Image courtesy of Chiao-Chi Liang

Utility bills can be a cost which makes up a large part of our outgoings each month and they are something which we cannot do without. This means that we end up paying out a lot of money for these and it can feel annoying that it has to be so much. However, most of us do not want to do without water, electricity and possibly gas and so we need to have them. There are ways to keep costs down without having to put in very much effort.

Water is more difficult to reduce the cost of as you cannot change supplier. This means you cannot compare prices and switch. However, if you are not metered it is worth investigating whether it may be cheaper for you to be on a meter. There are online tools where you can calculate this and it is certainly worth looking into as you could save a lot. If you are metered then you need to think about your water use and consider cutting back on hose pipe use, deep baths and repair any dripping taps etc so that you use less. You can also fit water saving devices to loos and shower heads to cut back on usage.

Electricity and gas tend to be the utilities that we spend most on and can potentially cut back the most on. It is wise to start by comparing suppliers to see whether you can find a cheaper one as you could end up saving a significant chunk of money. Do this regularly as prices will vary so the place you pick may not always be the best value for money. It takes very little time to do this compared with the amount that you can save and if you go through a cash back site you may be able to get some money back when you switch as well.

Cutting back on use can also help and there are many things that you can do. Insulating your house and water tank better during the winter can save money as well as keeping radiators uncovered and closing curtains over cold windows. Switching things off when not is use can become an easy habit to pick up and can save money too. Often it can just be a case of being more thoughtful when you are using power and making sure that you are not using more than necessary.

Using renewable energy can help as well. Installing solar panels is a big upfront cost, but they should pay for themselves over time and you will see the reduction in electricity bills right away. This is not such an easy thing to do, but it could be worth looking into to find out how much it would cost, how much you would save and how long it would take you to make back the money that you have invested in them. As panels are getting much more efficient, you may find, as long as your roof points in the right direction, that you could do very well out of them.