Renting an apartment for the first time can be an exciting thing, but if it’s your first experience paying for utilities like gas or electricity, you need to know what you’re signing up for when you initial your lease.
Now if you didn’t know, your utility bill consists of both electricity and gas, with electricity usually accounting for 60 percent of the bill. According to research gathered by For Rent, the utility bill for an average one-bedroom apartment will cost around $107 per month, with electricity accounting for $60 and gas accounting for $47. When looking at a two bedroom apartment, the utility bill jumps up to $132 per month, with electricity costing you $76 and gas costing you $56.
These prices though will vary depending on your location, energy use, the insulation of your home, and how many occupants are living with you.
Your Apartment’s Electric Bill
If we focus on just electricity alone, your bill will cost you roughly $720 per year in a one bedroom apartment. In a two bedroom apartment, it’ll usually be a bit more than $900. This is why it’s imperative that you seek energy saving options. Otherwise, you might tally up a hefty bill.
An electric bill is made up of a combination of energy reliant devices and appliances. Your HVAC unit makes up a giant portion of your energy use. Close to 40 percent of your energy use will come directly from your heating and cooling. Your refrigerator is another appliance that takes up a big portion of your energy bill. Then when you begin to include all of the gadgets you use (e.g., microwave, stove, electrical outlets being used, etc.), your energy bill is bound to grow.
When you’re living in an apartment it may feel like you don’t have a lot of options for changing your electric bill. You can’t invest in as many energy efficient kitchen appliances and you likely can’t change the way your apartment is insulated. But luckily there are ways for you to lower your apartment’s electric bill. It simply comes down to being efficient with your usage, and staying up to date with the latest technological innovations that make energy saving more convenient.
Accessories that’ll reduce your apartment’s electric bill
Below are some tools you can use to keep your bill more manageable, which will make your condo living experience even that much better.
- Use smart power strips: Smart power strips, like the ones offered by TrickleStar, are a great way to reduce the phantom load’s impact on your electricity bill. These devices reduce wasteful standby power used by electrical devices that are left plugged in all the time. By plugging in your TV, computer, and any other high energy usage device to a smart power strip, you’ll lower your electric bill for your apartment every month.
- Use LED light bulbs: Once you begin using LED light bulbs, you’ll never turn back. They represent another great option that’ll help you see long term savings on your energy bill. Even though there might be an upfront cost, in the long run you’ll be grateful for making the investment. Your apartment electric bill will be much more affordable every month, and after a few years, the lights will more than pay for themselves.
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Simple habits will go a long way
When you first move into your apartment, thinking of ways to lower your average electric bill will probably not be high on your list of priorities. But that’s ok, because we’re here to remind you of the benefits your wallet can see from just a couple of simple habits.
- Take shorter showers: Believe it or not, but taking quicker showers is actually the way you’re supposed to do it. Increased water exposure can actually lead to dry skin and hair, which is why you shouldn’t be in the shower for any more than five minutes. Not only will taking shorter showers help your skin and your energy bill out, it’ll also lower both your water and carbon footprints.
- Maintain your air filters: Remember, your HVAC system is a huge contributor to your apartment’s monthly bill, as it accounts for 40 percent of your energy usage. Maintaining your air filters will help your AC unit run much more efficiently, which will lead to savings in the long run. When you neglect this simple maintenance task, your AC unit’s performance will steadily decline, while your energy use will steadily increase. This will only increase your monthly bill. According to Energy.gov, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 15 percent.”
- Adjust your thermostat: Obviously your locale will play a big factor in this decision. You might be tempted to save on your energy bill, but chances are keeping your apartment warm during the winter, or cool during the summer will be much more of a priority. With that said, you can still take advantage of spring and fall, which are the more neutral climate seasons that offer a prime opportunity for you to save. During spring and fall, temperatures usually fall to a comfortable place in most states. Which means that you can crack open your windows and raise your thermostat a bit, leading to energy bill savings.
- Do your chores: Doing your chores is a must, but doing them at the proper time, can help you save on your monthly energy bill. Throughout the day there are peak and off-peak hours. Your goal should be to do your chores during those off-peak hours, which are usually early mornings and afternoons. By strategizing your chores, you’ll end up saving on your monthly bill, while also becoming efficient at cleaning – essentially killing two birds with one stone.
- Use warming appliances during convenient times: Piggybacking off the last point, it’s best to also aim to use heating appliances at night during off-peak hours. If you’re going to use the dryer, maybe look at putting in your load early in the morning before you head off to work. Anytime you can delay using a warming appliance during the day – do it. There’s no need to add more work to your AC by making your apartment warmer.
There’s plenty more simple tips you can utilize that will help you lower your monthly energy bill. Check out our blog “6 energy hacks for renters,” which will equip you with even more tips that’ll help reduce your energy bill.
There’s no need to continue paying top dollar on your utilities, knowing very well that you can take matters into your own hands, and greatly reduce your apartment’s monthly energy bill.