Everything from onions to power have become more expensive. Power costs are rising and the extra money that we’re spending each month on power have started biting our pockets. When I was a child I remember my mom shouting me when I moved from one room to another and left the lights and fans on. I wondered how much difference would it make to our electricity bill, a rupee or two? But now I’m forced to follow everything my mom said a decade back, because the charge per unit of electricity you consume has risen from a mere 4 rupees to over 6 rupees! So now I have no option but to follow what the queen says!
Here’s how you can save electricity and cut your power bill. I haven’t covered anything outta this world nor am I mentioning any technical ways to save electricity. I’ll simply be sharing some reasons because of which I got scolded. All the reasons are valid and I’m sure if I had started listening to her a decade back, we’d have saved money enough to buy something unnecessary which I won’t buy otherwise!
the mommy way
This one is my favorite! When you change rooms, do you bother checking if the lights and fans are off? I didn’t! Whenever I changed rooms, I forgot switching off the lights and fans which meant extra units being billed. But now, I do!
Though the savings aren’t big, but even if I’m able to save half a unit everyday, it means saving around 90 rupees every month! This by just switching off lights and fans when not in use!
How many times a day do you open your fridge? I’m forever hungry and thus I do it once or twice every hour when I’m awake. Many times I know there’s nothing left for eating but still I go about opening my fridge as if something would appear magically! Whenever my mum makes me ice-cream or kheer or jelly I open fridge every few minutes just to check if it’s ready. On occasions I even leave the fridge door open for a minute or two unknowingly.
Happens with you too? Do you know when you open your fridge’s door , the cooling decreases and when you keep it open for a long time like a minute or more the cooling decreases even more and then to recover the lost coolness more energy is spent and your power consumption and thus your bill rises!
So refrain from opening your fridge often. If you know there’s nothing left to eat, even if you open it a million times, nothing would appear magically!
Do you use an air conditioner at night? Do you schedule it to automatically stop after an hour or two? If not, you are actually wasting a lot of money! I remember how huge our power bills were simply because three of our AC’s were on the entire night. Solution? I kept a timer. After an hour all the AC’s stopped automatically.
Does it spoil your sleep at night? It never spoilt my sleep! Once I’m asleep (a few minutes after lying on bed) I’m least bothered about what’s happening next to me. I don’t even realize if the AC is on or off. And I’m sure the same applies on you! If no, I’ve science with me to support my claim! Of course there are exceptions, but there are options too! If ever your sleep gets spoilt or you wake up at night because you are feeling hot, simply turn on the AC again. Won’t take more than a minute right? And if you don’t want to do that you can either buy a new AC which comes with auto on and off feature or spend some extra money every month by keeping your old AC on 24×7!
There’s no point setting the cooling to high in winters. You are just a button away from saving electricity and cutting down your power bill! Ever saw the auto-cool button on your refrigerator or your air conditioner? Try pressing it once and you’d be saving money in no time! Most of the fridge’s and AC’s these days come with auto-cooling function. You can either set the cooling manually or let your fridge or AC do it for you.
Leaving appliances on or leaving them on stand by is one way of wasting electricity and damaging them as well! Done watching TV do you just turn it off using the TV remote and migrate to some other room? Do you bother turning off the switch as well? If no, though less, you are consuming a few extra units of electricity every year which should be stopped!
Keeping your printer on stand by, not turning off main switch of TV’s, AC’s and other appliances simply inflates your power bill! And if you live in an area where frequent power cuts occur or if you often face voltage fluctuations, your devices may be damaged if they’re on stand by mode. I remember an incident when we had to get our AC replaced with a new one because it was ruined by high voltage. So, if not power, you can actually increase the life of your electric appliances by turning their main switch off!
When you go out on a vacation, unplug machines. Many of them have stand by functions which consume power even when not in use if they’re plugged in.
If you are one among the many who still use the traditional yellow bulbs, you are spending a lot more money than the ones who use CFL’s! Those Tungsten powered bulbs reportedly consume more power than CFL’s. Thus by simply changing those Tungsten bulbs with CFL’s can help you cut down your power bill. CFL’s cost more than the bulbs, but they’re a one-time investment and unlike the bulbs they also come with a 1 year replacement guarantee. I’ve CFL’s at home which are running fine since three years. I’m sure I’ve recovered the extra money I spent to buy a CFL and have saved even more! So buy a CFL than buying a traditional bulb!
Sleep your computer when you’re not using it. I rather shut down my computer when I’m not using it, but many would like to just put it on sleep mode so that when they need access to their computer again, they can get it quickly within a few seconds. However I don’t mind spending a minute to get access to my computer. I’m never in that hurry. So when not in use, put your computer to sleep or just turn it off!
Do you wash clothes in a washing machine? Daily? Why not wash clothes every alternate day? Sounds interesting? It actually works! We shifted from washing clothes every day to washing them every alternate day. It not only reduced the electricity consumption, but also saved water and work load!
How does using a clothesline instead of a dryer sound to you? Weird? Difficult? Time consuming? Yes, but it saves you money! We all have a lot of clothes and we don’t need all our clothes everyday. So why not let them dry on a clothesline than drying them using a dryer? The clothes will probably take 5-6 hours to dry on clothesline. I’m not asking you to stop using a clothes dryer, but what you can do is to cut down on its use. Like you can use the clothes dryer during winter when clothes don’t dry easily and in summer you can simply use a clothesline!
Keep doors and windows closed when you are using an air conditioner. I’m not sure how many of you actually use a heater, but the same tip applies to it too!
Use your water heater correctly. Don’t over-heat water. At times I turn on the water heater and after 5 minutes when I return what I have is a bucket full of hot water. The water which my water heater throws out is actually hotter than required and then I’m forced to drain the extra hot water. This means waste of water as well as electricity! I can save the water by pouring it in to another bucket, but I still end up wasting a few units of electricity unnecessarily!
Do you own a bungalow or a row house or a villa with outdoor lighting? I don’t, but my uncle does. At times when I’m in their place, I notice the outdoor lighting on during the day. They don’t do it purposely of course, but sometimes it just goes of their mind. Happens with you to? Paste a note somewhere or use your smartphone to alert you everyday to turn off outdoor lighting.
Wait for the food to come to the room temperature before you put it in refrigerator. This improves the refrigerator’s efficiency and saves electricity. If your recipe demands immediate refrigeration, you are left without an option!
Before heating something cool in your microwave oven, defrost it to reduce the heating time.
Cook several food dishes in the oven simultaneously and keep the oven door closed until the cooking is done.
Well, that’s how I go about saving electricity. All thanks to my mom who scolded me every other day for the last ten years (and even does now) to help me write this detailed guide. You can thank my mom too by sharing the post with your friends! And if you’ve any more ideas to save electricity, let us know!