Create a Utility Bill that Doesn’t Suck

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Peach Head ShotChris Peach: I now know why my Dad had an obsession with turning off lights, closing doors, and unplugging random appliances in our house – Utility Bills Suck! They’re expensive and they take up a large chunk of our monthly budget. I can still remember going to the mailbox when I was a kid (it was one my chores and I was not paid for it – I know, borderline child abuse) and getting our electric bill from Arizona Power Supply. I would carefully set it down on the table and wait patiently in the other room because I knew it would be coming soon….

“Chris & Sheila, get in here! What the heck are you guys doing, and do you think money grows on trees around here?!” 

-Peach Sr.

Now that I am an extremely mature adult :)…. I get the privilege to open up my own utility bill from the same electric company my Dad battled with…..and it still sucks.

However, one thing we decided to do (in addition to telling the kids to turn off the lights) was to manage our utility bill the best we could. Kayla is going to share with you our top 4 ways to save on utilities so your bill doesn’t suck as much and is a bit more budget friendly.

This is the time of year when I dread getting my utility bills in the mail each month. The cold winter air means that my utility bills are much higher than they were just a couple of months ago. This is just another reason why spring and fall are my favorite times of the year. Nice weather = Lower Utility bills. 🙂

4 Ways to Lower Utility Bills so they No Longer Suck

 

1. Sign-Up for Bill Averaging

Many utility companies offer bill-averaging or what some companies call an equalizer plan. With this program you will pay the same amount for your utilities every month all year-long.

Usually you have to apply for the program once a year and at your renewal each year you will have to pay the difference if you go over on your energy usage. If you used less energy than anticipated, you will receive a credit on your billing.

This is an awesome tool for you to use for your monthly budget because you won’t have to worry about the month-to-month fluctuations of your utility bills, which is simply one less thing you need to worry about or estimate each month inside your budget. Win.

 

2. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat doesn’t take a lot of time or work, but it can pay off big time. Programmable thermostats will allow you set different times of the day so you aren’t heating or cooling your home when the house is empty, but then turning on before you get home so your house is just like it was when you left.

Click image below to get the exact same Programmable Thermostat we use in our home

They are also extremely easy to install, but just in case you may want to make friends with your handy neighbor (the one with all the cool tools).

 

If you are the gadget-lover, then you can  take this a step further by installing a “smart” thermostat that you can control from your phone. This is a little more expensive to invest in than a regular programmable thermostat, but it’s much more convenient if you don’t have a set schedule. For example, let’s say you’re going to be out of town for a week and you don’t want to pay for the high utility costs that you aren’t using. If you had a “smart” thermostat, you could program it from your smartphone to turn on, off, or whatever you prefer prior to you getting home.

 

Click image below to get the Smart Thermostat you can control from anywhere in the world

Smart Thermostats have built in WiFi and allow you to control your thermostat from your app

3. Use Energy Saving Devices

There are a lot of energy saving devices available on the market today to help you save on your next utility bill. Some of the easiest things you can do are installing plastic on your windows in the winter to help insulate your house for the colder climates or applying a tinted film to your windows if you live in a hotter climate to decrease the effects from the sun beating up on your A/C bill. You can and should also install energy saving light bulbs whenever an old bulb burns out, and rolling up a towel and placing it in front of your doors or windows to help seal cracks that let heat and air conditioning out of your home.

 

4. Use the Cheaper Power

Many utility companies will have off-peak and on-peak times. Usually on-peak represents when the power company is supplying the most power and therefore the rates are higher. This is often Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

However, during the off-peak times of nights and weekends, the rates could be up to 75% less than during on peak hours. If you get in the habit of only using your major appliances during the off peak hours, this will result in massive savings throughout the entire year.

Chris Peach Pro Tip: We were able to lower our annual utility cost by 33% and then maintain that savings each and every year thereafter. There is a bonus trick that you will not find anywhere else when it comes to saving large amounts of money on your utilities. Click below to see the post.

 

Ultimate Money Hack to Saving Money on Your A/C

 

No matter what you do, we can all agree that utility bills suck. Now you can go out and try these 4 utility-saving strategies to start lowering the amount they suck the money from your bank account…… and your life.

Hey, I Want to Hear Back from You!

Do you have any tips, tricks, or ideas to lower your utility bills each month that I didn’t mention? I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below and share whatever you can 🙂 If you have a link to a relevant post, go ahead and include it. There are millions of dollars out there floating around in overpaying on utilities. Let’s take some of that money back!

 

Kayla Signature

 

 

If You Like it, Please Share it!

As always, I first want to thank you for reading this blog because this means you are reaching for awesome with your money! I will keep putting content out there for anyone to gobble up and implement right away, however if you could help me out by sharing this post on your favorite social media platforms, it would mean the world to me ! Just click on any of the social share buttons at the top or bottom of this post and you’ll be giving me a virtual fist bump, high-five, and a pat on the back. Thank you again and again!

Be good to yourself, your friends, your love, and BE GOOD TO YOUR MONEY!

-Chris Peach

11 Comments

  • I like the tips & will have to try the bonus tip this summer. I will also need to see if our utility has peak & off-peak rates. I’ve seen the averaging advertised, but not familiar with this rate plan.

    Reply
  • If you have APS and solar, you can’t do the equalizer plan, which I kind of miss. I also tried the pre-cooling the house trick and my house must be super leaky, because it didn’t hold the temperature all day…it barely held for an hour.

    Reply
    • You CAN do the Equalizer Plan if you have APS. However, if you add solar panels, then I am not 100% sure if that will work since you could be getting a negative bill (meaning you are sending the utility company power from the solar panels)

      Reply
    • Maybe you can find the leaks and figure out how to seal them? It would cost some money up-front to do that, but it would really pay off in the long run when your heating and cooling isn’t leaking out of your house.

      Reply
  • Check with your utility provider too, they may have wireless programmable thermostats available if you join some of their metering programs. BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) has them for their Peak Rewards program for free (with free installation), but it lets them shut off your AC 2x a year during peak usage times (they warn you 24-hours ahead of time).

    Reply
    • Interesting! I didn’t know about that option as it’s not available with my company. Thanks for the suggestion, Jim!

      Reply
  • It’s amazing how much of a difference those minor changes can make your you and your bill. Thanks for the advice!

    Reply
    • Thanks Drew for your comment! You’re exactly right – a little bit every single day/month/year goes a long way over time 🙂

      Reply
  • Chris, I want to thank you for your insight into saving money on your electric bill; however, I would just like to tweek a few things since my husband and I are both in the electric savings arena.
    #1. Never opt for an Average Billing Plan. You will get the surprise of your life if and when you ever decide to leave one company for another with a lower rate. As you get your bill every month, part of the balance will be held back (as part of the averaging process). We have know too many people that wanted to change companies when their contract was up and got the “gotcha” moment with their final bill because all the years that they were on “averaging” rolled forward when they decided to switch providers.
    #2 Great idea !! Some of the companies, i.e. Stream Energy, etc, offers a 30 month plan with a very low kw rate plus you receive a FREE (a value of $299) Honeywell Lyric Smart Thermostat. The also offer the SkyBell Video Doorbell for security or the Skydrop Water Controller for water conservation. But the Smart Thermostat will save you $$$.
    #3 In addition to these great suggestions is that some natural gas companies have a program to insulate your attic absolutely FREE. Just check with your local provider and make application.
    #4 Shop the best rate….but wait….some will quote you the kw rate and some will quote you the average kw rate. Look on your bill for your average rate. If it does not have one, take the total costs of your bill and divide it by the kw used. This will include all Delivery charges from your server, the kw costs of your provider and taxes. Compare Compare Compare. Choose a company that will only charge you a flat rate no matter how many kw used ! Most often, companies will shoot you a low rate, then as you use electric, another line appears on your bill about every 500 kw used…This can add up fast. And don’t fall for the free nights and weekends…the average rate on your bill will tell you that you got nothing free ! Pay as you go, flex billing with no contracts, etc. always look cheap going in but after 30 days your rate can double. Don’t always think that the one company that has been around forever is the best value. New friends plans will be the best and the best value is usually a 24 month plan. Also, if you switch in the fall or early spring, you will get great rates and your renewal will be less per kw 1 or 2 years from then.

    Reply

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