When you are in the market for a new piece of property - and especially with commercial property, it is imperative that you think out ahead of time what the operating costs are going to be. As utility bills rank high among your most expensive operating costs, it pays big to find ways to minimize them and save continually month on month.

But it doesn’t have to be like a complex math problem that only a professor could figure out. There are simple, basic ways to bring down utility bills - including these four:

Focus On Electric First

The average US family pays over $2,000 a year for electricity, with about half of that going towards heating and cooling. Businesses pay even more. Almost without exception, electric is your number one utility expense and, hence, offers the greatest opportunity to find significant savings.

Comparison shopping is key. Check out energybot.com to compare prices and terms for both commercial and residential electric providers. Also, if you are looking for a new property, consider how conditioned cubic footage, insulation, and local climate patterns will impact your monthly and annual electric bill.

2. Don’t Overpay For Gas

Not every home will be heated by natural gas or even have a gas stove. By eliminating the gas bill, you might save - but on the other hand, electricity may be more expensive than gas in some states. Take time to do the research before you decide to buy a home that will have a natural gas utility bill.

For those who use gas, the average cost is over $600 per year. Here is some help on the state-by-state averages, which differ even more than does electric.

Homes with smart thermostats can also save you big on gas because you never have to leave it on when you’re not at home - except for just long enough to create a toasty welcome home after work. Homes with a new, more efficient furnace (Energy Star approved), when filters are changed at least once every 3 months, will also cost much less to gas-heat.

3. Here’s How To Save On Water

Your water bill isn’t likely nearly as high as your electric or gas bill, but that’s no reason to ignore it. There are ways to save here as well.

For example, low-flow shower heads and faucets with aerators waste much less water. Instant how water will prevent you from watching water pour down the sink while you wait for it to heat up.

And systems that capture rainwater for use in the garden and lawn can save you significantly in high-rainfall regions or in low-rainfall regions where water prices are (therefore) higher.

4. Get Lower-priced Internet Service

Internet service in now considered “basic” enough to be called a “utility” bill. And it is often one of the most expensive utilities that businesses and families use.

Businesses and those who make their living working online can’t afford to “go cheap” on Internet just to shave a few dollars off the bill. The fastest fiber optic Internet connections typically cost around $150 a month.

If you can afford to go with slower, but still “fast enough,” Internet, that’s one way to save. Otherwise, getting your own modem instead of perpetually renting one from the Internet provider will usually take $10 off your monthly bill. Bundling cable and/or phone service with Internet may save you $50 or more in many cases. 

Paying attention to the details of why you are paying what you are paying for utilities each month may not be your idea of “fun,” but it can save you a lot of money - and that’s about as fun as it gets. Take time to examine these four utilities in relation to your current or future property and take steps to maximally save!