Cutting your electricity and water use isn’t just kinder on the environment, your energy-saving measures will also protect your wallet.
On 1 April, electricity tariffs increased by about 6 per cent ― or from 20.20 to 21.39 cents per kWh. And come July, you can expect to fork out about $9 to $15 more a month for your water bill as prices will jump by 15 per cent — the first of two increments in the next two years.
Even better, rope junior in to help you save on your utility bill and you’ll be teaching your mini-me the importance — and benefits — of being thrifty as well as saving the Earth. Here are pointers to put him on the right path…
1. Ditch your air-con for fans during the day Nothing beats switching on the air-con to stay cool on a sweltering day, but this means your monthly electrical bills will also cost a pretty penny. Try using a fan instead. Worried that it won’t cool your room sufficiently? Switch the air conditioner on or an hour before turning to the fan.
2. Wash your air-conditioner filters regularly Check the cleanliness of the air filters in your air-con ― your air-con uses more energy when it’s clogged with dirt and dust.
3. Switch off your modem, TV and cable set-top boxes when not in use For instance, leaving your TV on standby mode requires some electricity, so switch it off, along with your modem. Turning off these appliances at the power socket also ensures there’s no residual electrical current flowing through the wires to these appliances.
4. Better yet, cancel your cable TV subscription for on-demand services Cable TV is shaping up to be costly, especially since you don’t have the freedom to choose when to watch what you want to watch. Now with on-demand services like Netflix, Toggle, Viu and Amazon Prime, you can enjoy quality entertainment without a cable subscription. This applies to your music purchases ― you can download as many music files as you want from streaming services like Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify for a small monthly fee!
Try Singapore Power’s Home Electricity Audit calculator ― you’ll get help nailing down which appliance is your biggest electrical “culprit”.
5. Save the use of your dryer for a rainy day While a dryer is really convenient, why spend money when you can rely on the bacteria-killing properties of the sun’s rays to do the job and leave your laundry smelling fresh? Best of all, it’s free!
6. Choose natural light where possible Desktop lamps are everywhere these days, but they can also cost a bomb! Open your windows and let the sunlight, so you don’t need to switch on any unnecessary lights. Plus, your home will also get fresh air.
7. Do an “electricity audit” of your home If you are trying to reduce your use of various electrical appliances at home without seeing any reduction in your bill, try Singapore Power’s Home Electricity Audit calculator. Fill out the form and you’ll get help you nailing down which appliance is your biggest electrical “culprit”, so you can unplug it!
8. Count the ticks make the switch Now that you have unplugged the most energy-consuming appliance at home, you may want to shop for a more economical alternative. For instance, if your ceiling air-con system is using up too much electricity, a window unit may be more cost-effective. Otherwise, pick out an energy-efficient appliance ― the National Environment Agency’s energy label offers a quick and easy way to do this: The more ticks, the more energy efficient an electrical device.
9. Iron softer fabrics first Begin by ironing clothes made of silk and cotton blends that can be pressed at a lower temperature, before moving on to tougher and thicker fabrics like cotton. This way, the iron will heat up gradually, which consumes less energy.
Learn water-saving tips… Next!
10. Cut down on bathtime You will use up nearly 90 litres of water if you spend 10 minutes in the shower with the tap running non-stop. Keeping your showers short saves you both water and time. So, turn off the tap/shower when you are soaping your body.
11. When brushing your teeth, use a mug for gargling Instead of using your hands to collect water from a running tap — which uses close to 12 litres of water ― fill a plastic mug with water to rinse your mouth. You’ll use just 250ml of water.
Instead of using your hands to collect water from a running tap― fill a plastic mug with water to rinse your mouth.
12. Store water in a container to wash dishes or produce Collect water in a plastic basin to rinse off any oil and grease first before washing your soiled pots and pans thoroughly. Reuse the water you collect from washing your vegetables to water your plants.
13. Pre-soak heavily soiled garments before washing Do this especially for junior’s sweat-soaked PE and other sports attire. Leave to soak in a pail of soapy water before placing in the washing machine.
14. Only run the washing machine on a full load Separate your garments into coloureds and whites and wash only when you have enough items. Doing so helps you reduce not just water, but detergent, too.
15. Improve the water efficiency of your taps and showerheads and equipment Faucet aerators are inexpensive attachments you can add to the tap opening. Buy these fixtures from hardware stores, which prevent water from gushing out as air will combine with the tap water. Or you can request a free watersaving kit from the PUB. This kit features thimbles you can insert into your taps and showerheads to control the flow of water.
When shopping for showerheads, look out for the PUB’s Water Efficiency Labels. These labels are used to grade the water consumption levels of a particular product. More ticks means it’s more water efficient.