Electricity and water are two things one can’t live without. However, in recent years more and more individuals have noticed the upward tick of utility costs per household. Here are four ways to lower your utility bills this year.

Tip #1: Turn off the Air Conditioning when no one is home. The constant run of cold air makes absolute sense when you are occupying your place of residence. However, if you know you will be gone for more than 3 hours, turn off the A/C to spare the wallet. It may seem common sense, but you might be surprised how many families put it into practice.

Tip #2: Place a filled water bottle in the toilet tank. Each flush of the toilet uses up a few gallons of water. In order to save a bit of water per flush, place a standard sized water bottle filled with water inside the tank. It will save that much water per flush. Considering how many times the average person flushes the toilet over the scope of the year, that could save you a good amount of money.

Tip #3: Don’t run kitchen sink water. If you happen to be without a dishwasher and washing your dishes by hand is your only option, fill one side of the sink up with soapy water for the dishes to sit in. You will save water than by running the faucet continuously for the length of time it takes you to wash all the dishes.

Tip #4: Turn off the light. Do not leave lights on in rooms you are not occupying. An example might be if you plan on watching a movie in the living room, be sure to turn off lights in bedrooms located on a different floor. Be mindful of kitchen lights as well, since they tend to have more light sources than other rooms.

If you find implementing all four tips difficult, try one and stick to it for a month and see the benefits of being energy savvy. You just might find it pays.