more often than not primarily charged on how much water is used. If you start making an effort to cut back you can make a huge difference to the annual payment of these bills.

The average household uses the following amount of water, broken up into 5 areas:

1. Bathing and showers ~ 80 gallons
2. Laundry ~ 40 gallons
3. Washing dishes ~ 15 gallons
4. Cooking, drinking & miscellaneous – 55
5. Flushing – ~100

A total of 250 gallons of water is used in the average household per day. That’s an incredible amount of water if you can imagine the amount of households. So what can be done to save on water?

Taking a bath contributes for a large percentage of water used for washing. Try limiting to showering only, even a long shower uses a considerably lower amount. Everyone wants a power shower, but is this luxury really necessary, or simply wasteful? There is no need for the water to be running during using the soap and shampooing hair. Just remember that every saving soon adds up. This applies to brushing the teeth and shaving also.

Are your faucets leaking? Make sure that washers are replaced when required. A faucet constantly leaking sees a significant waste of water over a period of time.

When using your clothes and dish washing machines, try to fill up the load, don’t do a partial load wash. When washing dishes at the sink, try not to rinse every dish / piece of crockery individually.

Maybe you are proud of your lawn and like to keep it well-maintained and watered. However, sprinklers use a hefty amount of water and should not be used as a matter of course. The grass on the lawn is hardy and can stand an extended period without water. If you must water the lawn, wait until later in the day to avoid evaporation. A great alternative to the sprinkler would be to use a soaker hose, they are more economical and are more effective for absorbing into the roots.

Car washing is another strain on water use. Try to wash the car in steps with only using the hose to remove the soap in between scrubbing the car.

Most people are aware when water is being wasted but don’t worry as they know more will magically appear from the faucet. Make a change now, save your money for a rainy day and pave the way for a brighter, more abundant future.

Which Household Appliances Are Emptying Your Purse

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, On Utilities

Every household has the essential appliances to keep family life running smoothly. Roughly every decade sees a new addition to the collection of appliances further adding to that ever increasing electricity bill. Why do we need so many appliances?

As technology progresses and the average person becomes either busier or lazier we opt for another appliance to do our dirty work or for additional entertainment..

Some appliances such as the cooker, washing machine and air-conditioning are essential for comfortable living but how much energy are they using? The A.C in a standard household in warm climates will make up over 50% of the electricity bill. Air augmentation is a huge factor in fuel bills and is a necessity, however efficient use of the system could bring down the price.

Make sure you are not cooling or heating parts of the house that are not in use. It is easy to turn the system on thinking you will need the air quality in other rooms but if you are not using them it is simply a waste of energy.

Well-fitted, double-glazed windows will insulate the home better and prevent cool air/heat escaping.

Keep you A.C system well maintained, this will assist in the optimum working of the system. It is advisable for any systems over around 15 years to be replaced as they are less likely to run efficiently and the newer models are designed to use nearly 50% less energy than the older models

If you are considering buying a new unit, make sure you get appropriate advice as to the most suitable unit for your home. An ill-fitting unit could lead to reduced efficiency and unnecessarily high fuel bills. The unit should have a programmable thermostat as standard with a timer built in, these factor allows the accurate optimum use of the unit. Paying for professional advice will be an economical choice in the long term.

Fridges and freezers can be guilty of racking up the electricity bill. If your appliance was purchased after 2001 however, there is more chance of it being more economical. If you are thinking of buying a new refrigerator or freezer you would be well advised to go for the Energy Start Label. Best to go for an appliance without the fancy ice dispensing features to reduce energy consumption.

Clothes dryers are high on the energy guzzling scale. However, gas dryers are far more economical and eco-friendly with using around 15% less energy than an electrical model.
Make sure the filters are kept clean on a regular basis to help with efficiency in use.

It is true some appliances use far more energy than others and it is up to us to think about what our core needs are and ways in which to reduce unnecessary use to save money and potentially help save the planet.

Painless Ways To Save Money By Changing Your Telephone Usage

February 12, 2009 by  
Filed under On Utilities

We all need a telephone, some would say they can’t live without it. In a world lead by technology, we use our phones not just as a means for communication but as an extension of our bodies.

This being said, the amount we spend on the telephone and more recently cell phones is becoming astronomical. This is not just down to simply calling our family and friends but all the other activities we have at our disposal such as the internet and messaging. The fact is, if we had never had the cell phone in our lives we would in fact be able to survive without it, heck we did once long, long ago.

Many people are looking to reduce outlays each month and one of the major bills being the phone bill, is a good place to start.

Firstly, think about the payment plan you have. Do you really need a thousand free minutes and the 500 free texts per month? If you don’t and I’m sure most don’t, you are probably paying an additional payment for nothing. When do you use your phone the most, is it in the morning, at night? Go for a plan that suits your talking hours and the amount you realistically need.

Ring tones are another “luxury” that we just don’t need, yes we could live without it (and quite happily for many). Think about the core elements of the phone facility that you need you will probably find you will save money. When you first took out the contract, it probably seemed like a good idea, but in reality the facilities may just be superfluous.

If you are getting quite a reasonable deal with your thousand minutes, maybe it would be more economical for you to get rid of the landline. If you have already paid for the talk-time, why not use it and cut out an additional expense?

If you are going for the complete cell phone option, it is advisable to get a hands free kit as you will be spending more time with strong transmission equipment at your head.

Get the absolute optimum service for your needs. These days there is so much competition that you can afford to barter your price. Many companies will take down their price or throw in an additional service if you say you can get it elsewhere. There is no shame in haggling.

Another little ploy that often goes unnoticed in the fine print and has you shelling out more than you need to are cell plans that round up to the nearest minute. Make sure your plan rounds up to the nearest second, this will add up at the end of the month. Read the full terms and conditions for any little clause that will insidiously increase your payment

If you have children with cell phones, it could be beneficial to go for the pre-paid vouchers. This way they cannot go over the allocated amount and will have to wait until they can receive the next instalment – a good lesson in discipline.

Do we really need to talk as much as we do? Many find themselves talking about something or nothing so they can make a journey go quickly or a boring errand seem more interesting. If these little chatting sessions can be trimmed down to necessity, you could save your money for a rainy day or blow the lot on a fantastic holiday. Either way you will be turning pointless spending into a nice little money saving scheme.

Easy Ways To Save Money Using Natural Gas

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under On Utilities

Using natural gas to heat and power appliances in your home is an efficient and cost-effective use of energy. Around 22% of the energy consumption in the U.S comes from natural gas with the gas itself being produced in the U.S and Canada.

Natural gas is a very clean burning fuel and is colorless and odorless. For safety reasons, the characteristic smell of gas comes from a chemical substance called merchantman which is added just before the gas is dispensed for use throughout the country.

Gas, which is most commonly used as a heating fuel is stored in large storage systems on a property and released as required. The gas is used to heat the radiators, water and fuel the fireplace giving heat and hot water to the household. This is an efficient fuel for these purposes being cheaper than using only electricity as a means of heating. Having gas as a source of energy in the household greatly adds to it’s value.

The furnace must be maintained on a regular basis for optimum return. The boiler and pilot light must be safety checked at least once per year as well as the fire. These checks are crucial for safety as carbon monoxide, which may be leaked, is a killer. However leaks are very rare and the systems are designed for the utmost safety. Maintaining the system also sustains efficient use of the system.

To avoid unnecessary heating, make sure there are no drafts in your home for heat to escape. Double glazing can also contribute highly to a reduction in your fuel bill with no heat lost through the windows. This is, initially, an expensive outlay but more than pays for itself over time.

The position of your radiators can immensely impact on the heat provided to the room. A radiator underneath a window, against a cold wall or beside a door can reduce effectiveness. The size of a radiator should be proportionate to the size of the room.

Gas run cookers are very cost-effective due to only using the heat you require as opposed to a heated plate where energy can be wasted. The amount of flame can be adjusted to the size of the pan or wok that is being used. Care must be taken not to let the flame circle the outside of the cooking implement, this is wasting energy.

Try to go for a combination boiler where you are only using the hot water you need. Having the water boiling endlessly is an expensive and wasteful form of acquiring hot water. Again this type of boiler is an preliminary expense but the efficiency of use recoups the initial outlay and more.

With the rising costs of utility bills and the depletion of fossil fuels using your gas efficiently is a must to help you save energy and save money.

Learn How To Save Energy And Save Money By Cutting Down Your Electric Bill

February 10, 2009 by  
Filed under On Utilities

Utility bills are becoming increasingly expensive. Are we using more power or are the prices getting astronomical? Either way, in the current climate, we must find ways to save energy and save money. The electricity bill is one of the main culprits and a prominent expense. Cutting down is simply a matter of putting words into action and keeping a close eye on unnecessary power usage.

Keep the following points in mind on how to save money on electric bills. Before you know it you will be eco-friendly without even noticing.

When you are out of the house, do not leave the heating or air conditioning on. This is a grave waste and is helping no one. It may be a little uncomfortable on returning home but within a short time or turning on, you will be fine.

When it becomes very hot in summer try setting the thermostat to around 80 degrees and augment with fans. This combination will give you the comfort you need and can save you in excess of $600 per year. For added effectiveness, be sure that the ceiling fan is blowing downwards as opposed to upwards, this will make a considerable difference on the air quality.

Keep your air-conditioning clean. This also makes a big difference to it’s optimum performance. Make sure the filters are clean and when necessary replace them. The registers must also be kept clean around the home. If you are feeling over-heated take measures to cool down such as a cool shower, eating salads and drink plenty of cool water.

Another essential measure for saving on electricity is to insulate the home, especially the attic. Around 40% of the cool air can be lost in an un-insulated attic. It is possible to save in the region of 10% of the electric bill by doing this.

There are energy saving light bulbs on the market in the form of a compact fluorescent light bulb. These light bulbs use far less energy but give the same amount of light with less heat being emitted. They last much longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, 8-15 times longer, and can fit into any light fitting with a universal fixture. Always remember to switch lights off when they are not required.

Try to wash your clothes on a lower temperature, many washing powders accommodate a lower temperature and are roughly the same price – you will save far more in the long run. Similarly, wash your dishes on an economic setting without the dry cycle. Remember only use these machines with a full load.

A great way for saving further costs is to paint your house white or a light colour. This will reflect the heat and give you a much cooler house.

If you are not using an appliance, turn it off. A standard TV on standby uses around 24% of energy as when it is turned on fully. This is a similar figure for other appliances commonly used in the household.

Every action you take to save energy adds up to a huge contribution at the end of the year. Not only are you saving money but helping to save the planet.