By Chinyere Okoroafor
Over the last year, there have been frequent increases in electricity tariffs, making it necessary to explore ways to reduce electricity usage so as to pay less.
Things are hard enough as it is especially in a place like Lagos, and if you don’t plan to pay double, you have to adjust accordingly. Although you would certainly pay more, knowing how to reduce your electricity usage in Lagos would do you a lot of good.
Here are four tips on how to reduce your electricity bill:
To start with, you should know that for these tips to work for you; you need a prepaid meter installed. Without a prepaid meter, your bill pretty much runs on estimates and leaves you with little room to contest its accuracy. If you want to save power, start by getting a prepaid meter installed at home.
1. Remove all plugs and turn off switches:
Many don’t know this but turning off a device while leaving it plugged in does not cut off the power supply. The device still consumes residue energy called vampire or standby power. To avoid this, cut off power to a device by turning off the socket and the device’s power switch.
2. Replace all your bulbs at home with energy-efficient models:
Although non-energy-efficient bulbs are cheaper to purchase, they become more expensive in the long run to use. This is because they consume far more power than energy-saving bulbs. For example, the average wattage of an ordinary bulb is around 60 to 200. However, energy-saving bulbs are as low as 7 to 11 watts. This means that one would consume more than ten times the other’s power; the choice is yours.
Also, it would help if you become more cautious with how long you leave your bulb on. Turn them off during the day, and when you want to sleep at night; especially your kitchen, toilet and bathroom lights. Only leave security lights on.
3. Limit your fan and Air conditioner’s runtime:
The ceiling fan is one of the home’s highest passive power consumers. You might not know it, but your fan practically runs all day and night, which significantly impacts your power bills. One thing you can do is replace all your fans with energy-efficient models if you have the means. However, if you don’t have the energy-efficient model, simply regulate how long the fan runs.
The energy-consuming capacity of an air conditioner is well known. Keep it running for a day, and it would make a telling impact on your bills. A 1.5hp (1119watts) Ac running for 10 hours at a rate of N60 per kilowatt would cost you well over N30,000 alone. You can shuffle run time between your fan and air conditioner, depending on how many units you purchase per month. Limiting your fan to running only about 8 hours a day can save you hundreds of naira.
4. Revisit your refrigerator:
This is another appliance that consumes the most power at home. The average watt consumption of a refrigerator is 1200 watts per day (depending on the model), which means they consume one of, if not the highest power at home. You can reduce consumption by purchasing a smaller freezer, which is the more expensive approach or doing the following:
Move the refrigerator to an area with adequate air circulation, as it helps it become more power-efficient. Your fridge should also be at least 2 inches away from the wall and not stand directly exposed to sunlight.
Another thing you should do is not stuff up your refrigerator. This reduces the overall efficiency of the unit because of the lesser space available for air circulation. It also means that the unit would draw more power to meet the demand. Ensure you defrost the fridge regularly too
Asides from the tips mentioned in this article, you should also sit down to study your home. If possible, create a list of all your appliances and their watt rating. Start trimming down consumption by replacing the device with a more energy-efficient model, or reducing its use.