The last few months have forced many of us to take stock of what’s really important in life, not just because of the risks the pandemic poses to our health, but also because we can no longer afford to be frivolous with our money. To help you, we’ve created a series to help you say goodbye to unnecessary expenses and cut down on those that aren’t. Today, we’re listing down tips on how to reduce your electricity bill.
Tip 1: Make the most out of natural light.
If you’re working from home, try to position yourself right by the window where you’re more likely to get a healthy dose of vitamin D. If the weather permits, you might be able to get away with not turning the lights on for four to five hours each day. If your setup doesn’t allow for natural light, however, try to work where the lights need to be switched on anyway like the dining room, or share your workspace with another person.
Tip 2: Unplug your gadgets and appliances when not in use.
This is pretty standard, but most people don’t bother doing it because they don’t think that it’s going to make much of a difference. That may be true if we’re just looking at one category, say, electric fans, but the average household has more than just electric fans. There are laptops, rice cookers, ACs, coffee makers, printers, lamps, and so on and so forth, and each one emits what is called phantom power, the energy that appliances and gadgets consume even when they’re not turned on. According to How Stuff Works, when combined, these can make up around five to 10% of your energy consumption.
Tip 3: Stop mindlessly opening and closing your refrigerator.
Going to the kitchen and opening the refrigerator just to see what’s inside is a habit we’ve all been guilty of, but while we deserve a break, especially after spending hours in front of our computers, it does cost us. To minimize energy consumption, only open the refrigerator when you’re certain that there’s something in there that you want to eat.
Tip 4: Don’t use your gaming console as your streaming console.
Yes, it’s cool that your gaming console can also stream movies, but did you know that using your gadget in this manner also affects its energy consumption? According to the New York Times, gaming consoles can end up consuming 45 times more power than streaming ones.
Tip 5: Replace appliances and lights that aren’t energy-efficient.
It’s a well-known fact that traditional incandescent bulbs are cheaper, but consume more energy, while LEDs are initially more expensive, but save you more money in the long run. The best thing about this is that it’s an easy fix. Another switch you can do is to trade your AC and refrigerator in for models that make use of inverter technology—if you haven’t already. However, both are relatively big-ticket items, so you should only do this if your budget can accommodate it. If you can only choose one though, go with the refrigerator. It’s the only one that you can’t turn off.
Tip 6: Study your Meralco bill carefully.
The nation’s energy supplier found itself in hot water this year amid accusations of inaccurate consumption charges reflected on consumer billing statements, and while some of those have been explained as average consumption computation, others were revealed to be actual “overestimates” and “underestimates,” according to CNN. One silver lining here is that more of us are examining our bills more closely. The next time your bill arrives, take the time to check whether it’s accurate or not, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to raise them. After going through the trouble of cutting your energy consumption, the last thing you want is to overpay.
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Managing your expenses is part of how you can manage the wealth generation cycle. Learn more about it here.