EditorialKeeping costs down

Keeping costs down


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You’d better be seated before reading your next electric bill.

The National Electrification Administration has announced an increase in generation charges for our electricity, resulting in an increase in electric rates for the month of May.

This increase, they said, is bound to happen during hot days, as the heat takes its toll on the energy infrastructure.

Given that the El Niño phenomenon has led to the rising heat indices across the country, the challenge of cooling our homes while managing soaring electric bills is proving to be a daunting task. 

With energy costs on the rise, it’s imperative to adopt strategies that can help reduce electricity consumption without compromising comfort.

Here are some effective measures to lower your electric bill amid the rising heat.

Air conditioning (AC) is often the biggest driver of high electric bills during summer. Set your thermostat to a comfortable yet efficient temperature, ideally around 25.5°C. Consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically adjust settings.

Ensure your AC unit is well-maintained. Clean or replace filters monthly, and have a professional check-up annually. A well-maintained unit runs more efficiently, and consumes less energy.

Use electric fans to circulate cool air more effectively. Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that allows you to set your thermostat to even 30 degrees celsius without sacrificing comfort. Also, consider closing off unused rooms to concentrate cooling where it’s needed most.

Check for gaps and leaks around windows, doors, and ducts. Use weather stripping or caulking to seal them. Properly sealed homes retain cool air better.

Use blinds, shades, or reflective films on windows to block out direct sunlight. Keeping curtains closed during the hottest part of the day can significantly reduce indoor temperatures.

Ensure your attic is well-insulated and ventilated. Consider a reflective roof coating or installing a radiant barrier to reflect heat away from your home.

Using energy-efficient appliances and replacing old, inefficient appliances with energy star-rated models, and improving lighting using LED bulbs  can also make a significant difference.

Pull the plug when not in use. Many devices consume energy even when turned off. Use power strips to easily disconnect multiple devices when not in use, reducing phantom loads.

Finally, small behavioral changes can collectively lead to substantial savings.

Laundry and dishwashing: Run full loads and use energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and washing machine. If possible, air-dry clothes instead of using the dryer.

At nighttime,  take advantage of cooler nighttime temperatures by turning off the AC and using window fans to draw in cool air.

If feasible, consider investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels. Although the initial cost is significant, the long-term savings and environmental benefits can be substantial. Many regions offer incentives and rebates that can offset the initial investment.

By implementing these strategies, you can manage your electric bill more effectively even as the heat rises. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also contribute to a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.




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