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Home Energy Saving Cheat Sheet: Slash Your Water, Electric and Gas Bills

CNET's experts have found effective ways to pocket more money each month.

USA type B plug lies on dollar banknotes
Don't let utility bills empty your wallet.
Aleksandr Bunin/Getty Images

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

It's no secret that utility bills are a big recurring expense. In the US, the average family should plan to spend close to $300 every month on electricity, gas, water and sewer -- but that price can fluctuate greatly depending on region and usage. 

Here's a breakdown of average monthly utility costs, according to Move.org:

  • Electricity: $117.46
  • Natural gas: $61.69
  • Water: $45.44
  • Sewer: $66.20

While this is the average, utility bills are expected to skyrocket this winter. Experts and utility companies warn that bills may increase up to 32% during the colder months. The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association warns that heating costs alone could jump more than 17% compared to last winter, outpacing inflation and hitting the highest prices in more than 10 years. 

CNET experts have followed these rising bills over the last several months and have written numerous articles with tips and tricks on how to slash these energy bills. We know saving money is critical right now and want to help American families prepare. Luckily, there's effective ways to pocket more money each month, and most of these methods are minor lifestyle changes you can make today. 

How to save on electric and gas bills

Probably the most important utility and the largest utility bill for Americans is the electricity bill. You may have noticed a spike in electricity bills this year, the reason being rising natural gas prices. Natural gas accounts for about 38% of the country's electricity, so these bills are naturally connected.

Natural gas prices are expected to jump 28% this winter, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Considering many household appliances use natural gas -- including stoves, ovens, dryers, fridge, gas-powered furnaces and more -- which can really add up on your monthly bill. 

Here are some tried and true ways we've uncovered to help you lower your electric and gas bills:

For renters who may not be able to make any large-scale adjustments, try these 10 apartment-friendly energy-saving tips. 

How to save on water bills

Between showers, sinks, toilets, dishwasherswashing machines and yard work, you probably use more water than you think. The average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water daily, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Altogether, this equates to about $1,000 per year on water bills. Your monthly bill might be lower or higher than this, depending on your location, water usage habits, water-saving tech and other factors.

It's important to save on bills where you can -- namely, saving on your water bill. Here's how:

water pouring from faucet

So many of your appliances require water. Luckily, there are ways to cut down and save. 

Madhourse/Getty Images

More tips to save money during the winter

Winter can be a costly time of year for many Americans in colder climates. Between fire pits, fire places, furnaces and more, heating costs spike this time of year. Here are a few more tricks to help you pocket more cash:

For all your heating information, explore our winter utility FAQ

Now playing: Watch this: Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money
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More tips to hang onto for saving money during the summer 

Summer will be here before you know it and that means turning the air conditioning back on. On average, it costs between $75 and $175 per month to run a central air conditioning system and cool a home in the US. For many Americans in the South and South West, summer is the most brutal time of year for expenses. 

Here's how to beat the heat without putting a dent in your wallet:

Keep checking CNET's Home Tips section for more advice on saving money and getting things done around the house.