Monday, February 8, 2010

Electricity Tips

Electricity cost takes on a regular chunk of our monthly budget. I pay almost Php2000 a month for my electricity consumption. Only recently, I heard over the news that there will be an increase in the cost of electricity. That will only mean that I will need to shell out more money for our electricity consumption which could have been spent on some other important things.

What is even more frustrating is when I heard of the news that there will be rotating brownouts in some areas of the country because of the shutdown of power plants that were supplying electricity to the Manila Electric Co.

What we can only do is to do our part in conserving electricity. So here are easy yet useful techniques from Meralco on how you can lower our consumption and, consequently, our electric bill.

General Appliances

• Keep your appliances well maintained. They operate more efficiently and use less energy when in good working order.
• When shopping for appliances, you can think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price. Think of it as a down payment. The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You'll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance. Refrigerators last an average of 20 years; room air conditioners and dishwashers, about 10 years each; clothes washers, about 14 years.
• Unplug all electronic equipment when not in use. Make sure you unplug a transformer or voltage regulator when not in use so it does not heat up and consume more electricity.


• Use natural light whenever possible. It is the best source of light and will help you save kilowatt hours. Strategically arrange your household in such a way that you can use natural light. Place reading tables near windows and put skylights in other working areas.
• Use lamps that provide direct lighting over desks, beds, and other work areas. Using them saves energy instead of the higher wattage lighting used to illuminate the whole room.
• Use low wattage light bulbs in areas that do not need strong lighting such as hallways, foyers and doorways.
• Turn off lights when not needed.
• Clean lighting fixtures regularly. Dirt lessens illumination by as much as 50%. One can work more effectively under good lighting which lessens the hours of operation of the lamps. In contrast, poor lighting will make someone work longer thus increasing electrical consumption. Regular cleaning of lamps will help provide proper lighting in your workplace.
• Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Although CFLs cost higher than incandescent bulbs, they use up only 25% of the energy being used up by incandescent bulbs. A 16-watt CFL produces the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb at a quarter of the energy cost. CFLs also last eight times longer thank incandescent bulbs.

Washing Machines

• Maximize the operation of your washing machine. Fill water level appropriate for the size of the load. If your washing machine doesn’t have different water level selections for different loads, observe washing in full loads. This is more energy efficient than washing two small loads. However, do not overload your unit. Overloading makes your machine work harder and inefficiently.
• Use proper amount of detergent. Too many suds may require extra rinsing which makes your machine use more energy.
• Do not over-wash clothes. Different types of clothes require different wash cycles. Delicate clothes do not take as long as dirty work clothes.
• Presoak soiled garments to avoid using additional wash cycles.
• When using your spinner, make sure that water is drained from the cylinder and clothes are squeezed to effectively spin-dry clothes.
• Properly place your clothes inside the spinner to avoid unnecessary vibrations which would prevent the spinner from functioning efficiently.

Clothes Dryer

• Sort clothes when drying. The dryer operates most efficiently when drying clothes of the same thickness. Dry heavy clothes such as cotton towels, jeans, or jackets separately from light clothing such as underwear and summer clothes. Light-weight clothes take less drying time than a mixture of items.
• Make sure that clothes are effectively squeezed before putting them inside the dryer.
• Run only on full loads, as small loads are less economical. However, don’t overload the machine. Air needs to be able to circulate around the clothes to properly dry them.
• Don’t over-dry clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it. If it has a timer, consider shortening the drying time.
• Dry two or more loads in a row and make use of the hot air that’s already in the dryer from the first load.
• Locate your dryer in a warm and dry space. A clothes dryer in a cold or damp basement will have to work harder to get your clothes dry.
• Clean the fluff out of the filter before every load to allow better air circulation. Regularly clean the lint from vent hoods and lint kits.
• Regularly inspect the outside dryer vent. If it doesn’t close tightly, replace it. You’ll keep outside air from leaking in, reducing heating and/or cooling bills.
• Hang clothes to dry on sunny days to lessen use of dryer.

Clothes Iron

• Iron large batches of clothing at one time to avoid wasting energy and reheating the iron several times.
• Dampen clothes moderately. Excessively moistened clothes take longer to iron.
• Do not overheat the iron. Set the temperature appropriately for the type of clothes to avoid scorching and wasting energy.
• Iron first those fabrics that require lower temperature to reduce warm up time, and then work up to those requiring higher heat.
• Switch the iron off in the last few minutes of ironing. The remaining heat will be enough to press lighter materials.
• Lessen your ironing hours by not ironing everything. By removing clothing promptly from the dryer/clothesline and folding them carefully, many items will require no ironing, or just a quick press. It is also unnecessary to iron towels, drip-dry shirts, etc.


jan said...

wow!!!! 2k????? man!!! that's a lot of pesos...whew!! sobra na tlaga meralco..kakaloka...tlagang mahirap ng mabuhay ha...

melissa said...

Here in the states, the prices have gone up as well. I have always been an electricity hound, so this is not new behavior to me, to save electricity any way we can. Great post.

Badong said...

About the ironing part. er, my whole family is guilty about that. I mean, we know that it is more ideal to iron clothes on large batches, but we are all too lazy to do that!

Margaret said...

These are some great tips for saving electricity. Like Melissa, I'm in the U.S. and we consume like absolute pigs as a nation. Here's hoping cheaper alternatives will surface sooner rather than later.

sundcarrie said...

Thanks for the tips I will have to try some of them.

betchai said...

great tips to save on electricity bills, it not only save us money but also helps green the earth :)


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