Technology is changing the face of the world. It is changing the way we do things and it simplifies our practical problems. In this age of technological improvements the number of gadgets that are available in market are increasing at a very fast pace. Owning a new gadget adds to the happiness quotient of many. Buying the latest technology or the biggest models makes many feel proud. But when the same increases the electricity bills, then there is a lot of heartburn. We at Bijli Bachao get several messages from our readers who are concerned about their rising electricity bills and one thing that we have realized that is common is: “wrong buying decisions”. With this article we would like to highlight a few things that one should surely take care of while making purchase decision of appliances.
Size does matter
Buying a big sized refrigerator, or a TV, or an AC, can be a very happy moment, but when the same starts impacting the electricity bills, many people start getting worried. Big appliances not just come at a big price but also at a big operating cost. So optimizing the size of the appliance is very important. A few recent interactions that we have had highlight the same:
- A family with 3-4 family members (including a kid) buying a refrigerator of 500-600 lts ended up using 100-150 units a month on refrigeration. A 300-400 lts refrigerator would have consumed just 60-90 units.
- A 46 inch plasma TV rated at 360 watts would consume 6-7 times more than a 32-38 inch LED TV.
- Sizing of an Air Conditioner is very important. Undersized air conditioners consume more electricity because compressor runs all the time because it is not able to remove the heat. And oversized air conditioners consume more electricity because compressor runs in short cycles because it is not able to remove humidity.
Be aware of selling gimmicks: BEE 5 star rated appliances are available for all sizes
A friend recently called us when she was buying a refrigerator. First of all she was buying a huge 550 lts refrigerator for a 3 people family (one kid) and then she was not getting a BEE 5 star rated refrigerator. The salesman in the shop told her that BEE 5 star rated refrigerators are not there in big refrigerators and only 2 and 4 star rated models are available. She was in a hurry and ended up buying a 4 star rated refrigerator. But the fact is: there are 5 star rated refrigerators available even for big sized refrigerators. And they must have been available in other stores. But in a hurry of making a decision, a big 4 star refrigerator was bought. An appliance that is used 24 hours and 365 days is not the most efficient appliance available in the market!
We have also heard feedback from people where they have said that the salesmen in shops and showrooms have suggested them not to buy T5 tubelights or BEE 5 star rated fans because: 1) No one buys them 2) They do not work properly. Please note that some of these can be marketing gimmicks to sell the stuff where there are more margins. Please be aware of such gimmicks.
Even efficient appliances may not save if not bought properly
In a recent interaction, we observed that although a person was using the most efficient air conditioners available in the market, but the electricity bills were high due to the same because: 1) Obviously they were used a lot 2) They were undersized as per the room size. The appliance was new and it was not possible to replace it immediately as the investment for the same was already done. And it could be years before the appliance could be changed.
Luxury comes at a cost, which can be recurring
A recent visit to a high-end residential society brought to our notice that the electricity bills of the society were very high. The monthly maintenance per flat in the complex was almost equal to what many people would spend as monthly rent in some normal complexes. Although the appliances used in the complex were efficient but the sheer number of lights, pumps, etc used caused the electricity bills to be really high. So the high-end living came for a high recurring cost. And it was difficult for people to move out of that decision.
Most buying decisions are one-time decisions that stay with you for long time. Reversing the same becomes difficult. Even if someone tells you that the electricity bills are high due to a specific appliance, if the appliance is bought recently, it is difficult to replace it. So make wiser decisions while buying appliances.
About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. More from this author.