4 steps to reduce energy consumption

Gone are the days when electricity was cheap! Now electricity usage doesn’t only impact the environment negatively, the rising cost of electricity is being felt in the pockets of many Nigerians. Find out how you could reduce electricity consumption and save money.

  1. Appliances

Unplug your appliances when they’re not in use

Your TV, computer, microwave and even some washing machines have a ‘standby’ mode, which means they’re still using energy even when they’re not in use. Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power, even when off. Some chargers continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in (a good judge of this is if a charger feels warm to the touch). Computers are some of the biggest energy users in office buildings. Turn your monitor off at night and ditch the screensaver. Today’s computers can be turned on and off over 40,000 times. Opting to shut down over using a screensaver does not affect your computer’s lifespan. So power down!

Buy appliances with a good energy rating

The more stars, the better – but think about size first. Often it’s easier for a larger model to be more efficient (and therefore have more stars) than a smaller one. However, since it is bigger, its overall energy consumption is usually higher.

Pick the right washing machine

Although they usually cost more to buy, most front-loader washing machines save you money over time and are kinder to the environment because they use less power, water and detergent than top loaders.

Choose an energy-efficient fridge

Your refrigerator is working non-stop and the energy it consumes adds up quickly.

  1. Choose the right light

One of the least expensive and most effective changes you can make in your home is replacing your light bulbs. According to Energy Star, one of its qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), “will save some tidy amount over its lifetime and pay for itself in about six months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.” Although some people are concerned because CFLs contain mercury, Energy Star says that CFLs do not release any mercury when in use, and actually reduce mercury emissions because they lessen the need for electricity from power plants that emit mercury. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient lighting option. LED bulbs use 75 per cent less electricity than incandescent bulbs. They also have no mercury, and last about 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

  1. Use a power strip to reduce your plug load.

To avoid paying for “vampire power,” use a power strip to turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your power strip has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing phantom energy loss.

  1. Use fans for cooling

Unless it is quite hot, use stationary, ceiling and whole-house fans to cool your home, reducing the need for air conditioning. Experts explain that for every degree you raise your thermostat, you reduce your cooling costs between 7 and 10 per cent.

Adapted from www.green.havard.edu