The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the average person uses 64 gallons of water per day. This level of use costs $570 annually. Many homes have their water heaters set at 140 degrees F, which is higher than most people need. The DOE reports that at this temperature, your water heater could be wasting $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 annually in demand losses. Standby losses refer to the energy lost from keeping all that water hot, on “standby” for when you need it. Demand losses, also called distribution losses, refers to the energy that’s lost after the hot water leaves the tank and travels to the faucet. Larger homes require additional pumps to keep the water hot as it travels through the pipes. You can save money by turning your water heater down to 120 degrees. Mr. Rooter Plumbing has a video tutorial on how to adjust your water heater’s temperature.
The EPA reports that the average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water per year just on leaks. And 10% of households have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water each day. Taking time to fix leaking faucets and toilets can help reduce your water bill each month and ensure you’re not wasting water needlessly. And, the EPA says it could save you 10% or more on your water bill.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average bathroom faucet uses 2.2 gallons of water per minute when it’s running, while a WaterSense-labeled faucet uses 1.5 gallons of water. The EPA developed the WaterSense label to make it easier for consumers to find water-saving faucets and accessories. Either way, letting your bathroom faucet run while you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your hands uses a lot of water over time. So turn it off.
Your refrigerator is one appliance that’s running 24 hours per day. Fortunately, newer refrigerators are much more efficient than they used to be. However, there are still ways to make your refrigerator more efficient and cut down on its electricity usage.
Heating costs can get astronomical during the winter, especially if you live in a cold or damp climate. However, there are plenty of ways to spend less and still stay comfortable.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that air conditioning accounts for 10% of total global energy use. However, that’s the average. Hot, humid climates rely on air conditioning far more than cooler climates. The EIA also notes that in the Deep South, air conditioning makes up 27% of total monthly expenditures, while in the Northeast and Midwest, it makes up only 5%. So someone living in Atlanta, Georgia, needs a lot more air conditioning than someone living in Kennebunkport, Maine. No matter where you live, there are a few ways to reduce air-conditioning costs and save money on your monthly bill.
Your dishwasher uses a lot of energy to heat-dry dishes at the end of the cycle. You can lower your dishwasher’s energy usage by turning off the heat-dry setting and letting your dishes air-dry instead.
A “phantom load” refers to the energy an electronic device uses after you turn it off but while it’s still plugged in. According to an analysis conducted by NOPEC, a nonprofit energy aggregator in Ohio, the annual cost of phantom loads can add up.
Planting a home garden lets you reduce your grocery bill each month by growing your own produce from inexpensive packs of seeds. According to the National Gardening Association, a well-maintained garden yields 1/2 pound of produce per square foot per growing season. A 600 square-foot garden, which costs an average of $70 to set up and maintain, can yield 350 pounds of produce worth around $634. Even if you don’t have room for a big garden, you can still start a container garden, which can help trim food costs.
According to a 2020 report by Decision Data, the average cable bill in the U.S. is around $217 per month. That’s higher than many of the utilities you depend on for basic living, including water and electricity. Cutting this expense out entirely by canceling your television could save you a significant amount of money very quickly. One alternative is to cancel cable and instead sign up for a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu that carries the shows you enjoy watching the most. The most expensive Netflix plan costs only $15.99 per month. And a comparable Hulu plan costs only $11.99 per month (but be careful — you can start racking up charges on Hulu quickly as they try to entice you to buy other add-ons, such as live TV and premium channels). Or you can sign up for a bundled package for even more savings. As an example, you can get Disney +, ESPN, and Hulu for $12.99 per month.