Save the earth, save your money, save electricity!

You are taught in school, you are reminded of by your MP, there is even an entire day (Earth Day – if you’re wondering) dedicated worldwide to remind us – as well as to give us another reason – to conserve energy. There are two main reasons why doing our part in conserving energy is important for each and every one of us.

Firstly, and more essentially, we save the Earth. “But… how does my usage of electricity impact our Mother Earth in any way?” A logical question that I believe the answer we must all understand. Electricity does not come out of anywhere, despite the advancement of renewable energy technology and research, our production of energy is still largely dependent on production methods such as gas and fuel power generation. Instead of explaining in detail, let’s just say that electricity production requires burning of such resources which create harmful gases that directly affect our environment, most notably global warming. Secondly, and one that is more practical for many of us, is that we can save money from our conservation habits. Our government does not simply provide us with free electricity (on a side note, nothing is ever free), however much we use, we pay.

To catch you up on the current electricity tariffs (April 2017 – June 2017), it is now priced at 21.39 cents per kWh. With an average of 375.6 kWh of electricity used in Singapore public housing monthly, this adds up to a bill of $964.09 each year. Does not seem a lot for a yearly bill? Do not forget that’s solely for your electricity!

Energy Market Authority energy usage

Source: Energy Market Authority (EMA)

There is a common misconception that we have to sacrifice our quality of life to conserve energy, but that’s just that – a misconception. There are numerous bad habits you can correct, as well as little changes you can put in place in your lifestyle that will not inconvenience you at all! I’m sure the usual ‘use a fan instead of an air-con!’ can be difficult especially for many of us who are so used to the cool temperature we simply cannot tahan (bear) living without it, or the ‘turn off your lights (or any electrical appliances) when not in use!’ which I am sure is a habit we all try to cultivate already. Let’s not touch on those, instead, we have a few other tips for you!

1. Change your lightbulbs!

It’s just a one-off thing! If you are still using the traditional incandescent light bulbs at home, switch them for the more efficient ones like LEDs or fluorescent lamps. We all use our lights on a daily basis, where else to start than here? All it takes is 10 minutes of your time (or at least till the bulbs burned out) to make the switch and you’re already doing some more for the environment and your bank account!

2. Observe the ticks on your electrical appliances

NEA energy efficiency rating

Source: NEA

Although the energy label has been introduced for quite some time now, it is still not high on the priority list when one shops for new appliances. The cost would definitely be more important, however, it is not true that energy-saving models are always more expensive, even if the situation is as such, the money you save from conserving energy would pay for itself over time. So the next time your refrigerator dies on you, look out for the above energy label when shopping for a new one. Same goes for other electrical appliances. The more ticks, the more electricity you save, the more money you will save!

3. Have fun in the sun!

drying clothes under sun

No, not you. Back then, everyone dried their clothes out in the sun, HDBs had balconies with special pole-holders for us to work much easily on them. However, nowadays we see more and more dryers start to make an appearance in such households in the name of convenience and efficiency. I cannot deny that a dryer will save you the intense sprint you make in an attempt to save your clothes from the incoming downpour, neither can I deny that throwing your clothes into the dryer is much easier than hanging them up to dry. However, by drying our clothes in the sun, not only do we use less electricity, we use none at all! Of course, I am not telling you to stop using the dryer completely, we all have our lazy days. Nonetheless, as much as possible, do take the effort to have them dry out in the sun.