Families aren’t cheap, and neither are utility bills. Following are tips to help cut costs. Simply saving on utility bills can help you assemble financial packages for your young ones. Additionally, carefully managing such recurrent bills can make money—imagine turning a regular utility bill into $21k over twenty years. Here we’ll show how to Save Money on Utilities.
Monthly Averages, Potential Savings Maximizing Resources
Everyone has a distinct living situation. This writing will look at averages—these may be lower or higher than your monthly costs, so consider that. That said, utility bills for the average family in America are slightly shy of $172 a month. Such an average monthly utility bill will likely include the following:
- Heating And Cooling
- Trash Or Recycling
- A Landline Phone
- Cable, Internet, Or Some Combination
One expense that may not cover is your smartphone bill. Cell phones will cost another $200 a month if you’ve got two main lines and a few add-ons for the kids.
You might bundle that in with your cable or internet to help save money on utilities. It’s also possible to use a phone over internet or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to surrogate a landline.
Save Money on Utilities: Breaking It Down
VoIP is usually $25 to $40 a month or thereabouts. Landlines are about $42 a month. As a VoIP caller, you can save $2 to $17 monthly through VoIP, maybe more with a packaged deal. Traditional web costs around $40 a month, and cable costs about $45. So separately, you’re looking at about $127 a month plus your smartphone for $327.
Combining everything, you can drop that down to about $150 monthly through the right provider. Look at local options over national providers. Sometimes you should go with an option like a Cricket phone service. However, Cricket and other small providers only cover certain regions. If you travel a lot, it will not do well for you.
Garbage rates will be about $20 to a few hundred a month, depending on the garbage container size. $24.54 will be what you’re looking at for a 20-gallon garbage can. Meanwhile, average the cost of eight hours of heating/cooling at $4 a day, and you’re looking at $120 a month if you use it daily. Expect about $70 a month on water.
Electrical bills will be around 13 cents per kWh (kilo-Watt hour). Sites like these Texas Electricity Plans help you find specific costs. Determine which website corresponds to your local energy provider to find what you’re paying there. The average monthly electricity bill is around $110, $120 monthly. That generally includes HVAC usage. Speaking of HVAC, there are also ways to save more money on heating, especially during colder months.
For those living in places with warm climates, cranking up your AC can drive your power costs high. Alternative fuels may help you cut costs. If you use natural gas in Georgia or other states with no regulations on this particular form of fuel, you’d know the benefits of them. Make sure to compare the rates of various providers to get the most out of your money.
Now we’ve got enough information to project a basic spread of monthly costs and determine where you can “trim the fat,” as it were, and potentially even make money. In this generic breakdown, including your smartphone and internet, you’re at about $365 a month, or $4,380 a year.
You can cut down energy extensively through a 3.1 kWh solar energy array. Doing this will increase your property’s average value by between $15k and $30k. These rates depend on the size of your array and location. The installment of a solar energy array of 3.1 kWh will cost about $5k.
Increased Property Value
On average, expect to see double your expenses in property value increase, so you’re actually at a profit. Next, if your solar energy array can cover half your energy needs for the year, you’ll save $60 monthly. You’ve paid off the solar panel in under seven years through electricity savings.
If you can use solar panels for 100% of your energy, they’ll pay for themselves in three and a half years, and from there, they put around $120 a month in your pocket. Still, to see payback on this, you’ve got to properly install the panels and keep them working for a long time. So you get Return On Investment (ROI), but it takes a while.
Another great thing about going solar is the tax credits you’ll get. These can be claimed to pay federal income taxes. For example, if you’ve been using your solar power for a year between 2020 to 2021, you’ll be eligible for a 26% tax credit.
Tax credits were higher earlier to encourage more households to use solar energy. It was 30% in 2019. Moving forward, the amount is expected to drop. So, the earlier you start, the better.
Breaking Down Rainwater Potential
While around 71% of the planet is covered in water, not even 1% is usable for humans.
Water is a precious commodity that not many people in the world can access. That means having minor ways of collecting what precious water you can access is vital.
Harvesting rainwater is one of them. It’s a practical idea that saves costs and prevents the rapid consumption of groundwater. Rooftop rainwater harvesting is widely implemented in many countries worldwide, including Brazil, New Zealand, China, and Thailand.
You can cut water costs with an entire rainwater collection system (if that’s legal in your area), but it will take about twelve years in Austin, Texas, which gets around 35 inches of rain. Here’s how that breaks down: If you’ve got 1,000 square feet of rooftop, that’s 600 gallons. Annually, you’ve got the average potential in Austin to reap 21,000 gallons.
That water can be used for drinking, or it can be for bathing. You’re looking at 1,825 gallons a year—or three good rainstorms at a gallon of water for drinking per person per day. If everybody showers, that’s 125 gallons a day for five people, 250 gallons a day if five take regular baths. You can thoroughly bathe for between 84 and 168 days a year.
Now a 500-gallon storage tank is $380. You’re not going to need 21,000 gallons worth of storage. You’re looking at chronic depletion and refill throughout the year. For about $8,000, you can get over 10,000 gallons of storage.
So it would take twelve years to pay off a $10k investment if you averaged $70 a month on water, and rainwater could offset your average usage. It would take you six years for half the storage. Such a rainwater collection system can help ensure you’ve always got natural water available. Also, if you installed solar, you broke even owing to property value increases.
Maximizing Savings Through Careful Utility Management
In terms of trash and recycling, you can reduce how much you’re expenses. Get the smallest garbage size, exercise composting practices for a backyard garden, and repurpose cardboard.
Your energy, water, and smartphone bills will be your highest monthly costs. Altogether, including smartphone costs, it will be around $365.
Save Money on Utilities
With a ten-year plan, you can cut water and energy in half while increasing property value. Otherwise, you’ll want to turn off lights when you leave rooms, only use as much water as you need, and be careful to maximize waste disposal. Use a light bill calculator to know your usage and estimate the bill.
A twenty-year approach to utility conservation can cut an average $365 monthly utility bill in half. Continuously discipline your household to be conscientious, saving $2,190 a year and $21,900 in ten! That’s your child’s first car, community college tuition, or a home downpayment. All this through utility bill management.