Every time we get our electricity bill, there is a worry in our mind, but we simply put it aside thinking that we can do little about it. The government decides the electricity rates and the charges per unit keep increasing every year or two. And with the addition of a new appliance we find that our consumption is also increasing.
Well, let me tell you, you can do a lot to reduce your electricity consumption and bring the bill down. Here are some general tips to save electricity at home:
1. Lights: If you are using incandescent bulbs, you should immediately shift to CFL bulbs or LED lights. Tube lights that are used for a longer time, especially ones in kitchen, living room and bedroom can be changed to LED tubes or T5 tubes. And of course, switch off the lights when not in use.
2. Fans: As in case of lights, switch off the fans when not in use. If you are buying a new fan, buy energy efficient fans. Wherever your fan usage is more than 12 hours, replace them by energy efficient fans, you will get your money back in 2 years and after that it will be all bonus for you.
3. TV: Most of the time, we keep the TV and associated electronic items (Set-up box, Speakers, etc.) on even when not in use. You may think that this does not consume a lot of electricity, but it does. Make it a habit to switch off the TV when you are not watching it.
4. Refrigerators: Keep your refrigerator away from the wall by about half feet. Refrigerators throw out heat and this heat needs to escape. If you do not let the heat go away, its efficiency reduces. Also, do not keep your fridge stuffed with lot of food items. In winters, you can keep the fridge in min cool mode. If some container has very less food, try to finish it, as the fridge will waste more energy in keeping the container itself cool.
5. Geyser: Do not switch on the geyser hours before you plan to take bath. Switch it off immediately after taking bath. Geysers do have auto off features, but there is still some wastage of heat and the geyser switches on again after some time.
6. ACs: If you have one ore more ACs at home, this is the item you should focus on the most to save electricity. Ensure that your doors and windows are properly closed when you use the ACs. Switching on the fan while using the ACs helps you in keeping the AC at a higher temperature. If you live in India and are used to using the ACs at a very low temperature like 18 degree Celsius, try to change your habit over few months, as this will also affect your health. Often, opening the window brings in fresh and cooler air than using an AC. When you switch on the AC, do not keep it at a very low temperature hoping that it will cool faster (it will not). At night, you can switch on the AC for one to two hours, let the room cool and then switch if off. You should also work out the feasibility of replacing your old ACs with new (energy-efficient) ACs. Old ACs use lot of electricity.
Finally, if you are buying any new appliance whether it is light, fan, TV or AC, preferably buy energy efficient one.
The author is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and owner of a popular health blog Organic Facts. He is quite enthusiastic about topics related to Sustainable Development and keeps trying several ideas mentioned on Bijli Bachao website.
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