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How To Lower Your Chicago Utility Bills This Summer

Published by Scott Hershman

Saving money during the warmer weather months is easier than you might think. Some of these changes can even lead to more sustainable and healthier habits at home.

As of April 2022, the average cost of utilities in Chicago is slightly above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, piped gas rates are 13% cheaper, while electricity rates are just 2.9% more expensive than the rest of the country. As the weather warms, those prices are likely to increase as well.

We want you to protect your home’s budget as much as possible. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of ideas that can be used to help you save on your different utility bills.

  • Gas
    • Occasionally cook meals with electrical appliances like a crockpot, microwave, or pressure cooker.
    • Plan meals you want to cook ahead of time, so you spend less time using kitchen appliances.
    • Eat a few meals each week that don’t require the use of your stove or oven. Some examples of these meals include sandwiches, salads, gazpacho, or overnight oats.
  • Electricity
    • Turn off all lights and unplug unused electronics when you’re not home for an extended period of time.
    • When temperatures are mild during the day, open your windows and blinds to let natural light and airflow through your living space. This can help you keep your place cool and save money on electricity during the City of Chicago’s peak electricity times.
    • During warmer summer days, you’ll want to take a dramatically different approach than the idea above. Your priority should be to keep your space cool for the sake of your comfort and well-being. To do this, close all blinds and curtains to prevent the sun from heating up your home. Make sure your air conditioner is turned on and operating at peak efficiency.
  • Internet and Phone
    • If you find yourself facing overages on your monthly internet bill, then you should consider venturing out to your local library or cafe to use their wifi. This will help you save on your internet bill and your electricity bill as well.
    • If you own a smartphone that does not have unlimited data, make sure you’re connected to wifi as much as possible. Alternatively, you can completely turn off cellular data on your smartphone or choose which apps get to use cellular data when you’re not on a wifi network.

Paying your utility bill on time can save you from late fees. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay your bill on time, there are programs with your utility company or your local government designed to help you with monthly costs. For example, Peoples Gas offers payment plans to customers that need to break up their utility costs. The City of Chicago also offers a payment relief program that reduces the monthly electric and gas rates for low-income households.

For more information on programs like this in your area, call your local utility company or city hall to see what types of assistance they offer.

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