10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Summertime Utilities

The following is a guest post contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of small business finance. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Although they may not be your largest monthly expense, your utility bills can certainly make life tough — particularly in the summer months when we seem to use more water and blast the air conditioner. Since things are heating up right now, it is a good idea to prepare for rising costs. Below are 10 simple ways to save money every month on your utilities.

  1. Turn off the light as soon as you leave a room.
  2. If you will be away from the house for more than two hours, turn off the air conditioner.
  3. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
  4. Water your lawn at dusk or after dark, as the heat of the sun will evaporate the water.
  5. Use energy-saving, fluorescent light bulbs.
  6. Hand wash large, bulky dishes to save room in the dishwasher.
  7. Use cold water to wash your clothes. Cold-water detergent is now available in all major grocery stores.
  8. Don’t linger in the shower.
  9. Keep the thermostat at a reasonable level. Using ceiling fans can help the comfort level.
  10. Don’t use an automated sprinkler system. Instead, only water your lawn when it looks thirsty, preferably with a soaker hose.

While the tips above won’t make you a millionaire, they will help you save money on rising costs this summer. Much of this advice can be applied to your life year round. However, it is during the warmest months that most of us really start to resent the incoming utility bills.


  1. She missed a big one: Hang out your laundry to dry. No need to run the dryer, using gas or electricity and also heating up your house to make the air conditioner run more.

    If you use a dishwasher, turn off the “heat dry” cycle for the same reasons.

    We don’t have a/c, but our local utility offers some nice discounts to those who do and who sign up to have their a/c rotated on and off based on demand during the summer — might be worth looking into in other areas, too.

  2. Seconding ceiling fans–that’s the one thing we’re going to use some stimulus money to purchase. And in the winter, we can reverse the direction and keep hot air circulating to cut down on heating costs.

  3. Is it ok on your house to let it get really hot if you’re away? Someone told me one time to at least set it at 90 degrees so the house wouldn’t get too hot. I’m unfamiliar with AC as I grew up in AZ and we had evaporative coolers. We ran it all the time.

  4. One thing about turning off the lights when you leave a room: if you have CFLs you really shouldn’t turn them on and off frequently. They burn out a lot quicker if you do that, thus defeating the purpose of the long-lasting light bulbs. Try to use as much daytime light in your house without turning on any lights and if using CFLs, only turn them on if you plan on staying in the room for more than half an hour.

  5. These are good tips however I noticed that people in America really underestimate the cost of their transport.

    Do you really need such large vehicles ?

    It`s like burning piles of $100 banknotes every single day.

    Look at how much you spend on petrol.

    This is a real leak in your budget.

  6. These are great tips for any time of the year. Just substitute heater for airconditioner 🙂

    We keep our blinds closed or partially closed on hot days. It helps keep the house cool (or warm in winter) and reduces the air con costs.

  7. Automated water systems save a lot of time, use less water than conventional sprinklers, and you don’t have to remember to move them or turn them off.

    Hanging your clothes instead of using the dryer saves more money that any five of these combined. If you want wrinkle free then put them in the dryer for ten minutes and then hang them. If you do this with multiple loads and leave the socks (undergarmnets) in there by the time the third load is over everything is dry and done. If you hang your clothes instead you raise the humidity, which in the dryer parts of the U.S. is always helpul.