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How to save money on your utility bills

We need a phone to communicate, internet to browse, electricity to live and gas to cook. In a way, it’s our life line. Expenditure on these utilities can’t be completely done away with. However, by spending smartly we can chop-off the excesses and save for your future.

We need a phone to communicate, internet to browse, electricity to live and gas to cook. In a way, it’s our life line. Expenditure on these utilities can’t be completely done away with. 

However, by spending smartly we can chop-off the excesses and save for your future.

Yes, it’s possible! Let take it one by one.

Electricity bills

This is probably the biggest expense of the lot. You can save on electricity bills by using energy-efficient household appliances. Air-conditioners, TV or washing machine come with an energy-efficiency rating.  

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (a government body) for instance, gives star rating to air-conditioners based on its Energy Efficient Ratio (EER). Higher the number of stars, more cooling it provides per unit of electricity used. While you initially fork out a higher amount for buying energy-efficient appliances, in the long-run, you stand to benefit from lower monthly bills. 

Similarly, by switching to LED or CFL instead of incandescent bulbs, you save on electricity bills. LED and CFL bulbs also tend to last longer. 

This is probably the biggest expense of the lot. You can save on electricity bills by using energy-efficient household appliances. Air-conditioners, TV or washing machine come with an energy-efficiency rating.  

Cell phone bills

Do a bill audit and check you usage pattern. Is the plan in sync with your usage pattern? Unlimited calls, texting and data are nice to have, but might unnecessarily add to your costs. Downgrade your plan, if you are not an ardent user of data or phone.

Leverage your home wi-fi for streaming movies, podcasts or music instead of the phone. 

Check if some value-added services are unknowingly subscribed to. And shop around for the best offers (including family deals) and consider switching service operators or plans to cut costs. 

Cooking gas


LPG cylinders, PNG pipe lines, electric cook top or solar cookers? 

A study found cooking in induction cook top to be more economical than electric coil cook top and LPG stoves (non-subsidised) but not the subsidised LPG stoves (see chart). 

In the past, many have switched from LPG cylinders to PNG pipe lines and reduced their cooking bills. Solar cookers have zero running costs, but have its set of challenges. So, do the math to figure out what’s best for you.

Cable bill

You can lower your DTH or cable costs by choosing a bouquet of channels from a single broadcaster who offers the best discounted pricing. For example, a bouquet of nine channels might cost Rs 63 if taken on a-la-carte basis, but only half of it if bought together. Unsubscribe from channels you hardly watch.

Also, consider moving to players like Netflix or Hotstar that offer on-demand content over the internet. These are currently available at lower prices (as compared to DTH) and just needs a high-speed Wi-fi connection at home or mobile data.

Go Green

You have lots to gain by changing your lifestyle. For instance, increasing the AC temperature by 2-3 degrees during summer can save immensely on electricity bills. 

Not the least, use solar chargers for powering your phones. It’s free!

Techsavvy

Electricity and gas utility companies often offer discounts for making online payments. In addition, there are many cash back offers given by e-wallets and banks (for internet banking). Search for the best deals. If you are prone to missing deadlines, automate the payment process to save on penalty.

Takeaway

Energy-efficient appliances, bill audit and a bit of research can help you save on the utility bills. Not the least, being in tune with nature. 


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