7 Ways to Conserve Electricity to Save Money

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

7 Ways to Conserve Electricity to Save Money


Screen Captured Image: Hatake Kakashi of Naruto
I believe we don't need to do green activities on specific months or even a one day event, but everyday! The proposal is quite simple, UNPLUG to not only conserve energy but also save money!!

Here are some quick facts that we Filipinos have to deal with:
If you are not the reader type, well I have some examples of friends who pay insane amounts of money for their electrical bill. I have one who lives in the south (Naga Cebu) who pays over Php12,000.00 per month. Another in Cebu City proper who pays a range of Php4,000 to Php6,000 ++ monthly. And that's a pain and a heavy burden to have deducted from your hard-earned paycheck!

Here are some ways to save money on your electricity bills:
  1. Avoid purchasing energy hog, electricity guzzler and vampire devices if possible - Large home appliances like refrigerators, air-conditioning and dryers are typical examples of energy-hungry devices, but energy hogs don’t necessarily need to be large in size. Small devices are also collectively sucking a lot of energy from the power grid, and as these devices become commonplace their energy consumption rises exponentially (Vampire devices: computer speakers & LCD, printers, battery/smartphone chargers; Always on: router/dsl, cable/converter boxes).
  2. Buy energy-efficient products - Use energy efficient devices wherever appropriate. What does that mean? It means you can start by replacing an appliance (Refrigerator) to the same appliance but with a lower electricity consumption. Replace yellow bulbs or florescent light with CFLs is another example! You can switch to a solar chargers for instance.
  3. UNPLUG and/or Switch off - If you already have electricity hogs and vampire devices, and it's too costly for now to replace them, then another solution is to unplug. Electronics and appliances continue sapping energy while plugged-in, even when it is switched off or on "stand by mode."
  4. Defrost - the air conditioning or the fridge; Frost build up and dirty coils force the compressor to work harder, so do/schedule clean-up rounds regularly.
  5. Cover-up - a low tech yet effective solution on cooling costs is by blocking the sun's heat with curtains! And then you can easily un-cover it up if you need natural sunlight. This also applies for the fridge, for you need to check if the door seal still works if not, it will consume more energy due temperature leakage.
  6. Use Gas - it's a trade-off for now, I know it's fossil fuels but it's better than burning wood. Use gas-powered stoves, ovens and water heaters, instead of electric counterparts; unless you have successfully gone off-grid and with solar powering your house.
  7. Favor Fans - Cut down on your air conditioner use as much as you can by using the alternative electric fan. You can take this up even further by going "manual" fanning (with free arm exercise!).

Let's see the numbers to make it a bit more convincing:
Say these are the typical home scenario with consumption assumptions (wattage data source: here and here)
  • Incandescent Light Bulbs = 60 watts x12 bulbs in a home with average usage of 360 hours per month
  • DVD player = Off – Average Watts: 1.55 (x48 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 7.54 (x4 hours per month)
  • Notebook computer = Off – Average Watts: 8.90 (x48 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 29.48 (x4 hours per month) - assuming you use this on weekends only
  • Desktop computer = Off – Average Watts: 2.84 (x150 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 73.97 (x150 hours per month)
  • Computer speakers = Off – Average Watts: 1.79 (x150 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 4.12 (x150 hours per month) - most speakers are connected to desktops
  • DSL modem & router = Off – Average Watts: 1.37 (x160 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 5.37 (x160 hours per month) - always on due to multiple internet devices (tab, phone)
  • LCD computer display = Off – Average Watts: 1.13 (x150 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 27.6 (x150 hours per month) - same as desktop
  • Mobile phone charger = Off – Average Watts: 0.26 (x48 hours per month); On – Average Watts: 2.24 (x48 hours per month) - for a 3 person house with at least 3 phones
  • Tiny-ass window unit AC - 500 watts (x224 hours per month)
  • Refrigerator - 160 watts (x720 hours per month)
  • 36" ceiling fan - 55 watts x 2 fans in house (x224 hours per month)
  • 32" LCD television - 156 watts (x144 hours per month)
You may see here for VECO's calculations for appliances wattage.

Formula: kilowatt-hour = watt × hour / 1000

Total Light = 259.20 kwh; Total Appliances (Ref, fan, tv, air con unit) = 274.304 kwh
Total On - 16.97 kwh ; Total Off - 1.60 kwh
Overall Total = 552.07128 KWh

VECO rate per kilowatt-hour is at Php11.4871 (as of March 2015 for residential, see source)
*Off - device is turned off but still plugged in (electricity vampirism)

Electricity Cost = Consumption kwh x Rate (above)

Electricity Cost = Php6,341.70; and that's Php76,100.37 per year!! :(

That's the cost based on the above scenario (assuming that's your consumption), so if we just unplugged, halved our use of appliance and switched to CFL..

Halved Appliance usage = 137.152kwh; No vampire costs; Total On = 16.97kwh; CFL = 10 watts with the same usage and number (12) above = 43.20kwh
Overall Revised Total = 197.322 KWh

Total Cost Effective Electricity Cost = Php2,266.66 per month; that's Php27,199.89 per year!

That's still a pain to one's pocket but at least you saved about Php48,900.48 per year!!! YEY!

Well, that's just my theoretical calculations, feel free to point out any mistakes so I can correct. :)

Do you see the difference? If people pay attention to the little changes in consumption, usage the substitute lights or fans in equipment, there is a lot in energy-efficiency gain! Which also means a lot of money saved which could have been used for other things like for start-up capital, franchise, business, baboyan, insurance, health plan, emergency funds, mutual funds, stock market investments or the like!
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