Saturday, September 14, 2013

With tariff revision looming, here are some tips to save electricity in your home

The government is planning another electricity tariff revision real soon. And for Malaysians living in Sabah, this will come as another quick slap on the face as we have just had our revision in July 2011.

When the happen, you can choose to get angry and complain, do nothing, or do something to conserve energy and save money.

Monitor and plan your energy usage

The biggest electricity users in the home tend to be heating (mainly for temperate countries) and/or air conditioning, water heating, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, lighting, and the refrigerator. When looking to save electricity, spend the most time focussing on these big energy hogs to get the biggest effect for your efforts.

Here are a selection of tips to help you to reduce your electricity consumption:

  1. Turn off your television, video, hifi, playstation, and other entertainment devices when they are not being used.

  2. Do not leave your television etc in standby mode. Devices can use up to 90% as much power in standby mode as when they are on, so it is a serious waste of energy when a device is left constantly on standby. 

  3. Replace all of your inefficient incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFL bulbs. Replace halogen spotlights with much more efficient and longer lasting LED Spotlights.

  4. Hang your clothes out to dry rather than using an electric tumble dryer. Ideally use a spin dryer before using the tumble dryer.

  5. Cook many items at the same time when your electric oven is hot.

  6. Use a microwave to reheat food or to cook small portions. Although a microwave uses a lot of power, it does so over a very short time and so saves energy overall.

  7. Purchase energy efficient appliances - washing machines, tumble driers, fridges etc. Although they usually cost a little more initially, the cost savings in electricity will cover that many times over. As an added benefit, efficient items are usually better made and last longer than inefficient models.

  8. Vacuum clean the condenser coils at the back or underneath your fridge freezer. Accumulated dust reduces their efficiency by up to 25% adding that cost to your electricity bill.

  9. Keep your fridge full, but not so full that air cannot circulate properly.

  10. Cool cooked food before you put it into the fridge.

  11. Do not put uncovered liquids into the fridge. Their evaporation will make the fridge have to work harder. 

  12. Heat only as much water as you require for drinks and cooking. If you keep forgetting, purchase an energy efficient eco kettle.

  13. Use a convection oven. A small fan inside circulates hot air throughout the oven, cutting cooking times by up to 30%.

  14. Don't keep opening the oven door. Every time you do so, your oven loses 20°C of heat.

  15. Put lamps in the corner of a room so that the light is reflected off two walls.

  16. Turn down the temperature on your washing machine. Heating the water uses the majority of the electricity, so by doing a warm wash instead of a hot wash, big savings are possible.

  17. Defrost frozen food in the fridge since this helps to cool the fridge.

  18. Running a full load in an efficient dishwasher will use less hot water than washing up by hand in the sink! Save money, save time, and save electricity.

  19. Boil water in a kettle rather than on a hob (flat metal shelf) to save 50-70% of the energy and to get your water boiled faster.

For those living in temperate countries, these are more pertinent, but it certainly is good for reading and for general knowledge:
  1. In the summer use ceiling fans on a fast setting instead of air conditioning to keep cool. In the winter, running the fans slowly will push warm air collected at ceiling height down to where you want it. (If the slowest setting on your fan is too strong, reverse the direction of the fan in the winter so that the accumulated warm air is blown up against the ceiling and bounces more gently down around the walls and into the living space.

  2. Turn down your heating system thermostat. For every degree you lower your heat between 60° and 70° F you can reduce your heating bill by up to 5%. Wear an extra layer of clothing in the house so that you stay warm. Turn down individual radiators - for example, 16°-18° is warm enough for bedrooms whereas 20°-22°C is more comfortable in bathrooms. Rooms that are rarely used can have their heating turned all the way down or off.

Source: SESB archive

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