12 Practical Tips to Decrease Electrical Bill
The inflation rate reached 4.5 percent in May this year, which was considered the highest in the last two years. For someone who earns a fixed income, this means a plunge in buying power. If you think that your budgeting concern ends with the inflation rate, you have to think again. The next time you receive utility bills, try to look at your electricity bill. We won’t be surprised if you cringe at your electricity bill every month.
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. In 2011, 21 million households made use of electricity consuming 8,134 gigawatt hours of electricity.
Despite being a third world country, the Philippines has one of the most expensive rates in electricity. In fact, if you will look at other countries, a 2,000 square foot apartment would get you around $60-70 bill every month. As for the Philippines, it is roughly around $450 or give or take around P18,000. If you live in Manila, an 85 sq. meter apartment will consume an average of P4,840 monthly charge in electricity alone.
To understand why electricity in the Philippines costs that much, here is the rate of our electricity bill as of December 2013. The generation cost runs around P9.10/kWh, while VAT, and other expenses would run around P4.15/kwh. Why did it reach this rate? According to reports, there were a number of factors to blame. First would have to be the shutdown of the Malampaya system during its maintenance period, and the second event would have to be the shutdown of a number of power plants. This shifted Meralco to make use of alternative and more expensive source of energy to produce electricity. The question now is, how do we keep the power rates 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 home. 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, they 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, this is still a more practical option in the long run. For instance, do you know that 11% of your monthly electrical bill came from your fridge? What if you could decrease its energy consumption?
Habits in ironing the clothes
Do you know that ironing your clothes all at once every week can help you save some cash? It is because of the fact that the iron consumes more energy when you are starting it. Another method that you could use to save energy 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 condition unit an hour before you wake up? Most air conditioning units today have timers which you could set to how many hours should the appliance run. An hour without the air conditioning unit still allows you to enjoy a cool room. In fact, 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.
One of the most common things that happen inside the house is that we walk in 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.
One of the things that you can have 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, not to mention 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 air condition 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 windows prevent the heat from penetrating inside the room.
Cooking with an Induction Cooker
Imagine cooking more efficient with electricity, heat is transferred directly to kitchenware without any waste. You save money for gas bills and it will be safer to use since there are no open fires involved when 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 we spend on PC’s and laptops? It has been 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 we don’t turn off when not in use. This contributes to the wear and tear of our gadgets, not to mention also consume electricity. For the laptops and PCs, it is also a good idea to keep the computer on hibernate mode if you just want a five minute breather from the work that you are doing.
Whether it is your tablet or your 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.
Regular monitoring of your electric meter
It is crucial to have an idea if you are already consuming more than your average electrical consumption. Also, keep in mind that even if you have the same consumption as last month, the current rate still plays a great role to 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 2-3 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. The second tip that can be useful in this scenario is to record your monthly bill. And third, you have to be updated of the current rate.
Is it possible to keep the electrical bill down? With smart planning and practical implementation of these tips, it is possible to have a breather with the rising cost of utilities, particularly that of electrical bills. You don’t need to purchase products sold in the market that claim to decrease your electrical consumption. These easy to follow steps are already enough to give you the savings that you’ve been looking for.