Ways to Cut Your Apartment Utility Costs

Row Of Utility MetersEven living in an apartment can be costly when it comes to utilities. But, there are things you can do to avoid breaking your budget on your lighting. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t save money on utilities, but you will have to get a little more creative.

Take Care of the Energy Consumers

Look at your apartment and see what you have plugged in. Are you using it right now? How often do you use it? Even when items are turned off, if they are plugged in they are going to draw power and raise your electricity bills. It is estimated that $10 billion dollars is wasted every year on appliances and items that are plugged in but not being used.

You can also use smart power strips, which cost around $40 to buy, but can save you up to $100 per year. These keep your appliances and powered items from drawing excess power while they’re plugged in.

Work on the Thermostat

You can’t control the air conditioning unit or furnace that is installed on your property, but you can control what you set your thermostat to. In the winter, throw on a sweatshirt or wear a few extra blankets in bed instead of turning up the thermostat to a higher temperature. By lowering your thermostat, you can actually save up to three percent each year on your heating costs — or up to $189 per year. The same goes for the summer. Instead of turning on the air conditioner, open the windows, wear lighter layers, or use a fan. Try to avoid a top-level apartment if you can, because these stay toasty in the winter, but get extremely hot in the summer. And, because most of California enjoys 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher year-round, that top-level apartment could run hot all year.

Change Your Shower Head

You will need to check with your manager before swapping out showerheads. But once you get the green light, use a water-saving showerhead. If you hate waiting for the shower to heat up, try a ShowerStart adapter. This fits over your current showerhead and can help conserve the hot water. With a family of three in an apartment that could save thousands of gallons in water and decrease your water bill significantly.

Change the Bulbs

Energy-efficient bulbs can be used in your lamps and light fixtures throughout the apartment. These will cut your power costs each year. While they don’t save you hundreds of dollars, you will notice your power bill is a little cheaper.

These methods are easy to implement and when used in combination, could save you hundreds each year on your utility costs. Even though you’re not in control of everything while renting, there are things you can do to help lower your utility costs and stay in control of your monthly expenses.

Feb 2014