Archive for April 2011

How to fight back against high utility bills and save hundreds every year!

It seems like every utility bill I was getting lately, whether it is for electricity, water, gas etc., was higher than the previous one. So much so that utility bills were absolutely killing my budget. They were starting to eat away into other items’ allocation.

I realized this can’t go on like this forever. Something had to change.

I started by gathering my last 6 bills from each service and utility, including: -Gas (Enbridge)
-Hydro and Water (PowerStream)
-TV, Internet and Telephone (Rogers)

I basically did my own energy auditing and assessment to find areas where I can target for savings and efficiency.

I began by reviewing every bill, and comparing it to the previous ones and seeing what the trend was. In most cases, I was paying more every month.

Next, I looked at reasons why I was paying more, and in a lot of cases, I had to call the utility companies to find out. In some cases, I spent close to an hour going over every detail and line with them. It is amazing how many surprises and savings you can uncover by simply talking to them at length.

Next came the actual application stage, where you start renovating, repairing and changing things around the house to reduce your energy, gas and water use. This could be a leaky faucet, new insulation, an automated thermostat etc. You can achieve double digit reduction in energy use if you employ all the available resources out there.  The internet is full of sites with tips and advise on how to make your home more energu efficient and save on your utility bills.

Once I went through all these steps, I then moved on to take advantage of real time tracking tools, which let you check your energy use, updated to the hour, and sometimes to the minute. This helps you do an energy self-discovery, to find out whether the changes you made are translating into real reduction in use and eliminating any costly losses.

After I was done from auditing my utility bills, I moved to the other entertainment and communication bills, mainly phone and cable TV. I went through all the packages and bundles I had, and got rid of a few of them. Mainly, I noticed I had a lot of duplicates or features I no longer needed. You see, as we move on, life styles and tastes change. Which is why you should review your cable and phone packages every one or two years, to make sure you are not paying for anything extra or something that you needed before, but don’t now.

Finally, sit down and wait for the bills, and hopefully be able to reap the rewards of savings from all your auditing efforts.

If you have any other tips on how you went about reducing your energy and other home utilities bills, please share them in the comments section.