How to Fight the High Utility Costs of Retirement

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We have gone through all our utilities looking for ways to cut costs.  I have some concern that are utility bills will rise this year, despite our cost cutting, just because we are at home more of the time.  Our younger daughter did go off to college this fall, which will have the affect of reducing our utility bills.  More time at home could offset the effects of our cutting utility costs and our daughter being gone.

Heating

Heating is the largest home energy cost.  We will heat our home for more of the day this year.  We plan to offset this by:

  1.  Keeping the thermostat at 60 degrees as much as possible.
  2. Using a space heater to avoid turning up the thermostat.
  3. Never turning the thermostat above 68 degrees.
  4. Opening window coverings on the east side during the morning and the west side during the afternoon to get heat from direct sunlight.
  5. Putting storm windows on two basement windows.

Water Heating

This cost should drop this year.  With our daughter gone, we will have less showers, less dishes washed, and less laundry.

Computers and Electronics

I’m not sure how losing a resident vs spending more time at home will effect the cost.  We are getting a smart power chord do reduce some of our “vampire” electricity costs.

Lighting

I’m also not sure on the less people vs more time trade off will affect our lighting costs.  We do plan to try to keep them low by switching to LED light bulbs.

Cooking

This cost should be slightly lower this year.  With two of us home, we cook less often and do leftovers more.  We’ll use the microwave and the crock pot, and generally avoid using the stove.

Water and Sewage

This could go down.  The additional cost of using the toilet more because we are home will be offset by less showers, less dishes, and less laundry.  I’ll try not to flush every time I urinate.

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