We have become so reliant on electrical appliances that it has become synonymous with everyday life. Unfortunately, electricity is not free and, depending on its usage and the number of people in your home, the cost of electricity can vary wildly.
Because of this, some of us may often dread the incoming electricity bill. Sometimes, we may even need to grab a calculator and start re-budgeting next month’s finances due to the occasional baffling number that is stated on said bill.
Fortunately, there are some ways to cut down on electricity costs. It may not be as drastic as slashing your bill in half, but these methods should be able to cut costs down by a noticeable amount.
1. LED lights
LEDs (light emitting diodes) bulbs are an excellent replacement for filament or fluorescent lights. This mostly comes down to how efficient they are at converting energy. Compared to regular lights, LEDs can typically save 90% in energy consumption compared to incandescent lighting and some 50% compared to fluorescent light sources.
LEDs are also known to consume up to 75% less energy than other conventional light sources. Their efficiency also means that up to 95% of energy used is converted to light, whereas only 5% of energy is lost as heat. LED lights also tend to last much longer than other light bulbs as well, saving you the trouble of buying more to replace them.
Lets face it, most people tend to leave their electrical appliances plugged in. While yes, switching off your wall sockets will save you a lot in terms of energy, appliances that remain plugged into these sockets will still consume some electricity. It may be a miniscule amount, but we have dozens of appliances within our home, and the electricity they consume all adds up over the month.
Of course, not everything is an electricity vampire. Power strips, chargers and your smart TV that are on “standby” continually draw power, but certain appliances like radios and table lamps are fine. Nevertheless, you should try and practice unplugging as many appliances as possible when they are not in use. You may find a surprising cut in your electricity bill at the end of the month. If you find it too troublesome to do so on a daily basis, at the very least turn off the main power switch.
3. Service your air conditioner
If there is one thing we can say for certain about Malaysia, it is the fact that it is the country of perpetual summer. The heat is nothing new, but thanks to issues such as global warming, it can sometimes get absolutely scorching. As such, it is understandable why air conditioners are so commonplace in the country. In fact, it is very tempting to keep the aircon going for long periods of time to keep things cool.
Using the aircon so often consumes a lot of electricity. However, it also causes more dust build-up and wear and tear. Keeping your AC well maintained will ensure that it is running efficiently and in turn, your room will get colder faster. The end result is a less expensive electricity bill. Cleaning your filters every few months does wonders as well, since dirty filters will make your aircon less efficient.
4. Plug-in timer and smart switches
This handy little device is helpful if you often forget to turn off switches. It allows you to automate the power supply of your electrical appliances. You simply set up a timer for the device, and it will automatically turn off the power once the timer expires. For example, you are working late into the night and you just want to go to bed immediately. Unfortunately, you forgot to turn things off like your water heater or the bathroom lights.
If you set up a plug-in timer switch, it will be able to turn off these switches for you even after you’ve fallen asleep. You can even use it on your AC switches, so that your AC will turn off after you fall asleep, saving you a decent sum.
Alternatively, you could also consider installing a smart switch. These act like traditional switches, but they also have the ability to connect to an app on your smartphone via the internet. This allows you to control your switches remotely and can even automate them to fit your needs.
5. Consider solar power
At first glance, installing solar panels might seem like a prohibitively expensive investment. However, it can go a long way in helping to reduce your overall electricity costs; especially if you plan to live in your home for many years to come. Not only does having solar panels reduce your overall electricity draw from the grid, you also have the opportunity to sell excess electricity back to the grid via TNB’s energy conservation initiative.
If you are not so keen on installing solar panels, there are various solar chargeable tools and appliances that you can get as an alternative. For example, certain outdoor lighting, water pumps, and even power banks can be solar powered, thus saving you on some electricity costs.
6. Adjust your fridge temperatures
Another little thing you could do to squeeze out a bit more efficiency is to readjust the temperature in your fridge. Most people might never bother to check on their fridge temperature.
While keeping our food cold is one way to ensure it stays fresh; if the temperature is not set correctly, you might end up utilising more energy than you actually need. You would be surprised at how high your energy bill goes up to. In order to keep your food cool whilst maximising efficiency, try to keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 4° C. As for the freezer, the recommended temperature is 0° C.
Of course, your electricity usage is still going to vary from month to month. However, if you stick to the suggestions mentioned above, you will likely notice a decent drop in your electricity bill. It may not be as drastic as cutting the bill in half, but every little bit can help.