Lower Your Electricity Bill with These Tips!

Be smart with your electrical appliance usage at home with these electricity bill hacks that can help protect the environment too.

With the recent heatwave that hit Malaysia and most Southeast Asian countries, let’s make conscious decisions to conserve energy by using electrical appliances more optimally and effectively.

What are the factors that could contribute to increased electricity bills?

Careless consumption can lead to huge bills and a negative impact on the environment. Before we start elaborating on how to reduce our electricity bills, we need to first know some of the contributing factors:

1. Heatwave-level temperatures

Malaysia experienced what was classified as a heatwave level, where the temperature hit a maximum average of 37°C for three consecutive days in April 2023. According to the World Bank climatology portal, Malaysia's mean annual temperature is 25.4°C in 2021.

2. Higher air conditioning usage

The usage of air conditioning on a regular and extended basis at home to battle the recent hot and humid weather conditions in Malaysia can dramatically increase energy consumption and electricity bill.

3. Higher dehumidifier usage

Some people use dehumidifiers at home in addition to air conditioners to reduce humidity levels in certain areas or rooms. Dehumidifiers use electricity to remove moisture from the air, increasing overall energy consumption and contributing to increased electricity bills.

4. Increased refrigerator workload

Refrigerators have to work extra hard in hot and humid countries like Malaysia compared to colder weather countries to keep our food and drinks cool and to avoid moisture from building up inside. This causes the compressor to run more frequently, consuming more electricity and resulting in a higher electricity cost.

5. Increased electrical appliance performance

Some electrical appliances, such as computers, laptops, televisions, and game consoles, may function less efficiently in high humidity environments. If these devices overheat or develop moisture-related issues, users may need to run fans or air conditioning to provide enough cooling, hence resulting in higher energy consumption.

So, how can we save on electricity?

A hand holding an air conditioner remote control pointing at a wall-mounted air conditioning unit.

The simplest method is to adopt energy-saving practices, be mindful of our daily electricity usage and make minor changes to your regular routine. Going green through home energy efficiency also means protecting the environment too!

Switching off lights and unplugging electrical devices when not in use. Make it a practice to turn off lights, fans, and other equipment when you leave a room or leave the house. Even in standby mode, electronics consume electricity, so unplug those chargers, water dispenser, rice cooker, washer, and other appliances whenever feasible.

Using energy-efficient appliances. Energy efficiency can help us get the same job done with lesser energy and, in the process, avoiding high bills and unnecessary pollution. When purchasing new appliances, look for ones with high ENERGY STAR ratings. Refer to the energy efficiency label on the equipment to see the estimated average of electricity use per year on the label.

Setting the air conditioner at an optimum temperature. Air conditioner is one of the appliances that uses a lot of energy. But by setting the temperature between 24-26°C in our country’s climate, it provides adequate cooling in the bedroom or around the house while reducing energy usage. Remember to also check for leaks and insulate your room properly to maintain the indoor temperature.

A photo showing extension plug point overload with multiple plug and bricks attaching to it.

Reducing electrical socket overload. Not only will it help reduce the amount of electricity use in one socket but overloading the electrical socket can cause a short circuit and damage the devices and electrical items that are connected to it. When not in use, remember to turn off the switch or unplug the extension cord from the wall socket.

Running appliances efficiently. Most may not know this but running washing machines and dishwashers at full capacity can help save electricity as they maximize energy efficiency. Also, do your washing in cold water whenever possible as energy is not needed to warm the water coming into the machine.

Taking shorter showers and limit water heater usage. Shorter showers mean less hot water used, which decreases the energy needed to heat it. Similarly, not using the water heater saves electricity altogether. By reducing hot water consumption, you lower the overall energy usage, resulting in cost savings on your energy bill.

Air-drying our clothes. There’s no denying that, regardless of the weather, dryers provide the convenience of faster and more controlled drying times. But by air-drying clothes instead of using dryers can cut your total monthly electricity bill down significantly. Besides that, heat waste around the house can also be reduced.

Planting trees and potted plants to provide more shade. A greener and healthier planet starts from home. Plant trees to create shade to protect your home from direct sunlight and heat being absorbed by the furniture. With less heat accumulated inside the house, the less likely you will switch on the air conditioner to cool the space down.

Of course, we are not suggesting a total lifestyle change just to save a few ringgit each month, but the saying “small changes in our daily behavior could make a big difference” makes a lot of sense especially in this current inflated economic situation.

Consumers are becoming more aware

Due to the recent increasing cost of living and inflation, consumers are becoming more conscious of where each of their hard-earned ringgit and cents go. It is always difficult to make informed decisions about how to save electricity if you do not know which equipment or behaviors use the most electricity.

Furthermore, old habits like keeping the lights on overnight, continuously running appliances, or utilizing high-energy devices without considering other alternatives may necessitate deliberate effort as well as adaptation to new routines.

As consumers, we should progressively adopt energy-efficient hacks and practices to not just reduce electricity bills, but also conserve energy and protect the environment.

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