Tips for lowering your electricity bill in Singapore
Many people in Singapore unknowingly consume a lot more electricity than they should. As a result, a large number of households pay significantly more for utilities than necessary. Here are some steps everyone in Singapore can take to reduce their electricity consumption and lower their monthly bills.
Know which appliances in the home consume the most electricity
Do not go overboard and start reading by candlelight in the dead of night just to cut costs. It pays to know which of your appliances are consuming the most electricity. The most intensive energy suckers tend to be the air conditioner, refrigerator, water heater, and clothes dryer if you have one.
In fact, the first three types of appliances account for a shocking 75% of Singaporean households’ energy consumption1. Once you’ve identified the offending appliances, you can then work to reduce the amount of energy they consume.
There are two key ways to reduce the energy consumption of a particular appliance:
• Optimize the appliance so it consumes less energy
• Reduce the amount of time the appliance remains in use
Here are some pointers for doing just that.
Reducing the energy consumption of appliances
• Air conditioner – Air conditioning units need to be constantly serviced and cleaned in order to keep them working efficiently. Your air conditioning filters must be cleaned regularly because clogged filters make the unit work harder to emit cold air. This should be done every few weeks, especially in the haze season.
• Refrigerator – Your refrigerator setting should be optimized to cool its contents as efficiently as possible. If your refrigerator is set to too low a temperature, energy is being wasted.
Reducing your reliance on electrical appliances
Optimizing your appliances is the first step towards lowering your electricity bill. The second step involves reducing your own reliance on them.
• Air conditioning – Rely on fans rather than air conditioning to cool yourself down. If you find it difficult to sleep even with the fan on, take a shower before you go to bed and you will find it cools your body down considerably. Otherwise, use the timer setting on your air conditioning unit so it shuts down after a certain amount of time rather than running all night long. If your room heats up due to excessive sunshine, consider getting your windows tinted or having blackout curtains installed.
• Refrigerator – Avoid overloading your refrigerator, as this prevents cold air from circulating freely and forces the appliance to work harder. Never place hot food or uncovered liquids in the refrigerator, as these make the compressor work harder.
• Water heater – Water heaters should be activated no more than 15 to 20 minutes before you take a shower, rather than left on for hours. Taking quick showers enables you to reduce the amount of time your water heater needs to stay on.
• Clothes dryer – You should air dry your clothes whenever possible, except in emergencies when you urgently need an item to be dry. If you have to use the dryer, sort your laundry when you have several loads’ worth and dry it in batches according to the material. Items like towels take a longer time to dry than clothes made of lightweight synthetics. Also take care not to over-dry the laundry by monitoring progress intermittently, rather than letting the timer run its course.
Why bother to save electricity?
Your electricity bill is a recurring cost that can become quite hefty if you are not careful. According to statistics released by Singapore Power2, in May 2016 the average utility bill for HDB 5-room flat dwellers without gas was $145.19.
Being conscious about your energy use can reduce your monthly expenses considerably, enabling you to channel the money saved into savings and investments.
Then there are also the sobering environmental implications of overusing electricity. By being responsible for your electrical consumption, you are building a better world for future generations.
By Joanne Poh
Disclaimer: All info contained herein is intended for your general information only and is not a substitute for insurance advice. If you have a specific question, please consult our insurance experts at 6702 0202.