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Saving Electricity

“Little drops of water, tiny grains of sand, make the mighty ocean and the great vast land.”

The same can be said about your home’s total electricity consumption: it is the sum of all the electric appliances one uses from small to large which includes light bulbs, mobile chargers, water heaters, the refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine and a host of other gadgets. Your energy consumption will skyrocket if you are not prudent in the way you use them.

We are fortunate to use energy everyday at home, at school, at our work places and even at play. We need to use it wisely for fear of depleting our resources like coal, gas, oil, and water. Besides saving money, we can cut down on pollutants making a better environment for everyone to live in.

Can you imagine staying in the dark with no light to turn on? Would you be able to bear the sweltering heat, on a hot summer day, without the cool comfort of an air-conditioner or fan? Wouldn’t you like to have a quickly heated meal in the microwave oven or a refreshing cold drink from the refrigerator? These then are just some of the reasons why you need to SAVE ENERGY.

Here are a few pointers on how you can save energy and reduce your electricity bills in the process:

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). These use only about one-third of the electricity and when used to substitute a quarter of the incandescent bulbs in high-use areas can cut the amount of electricity consumed by half. CFLs also generate less heat.
  • Use dimmers to reduce electrical load and power consumption of lamps
  • For desktop work, use task lighting rather than illuminating the whole room .
  • Keep air conditioning to no less than 24°C which is the optimum temperature at the least cost. You spend up to 5% more electricity for every degree more beyond this setting.
  • Refrain from opening the refrigerator too often and for too long as this will draw extra energy for cooling. Keep the refrigerator or freezer full as an empty fridge cycles on and off more frequently without any mass to hold the cold. At the least, keep a container of ice in the freezer.
  • Lowering refrigeration temperature only wastes power. Set it between 3°C and 5°C, and the freezer temperature between –18°C and –15°C.
  • A water heater whose surface is hot or even warm is losing some of the energy used. Have it enfolded in an insulating wrap.
  • When installing a hot-water tank, ensure that it is placed as close as possible to the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Heat is lost in long pipe runs. Reducing the length of a hot water pipe from 10m to 3m will save enough energy in one month to heat water for 10 showers. Similarly, thin pipes are more energy-efficient than thicker ones: larger amounts of hot water are trapped in thicker pipes, therefore more heat is lost.
  • Run your washing machine or dryer with full loads. Drying smaller loads uses just as much energy and overloading will increase drying time.
  • Computers use up to 70% less electricity when you put them in sleep mode. So don’t use screen savers. Remember to switch off the computer when not in use, or when idle for more than two hours. A computer switched on for an hour consumes as much energy as a 14-watt compact lamp for 24 hours.
  • A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than desktop models.
  • Devices such as TV sets, VCRs, DVD players and mobile chargers eat up maximum power, even on standby. Turn these off when not in use.

Simple Things You Can Do For A Start

  • Turn off the lights, fans and television when you leave the room.
  • During the day when it is brighter outside, open the curtains and use the sunlight instead of turning on the lights.
  • Don't leave windows or doors open when air conditioning is on. This makes the AC to work harder and cool a room.
  • In summer, use fans whenever possible instead of air conditioning as this uses less energy. Also, draw the blinds and keep window coverings closed which will help keep the room cooler.
  • On a sunny day, hang the clothes outside to dry instead of using the dryer.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and keep your thermostat at 24 degrees Centigrade.
  • Turn off the dishwasher right before the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry.
  • Don't leave the refrigerator door open. Decide what you want BEFORE you open the door.
  • Look for energy efficiency labels when buying new electrical products and appliances.
  • Plant trees and shrubs. Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves) are best to block the sun in the summer and, when the leaves fall, they let the sun shine through in the winter helping to warm your house.

There are a lot more ways to save energy and it's important that everyone pitches in. Make a checklist on things your family can do to save energy. Together we can all make a difference!

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