Whether you live alone or support a family, electricity is one of the essential costs that you can’t avoid. The average monthly consumption of a Philippine household is around 200 kWh, with the cost of electricity being around PHP 9.7545 per kWh. This price means an average home must allot around PHP 1,950.90 monthly.
Several factors can affect your energy consumption. The weather, the number of people living in your home, and how many devices and appliances you use all contribute to high electrical consumption. With these aspects, it’s best to consider alternative ways to help lessen that.
Here are some tips on how to lower your electric bill at home.
Why It’s Important to Lower Your Electric Bill
A high electric bill means high electricity consumption, adversely affecting the environment. In 2021, the Philippines’ primary energy source was coal, at 47.6%, with 76% of total electricity production coming from fossil fuels.
Many greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere by fossil fuels. Natural gas is pretty great, but even if power plants use it, it’s still a problem. Natural gas mainly comprises methane, which traps 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide. That means you still contribute to climate change when using natural gas to power your home or business.
More than contributing to global warming, fossil fuels also threaten your health. Inhaling these emissions can cause asthma, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and other disorders. Absenteeism is also linked to poor health due to fossil fuels, resulting in 1.8 billion days of work absences worldwide.
A new study found that air pollution is causing around 3.6 million premature deaths worldwide annually, and 27,000 are in the Philippines. It’s also leading to annual economic losses of up to 1.9% of the country’s GDP.
Lowering your electric bill means power plants use fewer fossil fuels, which keeps you and others healthy. It also helps keep the environment clean and helps to prevent global warming from becoming a threat.
7 Tips on How to Lower Your Electric Bill at Home
Here are some ways to reduce your energy consumption and monthly electric dues.
1. Conduct an energy audit
You or a professional can conduct an energy audit to understand better how much electricity you consume. An expert can identify areas where you’re using excess energy and suggest ways to reduce your consumption.
If you’re doing this yourself, an online auditing tool or an app can help you find air leaks, outdated insulation, or old appliances. You can also look up the models of all the devices and appliances in your home and see how many kilowatts they use per hour.
Once you get the audit results, you can plan upgrades, replacements, or fixes to lower your electric bill.
2. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
Older appliances could use up to 28% more energy than necessary. If you have any older than 10 years old, consider upgrading to energy-efficient models.
If you’re heating leftovers or living alone, use a toaster oven or microwave. These appliances use less electricity than your stove or oven. Look for devices labeled with ENERGY STAR. These appliances use less energy than their traditional counterparts, which translates to savings on your electricity bill.
Prioritize your home’s largest gadgets, like washing machines, TV, and fridge.
3. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use
Did you know that electronics and appliances use energy even when turned off? This energy usage is known as “phantom” or “vampire” energy. While it’s not a lot of power, leaving them plugged in or on standby for more than 20 hours will compound and reflect on your bill.
Phantom energy devices include many things you use daily, like chargers for your phone or laptop, security cameras, microwaves, TVs, monitors, and printers. Some appliances—like the microwave or security cameras—need to stay plugged in to be useful, so it’s best to turn to the other gadgets to save power.
One way to prevent excess consumption is by unplugging vampire electronics when you’re not using them. Use a power strip to make this easier, so you can turn off several devices with one switch.
4. Consider installing solar panels
Solar panels for your home are an excellent way to reduce or prevent using electricity that uses fossil fuels. Not only can this lower your monthly electric bill, but it can also provide a cleaner energy source for your home.
Solar energy is a great way to lessen your carbon footprint because it’s completely renewable and emits no harmful gases. Another benefit is net metering, a billing process that credits you if you produce more power than you consume.
Installing solar panels can increase the value of your property by an average of 4.1%. If you want to install solar panels for your home, check your area’s regulations. Look up a solar calculator to see how much energy you can save.
5. Use LED lightbulbs
The purchase of LED bulbs is highly recommended. They use around 75% less energy and last 25% longer than traditional bulbs, but they can be a bit more expensive upfront. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the investment in the long run.
One of the best things about LEDs is that they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. You can find the right match for any area in your home, whether you need a dimmable bulb or one that produces less heat than incandescent bulbs.
6. Set your aircon on a timer
Depending on your chosen type, air conditioning units can cost a lot of money. Consider switching to a split-type window unit to make your air conditioner more energy-efficient. These cost around PHP 6.27 an hour, while inverter aircon consumes less electricity but still costs your household an average of PHP 4.00 an hour.
You can reduce your air conditioning costs by turning your aircon off after you sleep through a timer. This way, the AC will have time to cool your room down so that you can sleep comfortably before it turns itself off.
7. Wash clothes in cold water
If you use a washing machine often, consider using only cold water to wash your clothes. Washing machines use a lot of energy—around 75-90% of the total cost of running one is heating the water. Most fabrics are safe to wash cold, and certain stains, such as blood and sweat, are harder to remove if you use warm water.
Cold water can also reduce wrinkles in your clothes, which reduces costs because you avoid ironing.
Powering Up Your Savings
The greatest way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money is to purchase more energy-efficient devices, install solar panels, and do an energy audit. By doing so, you can keep the environment healthy while reducing your reliance on electricity produced with fossil fuels.