Practical Ways to Save on Electricity and Lower your Meralco Bill

With the sudden increase of our electricity bill during the Enhanced Community Quarantine period, I thought of and searched for possible ways to save on electricity so that our next bills will not be as high as the previous months.

From our average electric bill of ₱2,000, it has increased to ₱3,500 during the lockdown. It almost doubled.

And because we took a payment holiday and we have not paid our previous bills yet, our total amount due is now ₱11,000 including the months of March, April, and May 2020.

In my previous post, I shared Meralco’s explanations on why our electric bill for May has almost doubled – more people are at home during the ECQ and usage of appliances, especially fans and aircons, has increased because of the high temperature this summer.

While Meralco’s reasons were true, I also tried to assess how we have been consuming electricity during the past three months.

Here’s our electric bills this year:

  • January – ₱2,718
  • February – ₱2,214
  • March – ₱3,236
  • April – ₱3,400
  • May – ₱4,021

My husband and I both work from home.

We use our computers everyday for at least 12 hours. We have a TV set, a small refrigerator, four electric fans, and one aircon.

We use LED lights in the house and we also have other appliances that don’t require too much electricity including our gas stove that uses electric power to run the gas igniter, our all-in-one oven that we seldom use for roasting and baking, and other smaller appliances and gadgets.

Before ECQ, we only use the aircon at night for 8 hours. Sometimes, we use it in the afternoon for 2 hours when we take a nap. That’s an average of 10 hours per day.

When the ECQ started in March, we have been using the aircon for longer hours. We use it at night from 9PM to 6AM, and we use it again from 8AM to 5PM.

That’s an average of 18 hours per day and that’s almost double than our aircon usage during the previous months.

Now I realized why our electricity bill has also doubled.

We don’t complain that our electricity bill has increased because we use electricity for our own benefit. Especially this summer, we really need to use the aircon, otherwise, we will always be sweating and complaining about the heat.

My husband would always say, “We’re grateful we have an aircon and might as well use it when we most need it.”

Anyways, here are some practical tips that I’d like to share with you to help you reduce your electric bill.

Practical Ways to Save on Electricity

1. Stay in one room and use the aircon together

We have two small rooms in the house. During day time, my husband sleeps at the master’s bedroom using aircon, I work on the computer in the other room using fan, and my daughter usually plays or studies in the living room using another fan.

Instead of staying in different areas in the house and using fans separately, I set up a table inside the air-conditioned room where Macey and I can do our stuff while dad is sleeping. We just minimize our noise to avoid disturbing dad’s sleep (and to not be evicted from the room. 🙂 )

2. Use a laptop instead of desktop. 

Do you know that most desktop computers consume around 70 to 200 watts while laptops would only consume between 15 to 60 watts?

That’s 70% to 80% difference and savings.

That’s true and that’s exactly the reason why I have been using my laptop more often now than my desktop. Plus, it’s easier to set up and use the laptop in the bedroom, or in our garden upstairs, or in any part of the house where I feel like working.

3. Clean fans and aircon regularly

The dust that accumulates at the fan blades, motor housings, and grills reduces the air current generated by the fan.

Fans and aircons heat up more and consume more energy when dusts or any form of impurities pile up at the motor’s cover preventing air from naturally cooling the motor.

That’s why I always ask my husband to clean our fans and aircon as often as possible or as soon as dusts start to appear.

4. Use a power board or power strip

Unplugging power cables eliminates stand-by power costs. A 21-inch TV can add ₱15–₱20 on our electric bill every month on stand-by power consumption.

So imagine how much you will save when you unplug all the appliances and gadgets when you’re not using them.

On my husband’s desk alone, he has power cables for his computer, monitor, exhaust fan, gadgets, and chargers. I used to nag at him before for always leaving his cables plugged in even when they’re not in use.

That’s why we bought power boards and power strips to help us unplug appliances with just a push of a button (and to avoid unnecessary arguments at home 🙂 )

5. Turn the lights off when not in use. 

With the design of our house, we get very little natural light in our living, dining and kitchen area. So even during day time, the lights in these areas are almost always on.

To reduce our lighting costs, we open the windows and doors of our two rooms (when the aircon is not in use) so that the natural light could illuminate our house.

We also use LED lights which helps us save 87% on energy costs vs. incandescent bulbs and 50% vs. CFLs.  LEDs also last 5 to 10 times longer so it’s worth the price.

And of course, we need to turn the lights off when not in use.

6. Place your refrigerator in proper location

Keep at least a 2-inch gap behind the refrigerator and on all sides to let air to circulate. This prevents the motor from overworking and allows efficient heat release from the condenser coils.

I noticed one time that one of our walls was too hot. I asked my husband to check it and he said it was because our fridge was placed very close to the wall. So we move it farther from the wall to let air circulate properly.

Another tip, don’t position your refrigerator in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances like the stove.

7. Keep yourself fresh and cool

Since it’s too hot this summer, wearing light-colored clothes, taking a shower as often as possible, and drinking plenty of water will help you stay fresh and cool.

More Tips to Lower your Electricity Bill

LIGHT

  • Turn the lights off when not in use.
  • Choose the right kind of lighting.
  • Keep lights clean.
  • Switch to LEDs.

ELECTRIC FAN

  • Choose the right fan based on the size of your room or area.
  • Set the right speed.
  • Clean fans regularly.

AIR CONDITIONER

  • Choose the right unit size for your room or area.
  • Keep your air conditioner in a cool place.
  • Set the thermostat at the highest most comfortable level.
  • Set fan speed appropriately.
  • Regularly check and clean your air conditioner.
  • Consider Inverter Technology. You can save 25% to 64% on energy costs using inverters for the same or even better comfort.

REFRIGERATOR

  • Choose the right one for your needs or choose units with a higher Energy Efficiency Factor cost less to operate.
  • Provide proper air circulation and location.
  • Keep refrigerators at least two-thirds full to allow for proper air circulation of cool air inside.
  • Don’t store hot food. Let it cool to room temperature first or your refrigerator has to work harder to bring the temperature down.
  • Avoid unnecessary opening. Before opening, consider what would you like to take and where its place inside the refrigerator.
  • Consider Inverter Technology as they are more efficient versus conventional units. You can save as much as 50% on refrigerator costs.

TELEVISION

  • Watch TV together.
  • Unplug your TV sets when not in use. Use power strip or power board to easily turn off all your appliances.
  • Choose the size that best suits your viewing needs. The bigger the TV, the higher the wattage ratings, the more energy you consume. 
  • Use Energy Saving Mode.
  • Consider LED TVs.

WASHING MACHINE

  • Wash at full loads but don’t overload your unit.
  • Use the right amount of detergent.
  • Do not over wash clothes.
  • Spin clothes properly.
  • Switch to Inverter Technology. They are more efficient to run than conventional types and can save you up to 50% on washing machine costs.

CLOTHES DRYER

  • Run only on full loads but don’t overload the machine. Air should be able to circulate around the clothes to properly dry them.
  • Sort clothes when drying.
  • Do not put wet clothes.
  • Clean your dryer often.
  • Place your dryer in a warm and dry space.

CLOTHES IRON

  • Iron large batches of clothing at one time.
  • Do not overheat the iron.
  • Dry, sort and fold clothes properly.

INDUCTION HEAT COOKER

  • Induction Cookers are more efficient (82%) than gas (36%) and electric (coil-type) stoves (36%) and they also cook faster.

RICE COOKER

  • After using your rice cooker and every time it is not in use, unplug the power cord.
  • Clean your rice cookers and make sure that the inner pot and hot plate are free from any form of impurities such as burnt grains of rice or hardened food to ensure efficient and even heating.
  • Choose the right rice cooker size according to your household needs. An over-sized rice cooker would consume more energy than a properly sized rice cooker.

STOVETOP

  • Prepare all ingredients before cooking to avoid frequent switching of the electric stove.
  • Thaw frozen food thoroughly before cooking.
  • Avoid using a big burner for a small pan to lessen heat transfer loss.
  • Use flat-bottomed pots and pans as they allow faster heat transfer and use up to 50% less energy.
  • Cover pots and pans with lids while cooking to prevent heat from escaping.
  • Turn off the electric stove during the last minutes of cooking. The remaining heat will be enough to keep the food simmering.

OVEN and MICROWAVE

  • Use microwave oven for cooking or warming leftovers They use up to 30% less energy than regular ovens. Use glass pans to lessen costs further.
  • Keep it closed when you’re cooking or heating food. 20% of the heat can be lost each time you open the oven door.
  • Turn the oven off before cooking is complete. The heat in the oven will continue to cook the dish until finished.

COMPUTER

  • Turn down brightness.
  • Turn off your computer and unplug the cables when not in use.
  • Use power strips or power board to easily turn off your devices.
  • Use a laptop if available because it’s more energy efficient.

For more tips on how you can reduce and save on your electricity bill, visit Meralco website.

If you want to know how to pay your Meralco Bill online, click this link:

5 Ways to Pay your Meralco Bill Online

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1 Response

  1. May 21, 2020

    […] Practical Ways to Save on Electricity and Lower your Electric Bill […]

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