Are your electricity bills burning a hole in your pocket yet again? And switching to renewable energy like solar is still a distant and expensive dream?
In a country like ours where erratic temperatures keep us at the mercy of electronic appliances like air conditioners, fans, coolers etc., here are some simple everyday tips that could help you slash your bills in the most energy-efficient way:
Switch to CFLs and LED Bulbs
The biggest energy and pocket saver can be replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs! While incandescent bulbs release 98% of their consumed energy as heat, CFL uses only 1/4 the energy. But they contain traces of mercury, which makes it important for them to be disposed of properly when they burn out.
Relatively, LED bulbs are more expensive than CFLs, but they last longer and don’t contain mercury. The government has also started providing LED bulbs at subsidised prices in places like post offices and electricity offices to help reduce electric bills and save energy.
Plant trees to block direct sunlight on AC unit
Grow small plants and shrubs in a manner that they block the sun shining directly on to your AC unit. If an AC unit is placed in the shade, it consumes approximately 10 percent less electricity and allows you to save on bills as compared to the ones exposed to the sun.
Don’t turn off appliances, switch them off!
Make sure you switch off electronic appliances like TV, AC, Computers etc., when not in use. Just turning them off or keeping them on sleep mode also uses electricity. As small as the step may seem, it can help you save on electricity bills. Electronics kept on sleep, or ‘stand-by’ mode consume 5% of the total electricity consumption.
Unplug your devices when not in use
How many times have you overcharged your phone and forgotten all about it? And even if you did remove it on time, left the charger plugged into the socket with the switch on? Both of these miscalculated moves not only affect your phone battery but also add to your electricity bills. Try not to charge your phones overnight, and don’t forget to unplug the charger.
Setting AC temperatures right
How many of us keep the AC at a threatening low temperature in the summers and still sleep with double blankets on? Well, we’ve got some news. Your air conditioner, when used at lower temperatures, consume way more energy than an at say an average cooling temperature of 24 degrees. This can go a long way in helping you save on your electric bills. Also, if your AC has the energy saver feature, don’t forget to put that to use! Stay cool but save energy too.
Put your laundry to dry outside instead of using an electrical dryer machine
You washed your clothes in the machine. How about hang-drying them in the open? Of course, monsoons can be a bit of a problem while making this small lifestyle change, but in the summers, not only do clothes dry easily and quickly but also require less ironing.
At the same time, it will help you save the electricity consumed by the machine to dry clothes and save money too! Another tip that may come handy is when your washing machine is filled to the brim with dirty clothes, use only the required amount of detergent. This helps the machine work at its best capacity. Also, some machines consume 90 percent of the energy to heat water before using it. So don’t forget to turn the dial to cold, and save your bill.
Using your refrigerator right
Apart from your air conditioner, the biggest energy guzzler is your fridge. Keep your fridge stocked, but don’t overcrowd it. Avoid keeping any hot food directly in the fridge. Let it sit for some time, cover it and then keep it inside. Put the thermostat on medium. Keep enough breathing space between the walls and the position of the fridge. These steps can go a long way in saving electricity.
Use electronic appliances with Energy Star ratings to reduce consumption
Today, most electric appliances come with star ratings. You may see it right on your fridge. The higher the number of stars, the more energy efficient your appliance is. While you may think it is expensive at the start, you will reap the benefits when you see the reduction in your energy consumption and your electric bills in the long run.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)