Saving on Utilities

Tenant Tips: How to Save on Utilities
 
If you are working to make your paychecks go farther, cutting the cost of your monthly bills can go a long way. One place to look is your utility costs. In an apartment, you can't make the structural changes you can in a freestanding home to make the dwelling more efficient. However, there is still a lot that you can do to conserve power and water and cut down your utility bills. Make these strategies and tips part of your lifestyle to cut your bills and hold onto more of your money:
 
1. Watch that thermostat.
Apartments are naturally better insulated than free-standing houses, which already gives you a leg up. However, heating and cooling are the two activities that still use the most power in your apartment home. Going from 72 degrees to 75 in the summer can cut your electric bill dramatically. You should also turn the heat or AC down or off when you leave the house for the day. Prone to forgetting? Set an alert in your phone to always check the thermostat before you leave for work.
 
2. Cut out "vampire energy."
Energy Star says that consumer electronics like gaming consoles, TVs and stereos account for 15% of the average person's energy consumption every month. These devices all continue to drain energy even when they are off because they are still maintaining things like clock displays, remote-control functions and channel settings. To eliminate the drain, use a power strip and turn it off when you are done-small changes can make a big difference in energy usage in the long-term. This also goes for coffeemakers, cell phone chargers and other items that continue to pull a charge even when they are not in use.
 
3. Only turn on the taps when in use.
Do you let the tap run while you brush your teeth or rub soap on your hands? Try just turning it on for a burst to wet your hands or toothbrush to cut your water usage and your bill. You can also cut your water use by switching from baths to showers. A short shower uses significantly less water and power than a long bath in a full tub.
 
4. Let us know about leaky faucets.
If your tub or sink has a leak, let us know so maintenance can take care of it. A leaky faucet may not seem like it's using a lot of water since it only comes out a drip at a time. But, those little leaks can quickly add up. Every 4,000 drips is equal to about a liter of water. By having them handled quickly, you can cut out water waste. It's possible to DIY this project with a simple tool set, but if you don't feel comfortable with it, a maintenance crew can easily swing by and take care of it without making a mess.
 
5. Take advantage of passive heat in winter.
When it's cold outside, let the heat of the sun do some of the work for you. Opening your drapes during the day lets in natural light and warmth that can make your rooms more comfortable without relying solely on your heater. At night, close your curtains to help insulate the room and keep heat in. By making this a habit, you can conserve heat in your apartment home and see a dramatic drop in your bill. 
 
Once you become more conscious of your energy and water consumption, you will find that it's easier to break the tiny habits that can increase your use. By paying more attention to what you use and plugging small leaks, you'll enjoy a greener lifestyle while saving a bit of utilities every month.
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