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A Guide: How to Lower Your Utility Usage

Was your utility bill last month too high? If yes, here is the perfect guide for you. Learn what renovations you can make to live more efficiently and sustainably while saving money.

Nhung Tran
Nhung Tran

Whether your last month’s utility bill was too high, you are looking to make your home more energy efficient, or just want to increase the value of your property, there are many ways to sustainably renovate your home. While you’re at it, you can even make strides towards lowering your energy usage and ensuring that you are living more efficiently.

With all of the strange weather conditions we have seen, it is clear how important it is to be cautious of our ecological footprint. Not to mention the fact that you can save some money while increasing the value of your home. Here are some changes you can make around your home to reduce your carbon footprint.

Electricity and Gas

This bill always turns out higher than you would expect! It may be difficult to pinpoint the sources of its high usage at first. It starts with the little changes, to a few big changes if you really want to dial back your utility spending.

Mert Kahveci via UnSplash

1. Turn Off Lights When Not in Use

Be sure to turn around and turn your lights off when you leave the room. As an alternative, you could install smart lights, inside or outside, that sense when you enter the room, or ask your smart device to turn the lights on and off for you.

Dan LaFebvre via UnSplash

2. Unplug Devices When Not in Use

“Phantom load” is the electricity consumed by devices that are plugged in but not in use. Look out for devices that you wouldn’t use throughout a typical day. For instance, if you only drink your coffee in the morning, try unplugging your coffee machine when you’re done with it.

3. Keep Your Thermostat at a Level Temperature

Depending on the season and time of the day, set your thermostat in accordance with your preferences to account for exterior temperatures and away hours. Increase the temperature during cooler months and decrease the temperature during warmer months. The same applies to the times of the day that are cooler or warmer. When you are away from your home, set back your thermostat by 5-10°F from your usual temperature. Implement these changes when you leave the house for work, or install a programmable thermostat like Honeywell or Google Nest to schedule these fluctuating temperatures.

4. Adjust Fridge and Freezer Temperature

Like your thermostat, changing your fridge and freezer temperatures by a few degrees can significantly change your utility amount. Fridges and freezers are usually automatically set to temperatures that are a few degrees lower than necessary. Set your temperatures back by 2-5 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Use the Cold Water Cycle for Washing Your Clothes

Cold water is just as effective as hot water for your laundry. Skip the excess heat and make the switch to cold water.

6. Install Energy Efficient Appliances

Household appliances can use plenty of energy. Look at the EnergyGuide Labels on appliances when shopping as they reveal how much energy is consumed by the appliances so you can easily compare models.

7. Install a Solar Energy System

Go solar! Install solar panels to eliminate your electricity bill or even make some money by selling electricity back to your regional grid. This would make a significant impact, both on the environment and your wallet.

8. Sealing Cracks on Windows, Doors, and Appliances

Prevent heat from flowing out of your home by caulking these gaps to reduce draft, so you do not have to turn up the heat during the colder months or turn on your air conditioner during the warmer months.


1. Fixing Leaks

Drips and leaks may seem small but can eventually collect a significant amount of water. Check your shower heads, faucets, and toilets for leaks and fix them to prevent an unexpectedly high water bill.

Zac Gudakov via UnSplash

2. Install low flow shower heads

Install efficient shower heads that are low flowing. This single change has the potential to reduce your water usage by thousands of gallons per year.

3. Install low flow toilets

Similar to the low flow showerheads, low flow toilets are a worthy environmental and monetary investment. A newer, more energy efficient toilet saves you from excess water usage and repair costs, compared to older, less efficient models.

4. Garden wisely

Beautify your home while staying energy efficient. When gardening, choose water saving containers, so you don’t have to water your plants too often and can more easily avoid overwatering them. Build a rain garden to slow down storm runoff while improving your home’s aesthetic. Native plants are also an excellent choice as they are adapted to local weather conditions and need less maintenance.

At Tellus, we want to help you be more environmentally conscious while saving money. Whether you are a landlord or a new homeowner, we want to provide you all of the resources that we can. That’s why we have partnered with TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit allows you to browse its website or app to find local Taskers to help you with any home projects, whether that be changing your faucets or installing green appliances.

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