A study by Energy Market Authority (EMA), Singapore revealed that there has been a year-on-year increase of electricity consumption in Singaporean households; with the percentage increase being 4.3% in 2015. This trend is alarming considering that higher electricity consumption would translate to higher bills cost for homeowners. Not only that, the generation and transmission of electricity can have a harmful effect on the environment. With this awareness in mind, it is high time that each individual work together to reduce their electricity consumption. With everything being so technologically reliant nowadays, it seems that the quest to save electricity is a tall order. However, be rest assured that there are various techniques and approaches you can undertake to enjoy the consumption of electricity without incurring wastage. Below we share with you some of the appliances in our homes with the highest energy consumption and look at the effective ways we can save electricity while using them:
1. Air-conditioning (36% of energy consumption)
i. Adjusting your aircon by one degree higher can save energy and you can also enjoy savings of up to $1.25 a month ii. Adjust degree to two degrees higher and use a traditional fan to cool you simultaneously about five minutes before switching off the aircon and enjoying the aircon solely at the same cooling temperature iii. Periodic cleaning and servicing of air conditioning vents and filters to avoid them from being clogged and requiring more energy to cool the room. A good estimate would be every two months. The filter cleaning can be done on your own with a vacuum cleaner for instance without having to engage a repairman. iv. Control your aircon usage by setting a timer on the thermostat. This prevents you from using the aircon throughout your sleep which can be very energy consuming. You can expect savings of up to $20 a month. v. Use blinds with special designs (e.g. honeycomb) which can keep the heat out and cooler air within, allowing you to use fan instead of aircon on cool days vi. Close the curtains if you’ve switched on the air conditioner to allows the room to cool at a quicker pace and without too much use of energy
2. Water Heater (21% of energy consumption)
i. Take quick showers so you can reduce the generation of electricity required to supply you with hot water. ii. Ensure that you switch off the water heater immediately after use. You can also expect to enjoy up to $110 savings a year if you practise this diligently. iii. The type of water heater can also help you to save energy – choose instantaneous water heater as opposed to storage water heater. And, if you stay in a newer apartment, consider installing gas water heater instead with a potential savings of $110 to $190 annually.
3. Refrigerator (18% of energy consumption)
i. A unique method includes ensuring your refrigerator is full at all time to ensure that it does not expend too much energy to ensure the fridge’s coolness. If you are unable to keep the fridge full, an alternative method includes occupying the fridge with empty bottles, closed containers or jugs to maximise the space. ii. At the same time, avoid from overloading your refrigerator as this prevents cold air from circulating freely and the fridge would in turn have to use up more energy to ensure the coolness within. iii. Avoid placing hot food and uncovered liquids in the refrigerator as these would make the compressor work harder. iv. Keep your refrigerator away from appliances which are heat sources (e.g. oven, dishwasher) including placing them near the sunlight as an increase in surrounding temperature can result in higher energy consumption by the fridge.
4. Light (4% of energy consumption)
i. Opt for LED light bulbs instead of the normal incandescent light bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs as it uses 75% less energy and can last ten times longer than normal light bulbs.
5. Kettle (4% of energy consumption)
i. Opt for thermos flask instead of an electric air-pot as you can save energy and accumulate about $300 savings a year. ii. To boil water, choose to heat kettle over a stove instead of electricity. Additionally, gas is less expensive than electricity too.