NEW DELHI: Priya Singh lives in a 3BHK flat with her husband and two young kids. There are two air-conditioners, a fridge, television and other electric appliances in her house. The family pays about Rs 2,000 as electricity bill during the winters which goes up to around Rs 5,000 in the summers, for some, this cost goes even higher. However, there are ways through which your electricity bill can be reduced by more than 50%. Here is what you need to do this summer!
With around 300 days of sunshine every year, India has one of the best conditions in the world to harness solar energy. So, one cannot ignore this huge source of energy. Solar panels are an efficient way to generate clean renewable electricity. They can be installed on your rooftop and incur a one-time cost which may be very less considering the money you will save on your electricity bills in the long run. Experts believe that 1kWp solar rooftop plant can on an average generate over 4.6 kWh of electricity per day (considering an average 5.5 sunshine hours per day).
“The per kW cost for installing a solar panel is about Rs 50,000. Depending on your roof rights, in a high-rise society or independent house, you can choose the product from the listed government vendors. Currently, the biggest bottleneck is the rooftop space in high-rise buildings. Without space it is not possible to install solar panels, which is a bottleneck especially in Delhi-NCR. The government gives subsidies on installing solar panels and the cost is almost half for an individual,” says PP Singh, project officer in Gautam Budh Nagar (ADDL Charge), Uttar Pradesh, New & Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Use of low-consumption LED lighting and the most energy-efficient variants of appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners can make a big difference in your electricity cost. “Most new buildings by reputed developers are being designed to harness solar energy as well as rainwater harvesting. The designs include accommodating enough natural sunlight and ventilation to reduce the need for appliances for lighting and cooling. These factors need to be incorporated at the design stage itself and can often not be introduced retrospectively in buildings which have no provisions for it,” explains Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants.
Tips to save Electricity:
- Turn off lights when not required.
- Consider employing infrared sensors, motion sensors, automatic timers, dimmers and solar cells wherever applicable, to switch on/off lighting circuits.
- Use task lighting. A reading lamp, for example, lights only reading material rather than the whole room.
- Dust your tube lights and lamps regularly. Dirty tube lights and bulbs reflect less light and can absorb 50 per cent of the light.
- Fluorescent tube lights and CFLs are five times more efficient than ordinary bulbs and thus save about 70% electricity.
- Use ceiling or table fans against summer heat. Ceiling fans, for instance, cost about 30 paise an hour to operate – much less than air conditioners (Rs 10 per hour).
- Set the room air conditioner at 25°C to reduce your electricity cost.
- You can reduce the air-conditioning energy use by as much as 40 per cent by shading your home’s windows and walls.
- Fans allow air movement to cool the room.
- Plant trees and shrubs to keep the sun’s heat off your house.
- Keep doors to the air-conditioned rooms closed
- Clean the air-conditioner filter every month. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may damage the unit.
- Buy new energy-efficient air conditioner to replace the old ones.
- Keep refrigerators away from all sources of heat, including direct sunlight, the oven and cooking range.
- Allow enough space for continuous airflow around the refrigerator.
- Think about what you need before opening the refrigerator door. You’ll reduce the amount of time the door remains open.
- Allow hot and warm food to cool and cover them well before putting them in the refrigerator.
- Make sure that the refrigerator’s rubber door seals are clean and tight.
- Clean the coils regularly to make sure that air can circulate freely
- Defrost the freezer compartment regularly for a manual defrost refrigerator
Microwave Ovens & Electric Kettles
- Microwaves save energy by reducing cooking time. In fact, you can save up to 50 per cent on your cooking energy costs by using a microwave instead of a regular oven, especially for small quantities of food.
- If you’re cooking more than one item, place larger and thicker items on the outside.
- Use an electric kettle to heat water as it is more energy efficient.
- Regularly clean your electric kettle by combining boiling water and vinegar to remove mineral deposits.
- Don’t overfill the kettle for just one drink. Heat only the amount of water you need.
- Turn off your computer/TV when not in use.
- Set computers, monitors and copiers on sleep-mode when not in use as this helps cut energy costs by approximately 40 per cent.
- Pull the plug and save battery chargers, for laptops, cell phones and digital cameras, as they draw power whenever they are plugged in and are very inefficient.