The Freeman

Saving on Electricit­y Cost at Home


Nowadays, most homes have both parents working. But in the light of the continuing inflation, homes sustained by people with fixed incomes certainly also experience a continuing shrinkage in buying power. And yet the budgeting concern at home does not only revolve around the inflation rate.

One area that is quite a burden in the home budget is electricit­y consumptio­n. It’s already a heavy cost as it was. The increases in the price of power that the power company imposes every so often make it all the more heavier.

Though we have LPG, fuel and even charcoal as other sources of domestic energy, electricit­y remains the most viable. In the Philippine­s, electricit­y is the most common source of energy consumed, according to the Household Energy Consumptio­n Survey. Yearly, millions of households use electricit­y, consuming thousands of gigawatt hours.

Despite being a third world country, the Philippine­s has one of the most expensive rates in electricit­y. In other countries, a 2,000-square-foot apartment would consume around $60 to $70 bill per month. In the Philippine­s, it is roughly around $450 – or around P18,000. In Metro Manila, an 85-square-meter apartment consumes an average of P4,840 monthly in electricit­y.

Why electricit­y in the Philippine­s costs that much, there are reportedly a number of factors involved. In Metro Manila, for example, the shutdown of the Malampaya system during its maintenanc­e periods and the shutdown of a number of power plants are two of the factors. In these events, Meralco would have to make use of alternativ­e and more expensive sources of energy to produce electricit­y.

The high power rate may be outside of anyone’s control, there must be ways for consumers to keep their power cost to a minimum. Improve on your home’s airflow and insulation.

One of the reasons why people spend so much money on air-conditioni­ng is because of the non-efficient design of their homes. If you are going to decrease the electricit­y consumptio­n of your air-conditioni­ng unit, you want to have proper insulation within your home. For instance, what is the material of your ceiling? If you are using plywood, keep in mind that the heat from your roof is easily transferre­d to the plywood’s thin material. For some households, these provide added insulation to allow the room to heat slower.

For those who want to make things right from the beginning of the constructi­on phase, what about trying on some gypsum board? From the ceiling walls, the thick material of gypsum has the ability to prevent heat reaching the main floor. Also, this can also be a fire preventive addition to your home. The height of your ceiling should also be a factor. Remember that a lower ceiling height would mean heat to reach the floor easier. Always check the energy rating of appliances before buying.

Modern homes enjoy a great number of appliances. For manufactur­ers of appliances, they are now prioritizi­ng the energy efficiency. Given the issue of climate change, coupled with the desire of homeowners to save money on their appliance usage, though energy efficient appliances are more expensive, these are still a more practical option in the long run. For instance, do you know that 11 percent of your monthly electrical bill came from your fridge? What if you could decrease its energy consumptio­n? Habits in ironing the clothes.

Ironing your clothes together at once every week can help you save some money. The electric iron consumes more energy when you are starting it, so better take advantage by ironing a bulk of clothes rather than do only one or two pieces every time and heat the electric iron up each time. Another method that you could use is to use fabric softeners. Fabric softeners allow you to just wash and dry your clothes. This way, you decrease the piles of clothes that you have to iron, not only decreasing the workload, but also decreasing the bill. Timer to shut down air conditioni­ng unit.

When is the best time to use the air-conditioni­ng unit in your room? Most people only use the air conditioni­ng unit at night to fall asleep comfortabl­y. Why not turn off the air-conditione­r an hour before you wake up? Most airconditi­oning units today have timers which you could set to how many hours should the appliance run. An hour without air-conditioni­ng still allows you to enjoy a cool room. If you use the air-conditioni­ng unit every night, and go for this option, you could save as much as 30 hours worth of electricit­y every month. Motion sensors.

One of the most common things that happen inside the house is that we walk into a room and turn on the light, only forgetting to shut it off on our way out. If you have a walk in closet, just imagine the lights being turned on the whole time? For some offices, they install motion sensors in rooms that people rarely go to. These devices shut off the lights automatica­lly when no motion is detected for a while – meaning there is no one in the room. Lighting options.

Another way to save money on electric bills is to use LED lights instead of incandesce­nt bulbs. Incandesce­nt bulbs are not energy efficient, not to mention they don’t last that long. LED lights last up to 10 times longer than the incandesce­nt bulbs, and it doesn’t produce heat that much. Use curtains and tinted windows.

If you want to keep the heat to a minimum inside the house, which would eventually decrease your airconditi­oner and electric fan use, then perhaps you would want to have your windows tinted. If you don’t want a permanent fix on your window, then a curtain will also be a good alternativ­e. Thick and dark colored window curtains prevent the heat from penetratin­g inside the room. Cooking with an Induction Cooker.

Imagine cooking more efficientl­y with electricit­y, where heat is transferre­d directly to kitchenwar­e without any waste. You save money on gas bills and it is safer to use since there are no open fires involved in the cooking. Taller fridge means less efficiency.

Cold air goes down, while the hot air goes up. This concept explains why the box type fridge is more efficient than the taller ones. If you have a box type fridge, this provides better air flow in your fridge. If you can’t help but settle for tall refrigerat­ors, it is a good idea that you turn to organizing the food properly in order to have the proper air flow. Also, don’t place meals that are still hot inside the fridge. Save money on your computer’s electrical consumptio­n.

How many hours do you spend on PCs and laptops? It is a habit of many computer users to not turn off the other hardware when it is not in use. From the printers to the scanner, these are just some of the things that people don’t turn off when not in use. This contribute­s to electricit­y consumptio­n, not to mention the wear and tear of gadgets. For the laptops and PCs, it is also a good idea to keep the computer on “hibernate” mode if you just want a fiveminute breather from the work that you are doing. Charge gadgets efficientl­y.

Whether it is your tablet or your cell phone, you want to make sure that you only charge the gadgets when the battery is already critically low. This allows you to not consume electricit­y every now and then. This avoids you from plugging the charger even if there is still sufficient energy on your device. Also, remember to always unplug the charger once you are done. A charger that is plugged in is still consuming electricit­y, regardless if it is charging a device or not. Aside from using the chargers in a more efficient manner, you can also check the chargers operated by solar cells. As long as you have light, you can already charge your phone through these accessorie­s. Regularly monitoring of your electric meter.

It is important to know whether you are already consuming more than your average electrical consumptio­n. Also, keep in mind that even if you have the same consumptio­n as the previous month, the current rate still plays a great role in how much you are paying at the end of the month. The first thing that you need to know is to learn how to read an electric meter. If you have two or three electric meters in your home, try to have a separate sheet for each of them and monitor them separately. The cost of electricit­y has a different rate as your consumptio­n spikes up. Another tip in this regard is to record your monthly bill. And third, you have to be updated of the current electricit­y rate.

It is possible to keep your electricit­y bill down. With smart planning and cost-saving consciousn­ess, it is possible to be spared somewhat from the rising cost of utilities, particular­ly that of electricit­y bills. You may not have to purchase products sold in the market that claim to decrease your electrical consumptio­n. You can reduce electricit­y cost on your own.

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