Household expenses represent a breakdown of general living expenses, including rent or real estate tax, food, utilities, insurance and other home-related fees .
What Is the Average Cost of Household Bills
Utilities are a staple of life. They ensure that your household functions properly. They are a prerequisite for your home to be comfortable and pleasant to live in. But utilities can be costly as they contribute the most to your monthly household expenses. According to a study by Energy Star, the typical U.S. family spends $2,060 on average per year for home utility bills. This figure depends on the size and quality of the living space, the surrounding climate, and the usage behavior of residents.
Utilities fall into six categories:
- Heating and Cooling
- Electricity or gas for heating/cooling, lighting and general electrical needs
- Trash and recycling
- Landline phone
- Internet and cable
How energy efficient is your home is also an important factor. For example, insulation and windows make a big difference in your utility bill as old single-pane windows can allow air leaks and contribute to heat loss. Energy can easily escape if there’s no insulation to protect the work of your HVAC.
Tip on Reducing Your Household Bills
Here are a few hassle-free ways to save money with the potential to save a significant amount over time.
Tweaking your usage
Adopting more energy-efficient habits can trim your energy bill 25%. For example, stick to warm or cold water when you do laundry and cut your per-load energy usage by at least half.
Adjust the temperature
Set your fridge to 38 degrees and your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees for your food to still be fresh but without these appliances having to work as hard. Give your thermostat a nudge by putting the temperature 10 to 15 degrees lower when you’re asleep or away. Doing so for eight hours can lower your annual heating and cooling costs by approximately 10%.
Eliminate phantom waste
Use smart power strips to cut off the power when the devices aren’t in use. To give you a better idea, a plugged-in espresso machine wastes as much energy in a year as a LED light bulb that is on for 365 days, so you want all your devices unplugged when they are not in use.
It’s never been easier to find a cheap electricity provider. With decentralized electricity markets, you can browse for different rates and packages. This move alone can save you several hundreds of dollars off your annual energy bill as long as you choose the best option.
By washing full loads of dishes and laundry you will also lower your water bill. Take shorter showers and replace your shower head with a more efficient one. Fix leaky faucets.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
About 13% of a home’s energy costs come from appliances. When buying new models, look for the Energy Star label. Such a refrigerator uses at least 15% less energy than one without the label and as much 40% less than models from 2001. Lighting accounts for about 12% of a home’s energy budget, so changing to energy-efficient bulbs and remembering to turn lights off when they’re not in use can also save money. Swapping light bulbs with smart bulbs will only amplify these savings.
Make your home more energy-efficient
Leaky windows can account for 10%-25% of heating costs due to allowing the heat to escape, which is why it is always a good idea to invest in double-pane windows that do a better job in insulating your home. Check and fix seals also on doors. Do an energy audit to identify more areas where you can improve the energy efficiency of your home and increase your savings.
Takeaway– Knowing the average household utility costs in your region and learning about your consumption can help you reduce your use of energy and save money on your household bills. Keeping the lights on isn’t cheap but it can be cheaper with an energy-efficient lifestyle.