How to Save on Utilities in Your Apartment

how to save on your utilities

There are some expenses that many of us don’t mind paying. A pint of your favorite ice cream, a night at a hotel while on vacation, a new sweater, etc. And then there are utility bills. The more one can save on utilities, the better. There are plenty of ways to increase energy efficiency and save on utilities.


Utility costs, like everything else these days, have gone up. For example, electricity prices increased by nearly 16%, between the fall of 2021 and the fall of 2022, according to NPR. They were projected to rise still further through the winter. As utility bills continue to rise, renters should take note. “A common rule of thumb for renters states that no more than 30% of your income should go to rent and utility payments each month,” notes banks and financial services company, SoFi.  

Understanding your Utility Bills

Understanding your utility bill

Before figuring out what to budget for your utility bills, you need to understand which you are reponsible for. To do this, review your lease. Landlords typically pay for trash collection and water bills. As a tenant, you will most likely be responsible for cable, internet, gas, and electricity.

The first step to lowering your utility bills is to track and monitor your usage. Read your utility bills carefully. The length of the billing period can range from 28 to 31 days. This can explain why your utility bills are higher in one month. 

A key point on your utility bill is how much you used. For example, on your electric bill, that would be kilowatt hours. Again, prices have risen, so if your usage is going up, that’s a double whammy. Compare the number of hours used to recent months and past years. The aim is to recognize your energy habits and find ways to increase energy efficiency.   

Simple Changes to Save on Utilities

Before you start sitting in the dark and taking cold showers, there are some simple changes you can make which won’t impact your life and still reduce your utility bills.


Here are a few changes:

changing energy efficient light bulbs
hand washing dishes
turning down fridge
unplug appliances
replacing hvac filter

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Hand Wash Dishes

Turn Down the Temperature

Unplug Unused Items

Replace Your HVAC Filters

Use LED bulbs rather than traditional light bulbs. Although this requires you to put out some money at the onset, the increase in energy efficiency will quickly make up for your initial costs. You can even periodically light candles and enjoy a nice aroma while you save on utilities.

Use your dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand. It uses less water. However, when it comes to large items such as pots and pans – do it by hand. They take up a large amount of space in the dishwasher leading to excessive usage.

Adjust the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer. There’s no need to keep the temperature of these appliances at the lowest (coldest) setting. Move it up a few degrees, and save on electricity.

Unplug appliances when they are not in use. When appliances are plugged in, they consume energy. “… some studies estimate that up to 20 percent of your monthly energy bill comes from these “energy vampires” that literally drain energy slowly from your outlets.”

Regularly replace your HVAC filters. The standard recommendation is to replace HVAC filters every three months. A clean filter leads to better airflow and allows your system to work less hard. The landlord may handle this – ask them to do it regularly.

There are many other changes you can make to improve energy efficiency if you change your energy habits and take advantage of technology.

For example, only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full. As much as you want to wear your favorite jeans when you hang out with friends, running the washing machine when it’s not full is wasteful and adds to your utility bills.

Remember, when your parents wagged their fingers and said, ‘turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room.’ Well, they were right. Smart lighting can help in case you forget. They can adjust the lights to an appropriate level, thus increasing energy efficiency.

Also, putting on an extra pair of socks or thermal clothes helps as you can adjust your thermometer to a lower temperature. Pulling the shades down during the heat of the day in summer will keep your air conditioner operating less frequently. A smart thermostat can automatically adjust room temperature and can be controlled from afar (no need to keep a room cool/warm) if you are not home. Smart blinds can help you get the most out of the sun.

Major Changes to Save on Utilities

Other more significant changes can increase energy efficiency even more. They may require the approval of the landlord or their acting.

Upgrading to smart appliances is sure to increase energy efficiency. These appliances typically cost more. Landlords will understandably be reluctant to swap out a working appliance for a new one. However, perhaps you can contribute to the cost. Depending on how long you plan on staying in the apartment, the increase in energy efficiency and reduction in energy bills could make the change worthwhile.

Air escapes and enters via door frames and windows. That’s why insulation is so helpful. There are reasonably priced products that can be installed to increase insulation. They’re mobile and can be installed without impacting the structure, so you would not need the landlord’s permission.

These changes and other more significant changes will incur a cost to begin. Many states offer rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. Review what your state has to offer. And be prepared to make the case to your landlord that the changes will ultimately save on utilities for them and their tenants.


Many people want to conserve less energy, particularly since energy costs are rising. Some simple changes, adjusting energy habits, and focusing on energy efficiency can help. Don’t be overwhelmed by your utility bills, implement the strategies and see your expenses go down.

Suggested Posts

Sustainable Apartment Buildings

Sustainable Apartment Buildings

Consumers make choices based on a host of factors. The media’s increasing focus on the environment and sustainability has led to many people feeling concerned

Read More »