Is your prepaid meter running like Usain Bolt? Recently cost of power has increased from N14 Naira per unit to about N26 Naira per unit with the new electricity tariff effective from February 2016. What is the solution? How do you cut down the high cost of electricity? Today we bring you tips on how to reduce your electricity bill by half in Nigeria by changing your power consumption. These tips will work properly for people using prepaid meter.
1. Switch off Your fan when not in use
If you are the type that leaves your fans on all day and night, you have to think twice. Fans have a big impact on power bills, For example a simple tubelight consumes around 55 watts per hour, an average fan consumes 75 watts. Old models and inexpensive fans can consume up to 90 watts per hour. Replacing your old fan with a power-saver model makes sense as a BEE rated fan consumes around 50 watts. You can go for standing fans like Binatone Stand Fan VS-1655 V-Series with 65 watts power consumption or a rechargeable fan like Andrakk 18″ Rechargeable Fan with Remote – 8518. You can also go for energy efficient Newclime Ceiling Fan. Today, super energy efficient models are available, which use around 35 watts.
How much you can Save
If you use an old fan of 80 watts per hours consumption for 18 hours daily, the approximate bill in a month
(using the current cost of 26 Naira per unit – kWh) is N1123.2 Naira
If you reduce your usage to 8 hours per day, the cost will be N499.2 Naira per month
If you change your fan to energy saving model like the ones above and use it for 8 hours per day, the cost will be N405.6 Naira per month
Formula: ((Power consumption per hour x no of hours x 30 days)/1000) x 26 Naira
2. Change your bulbs to energy bulbs and Reduce Usage
If you have not changed all your bulbs to energy bulbs (LED, CFL), it is time to do so. A 100 watts, 60 watts or 200 watts bulb is digging hole in your pocket. Also, when buying an energy bulb, check the watt rating, a 7 watt or 11 watt energy bulb will save you money than 36 watts energy bulb.
Further, more reduce you usage of bulb, off the lights during the day. This can save you as much as 80% of lightning power consumption.
3. Minimize your AC usage
The air-conditioner is the biggest power consumer among household appliances. If you are planning to buy an AC, a BEE-rated model is a good option. If the choice is between a split and window AC, the split makes more money sense. Look for an AC with a built-in inverter like LG Gencool Inverter Split Unit Air Conditioner 1.5HP or Samsung 1.5HP Split Air Conditioner AR12FVFSAWK Inverter Model. Though a little more expensive, it consumes much less power, thus saving you more money on the long run. An old 1.5 tonne AC uses around 1.5 units per hour, while an inverter AC uses only 0.91 units per hour.
How much can you save?
If you use an old 1.5hp AC for 8 hours daily, the approximate bill in a month is N9360 Naira
If you reduced usage to 5 hours per day the bill will be N5850 Naira
However, if you use an an inverter AC the cost will be N3549 Naira
4. Position your refrigerator properly
You can make your fridge more power efficient by placing it in a way to allow air circulation around it. It should be at least 2 inches away from the wall. Do not expose it to direct sunlight else it will need more power to function.
Don’t over stuff your fridge as this will reduce the space for air to circulate inside, thus, reducing the efficiency of the unit. Also Ice accumulation impacts energy consumption, so defrost regularly.
If you are buying a new fridge, go for energy saving refrigerators. Big fridges and ones with features like instant ice maker use more energy, turning on ice maker can double your energy consumption. Replacing an old refrigerator with a new energy efficient one, can save N700 a month on power bills.
Fridges produced between 1992 and 2000 uses about 850kWh per year
2001-2010 uses 600 kWh per year
2001-2004 Energy Star (10%+ better) uses 550 kWh per year
2004-2008 Energy Star (15%+ better) uses 525 kWh per year
2008-2010 Energy Star (20%+ better) uses 500 kWh per year
CEE Tier 3 (30%+better) uses 425 kWh per year
You can further reduce your cost by turning off the fridge when it well chilled.
5. Beware standby power consumption
Do you know switching of a device don’t totally stop it’s power consumption? it’s not enough to just switch off a device. If you don’t turn off the main switch the device is connected to, you will continue to pay for the standby power also called vampire power. Standby power consumption can be reduced by unplugging or totally switching off, if possible, devices with a standby mode not currently in use; if several devices are used together or only when a room is occupied, they can be connected to a single power strip that is switched off when not needed.
In Britain in 2004 standby modes on electronic devices accounted for 8% of all British residential power consumption. A similar study in France in 2000 found that standby power accounted for 7% of total residential consumption. According to a study conducted by the Department of Energy in the US, a DVD player’s standby power consumption is around 7.54 W, and a set-top box’s 17.8 W. (Costs you between N140 and N330 Naira a month).
The U.S. Department of Energy said in 2008:
“Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.”
Switch off the electric point for appliances which are not being used. It is safer to unplug the cord.
If you think your electricity bill is too high, analyse it. Find out the possible issues, identify the appliances that are consuming most of your power and take corrective measures. You can calculate the energy usage of your appliances using the form below