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Saving money on utility bills in college

Managing bills can be challenging at the best of times. There are so many factors that impact how much they will cost and it can be difficult to predict future expenditure. For students bills are one of the most unpredictable outgoings (unless your super lucky to have them included in your rent). Living in a shared house you are not in complete control of your household consumption. But there are a number of things you can do to to ease the cost. 
  1.  Sit down with your housemates at the start of the year and talk about your expectations for consumption. Do this again when you get bills especially if it has gone up and discuss what changes can be made. Discuss who is in charge of which bills and when things will be paid and how. 
  2. Don't assume the previous tenants found the best deal. Seach for the best energy supplier at the start of your tenancy. Try using a comparison site like MoneySupermarket  to compare prices. Companies will try and lure you in with 'student' deals. But depending on your consumption they are not always the best value especially if you will be living there over the summer. 
  3. Set heating and hot water on timers. Most of the time you will be out of the house so during the winter it is economical to have heating and hot water set to a couple of hours in the morning and evening. We have it set for 7-9am and 6-8pm and this works really well. It also means that there is no arguing about heating being on too much or not enough as it is all pre-set.
  4. Give the dishwasher a miss. It is super easy to just chuck your pots in the dishwasher and be done with washing up but it costs a lot more in energy than washing up by hand. As you will only have your washing up to do it will be over and done with in no time. 
  5. Say bye-bye to stand-by. Try to ensure all communal appliances (and your own as well) are turned off at the socket after use. Though they don't use tones of energy for such a simple task of switching off it is definitely worth it. 
  6. Share laundry loads. If your house comes with a washing machine rather than everyone doing laundry individually and share loads and you wont use the washing machine as much. Saving you electricity and water. Also give the tumble dryer a miss and use an indoor airer or an outdoor washing line.
How did you save money on your utility bills in college? 

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