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The advent of the full roll out of the Open Energy Market (OEM) is another big step in the right direction of giving consumers more choice when it comes to managing their finances. In this case, it’s in the area of the cost of energy consumption, and boy do we need it.
If recent data is anything to go by, saving money on your electricity bill is something that Singaporeans need to probably pay a little more attention to. According the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore’s household electricity consumption has increased by about 17% over the past decade. Choosing an electricity plan that suits your needs is definitely a good way to start making sure you’re not overpaying, and this goes beyond just looking at the rates advertised by suppliers.
But another big contributing factor to the overall cost of your electricity bill is of course your lifestyle habits as well. Here’s what you should do or look out for in order to save more on your monthly electricity bill.
1. Lock in your savings with the most competitive fixed plan in Singapore
One of the best things to come out of the OEM is the fact that you can now choose a plan that suits your needs, rather than being subjected to whatever electricity tariffs were previously set.
Currently, Geneco offers the best 24-month fixed plan in Singapore, at a price of 16.80* cents per kWh. And given that you’re always going to need power in your home, why not take advantage of this right now? You can read our assessment of what else you need to take note of when choosing a price plan, and Geneco’s site makes it extremely easy for you to sign up for a plan of your choosing.
You weren’t expecting to see anything else at the number one spot for energy guzzlers right? We get it. Singapore is a sauna of Death Star proportions, and I will be the first to admit that I leave my air-conditioner on for an unreasonably long period of time at home.
The 2017 NEA survey of 550 households revealed that air-conditioners accounted for 24% of the energy consumption in a home. Back in 2014, in a bid to help consumers better identify more energy efficient home appliance models, and also to encourage suppliers to offer more efficient products, the NEA revised their energy rating system for air-conditioners, refrigerators and clothes dryers.
Getting an air-conditioner with more ticks in their rating might cost you slightly more, but the savings in the long run are definitely worth it, and buying a 5-tick aircon can save you around $270 a year. But of course you and I both know what the ultimate way to save energy on aircon usage is.
According to the Energy Efficiency Programme Office (E2PO), using a fan instead of an aircon can save you about $400 a year. Of course, I’m not going to preach about switching devices when I am obviously not going to do it myself.
One good compromise that I have started to practice is actually switching my aircon off after the room has cooled, or setting a timer and then using my fan to circulate the air in the room. This way you don’t have a fan just blowing hot air around your room, while also minimizing the use of your air con. This could save you up to $340 a year.
Refrigerators came in a not-so-close second in NEA’s survey, clocking about 17% of total energy consumption. That’s still a pretty significant number. Now you might be thinking “Well I obviously can’t turn off my fridge intermittently right? That’s just ridiculous.”
When it comes to saving energy on refrigerator usage, I’m quite certain nobody in their right mind is going to be cycling their fridge’s power on and off. What can help you to minimize the energy consumption of your refrigerator, however, is efficient usage of your fridge. Here are some quick tips on making sure you don’t overwork your refrigerator:
- Minimize door openings – every time cool air escapes, the fridge works harder to replace the air, so keep the door open no longer than necessary.
- Keep the refrigerator full, but don’t overpack it – a full fridge retains cold better than an empty one, but if your fridge is too full, it will obstruct the circulation of cold air inside.
- Separate your fridge from heat sources – a 10 degree increase in surrounding temperature could result in up to 20% higher energy consumption
- Allow hot foods to cool before placing them in the fridge – placing hot foods inside immediately causes the temperature to go up temporarily, and makes your unit work harder.
4. Water heaters
This came as a little bit of a surprise to me, but water heaters accounted for about 11% of electricity consumption. That being said, I know quite a number of people who just leave their water heaters on the entire day, even when they out of the house for work!
You could save about $110 a year just by only turning the storage water heater on when you need it, and turning it off after usage. There’s really no good reason at all to leave it on the entire day (unless there’s someone in your house who enjoys bathing continuously the whole day, which would present a whole different problem altogether).
5. Standby Power
You might not realise this, but just because you turn devices off, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still consuming power. Standby power refers to the way electric power is consumed when appliances are turned off or are in standby mode.
It might seem like a small thing on a per-device level, but if you multiply that by the number of devices that are hooked up to a power source – TVs, computers, fans, kitchen appliances, just to name a few, this can add up to a significant amount. Using something like a power strip that connects multiple devices and allows you to cut the power at one go can help you to reduce this unwanted usage.
Apart from adapting your lifestyle behaviour, there are also many different power-saving innovations that are helping consumers to save on their electricity. Simple things like using LED lights can save you a huge amount of energy. At the end of the day, it’s about being aware of your consumption habits to ensure that you are not using more than you need.
Want to save more on your electricity bill? With the new OEM, choosing the right energy provider to suit your needs can help you with significant cost savings. Find out more about what Geneco has to offer.
*Price is correct as of 31 Oct 2018 and is subject to change.