Budgeting for your apartment includes rent, cable, internet, and the ever-changing electric bill.

It’s nearly impossible to predict how much your monthly bill is going to be at first. So much goes into the final amount, like usage, insulation in the apartment, and the price of the electricity per kilowatt.

Even if you ask the prior tenants what their bill averaged, that doesn’t mean yours will be the same. Chances are, you’re not going to match their electricity use.

But there are some tricks you can use to keep your bill as low as possible. Whether you’ve lived there a while or are just starting out, these five tips will help you save on your monthly utilities.

1. Swap Out Your Lightbulbs

Most of us never think twice about the bulbs in our rooms until they stop working. One of the quickest ways to start saving money on your electric bill, though, is to invest in energy-saving bulbs.

The investment you make in these new lightbulbs is going to come back to you with the money you save. Eco-friendly bulbs generally use 25 – 80% less energy than their traditional counterparts.

They also last a lot longer. Odds are, you’ll be out of that apartment before the bulbs need to be replaced.

If you keep the old bulbs safe while you’re living there, swap them back in before you move out. Take the energy-efficient bulbs with you to use in your new place.

2. Hook Your Electronics Up Smartly

Smart technology is affordable and easy to use, no matter how tech-savvy you may or may not be.

Start with something as simple as a smart power strip. It works like a surge protector, but it shuts down the power when your device goes into standby mode. Standby power is easy to forget about, although it counts as a hefty chunk of your utility bill.

Other smart technology devices include things like:

  • Using Alexa, Echo, or another AI system to turn your devices on and off
  • Programming smart timers to adjust your air conditioning unit
  • Monitoring your security systems and smoke alarms from your phone remotely
  • Turning off your electronics after they’ve been inactive

Smart technology makes our daily lives easier. More importantly, though, it helps combat the effects of electricity on the environment. You can do your part in reducing your carbon footprint and save money, too.

For more about using smart technology in the apartment, read this article by Christopher Todd Communities.

3. Replace Your Air Filter

If this is your first time out on your own, you might have completely overlooked the need to replace your air filter.

Don’t be intimidated! It might seem like a daunting task, but once you get up there and do it once, you’ll see how easy it actually is.

Changing air filters at least every three months is essential for your health and your utility bill. When these filters clog up with the dust and debris floating through your home, it makes it harder for the AC unit to run. This causes it to use more energy and increases your power bill.

Worse, though, is the effect the clogged filter can have on your health. When you’re breathing in dust and other allergens, it messes with your breathing. Clean the filter, and you’ll reduce your allergies and chances of getting sick.

4. Cap Your Water Heater Temperature

Apartment complexes with multiple units in one usually use a remote water heater. If that’s your situation, you can’t do much about the temperature unless you ask your landlord.

However, if your water heater is in your apartment, you can cap the maximum water temp. A hot shower is wonderful, but the tank will keep the water at a set temperature 24 hours a day.

When you’re not home, it doesn’t make sense for the water heater to be working at its max. While you’re gone for long periods, such as going to work or away overnight, turn the heater’s temperature down to 90 – 100°F.

To make sure it’s ready for your evening or morning shower, turn it back up to about 120°F when you get home.

5. Upgrade (or Adjust) Your Appliances

You can find almost any appliance in an energy-efficient model today. Talk to your landlord if your major appliances are way out of date. They might agree to replace them with an eco-friendly model.

If not, you still have ways to save with your appliance use while you’re there. Look for the Energy Star label on anything new that you buy. Switch out your showerhead to lower the flow of water. Save the old one and swap it back out when you move.

Air dry your dishes when you use the dishwasher. Dry your clothes on a hanging rack or clothesline. Use the cold water setting on your washing machine unless the item calls for something else.

These tiny little tweaks in how you use your appliances can make a big dent in your electric bill.


No one wants to give money away without it going to a good cause. If you’re not smart with your electricity use, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Instead of letting your hard-earned cash go out the window (sometimes literally), use these tips. They’ll reduce your electric bill every month and save the environment, too!