Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.Leo Tolstoy
Life on Earth is close to impossible without the power of electricity.
From household appliances to industries – most of our day-to-day activities are powered directly or indirectly by electricity.
And while this is a convenience that we can be thankful for, it also increases the pollution that we humans cause in this world. In fact, about 40% of the world’s CO2 emission is caused by electricity generation through the burning of fossil fuels like coal.
Although there are more sustainable options, like renewable energy from wind or solar power – the electricity supplied to our households leaves a negative impact on the environment when used excessively.
In addition to contributing to pollution, using too much electricity can result in large bills that will significantly deflate your wallet at the end of the month.
However, this is not a situation that cannot be countered. On the contrary, there are several ways in which you can change this situation by using more sustainable practices or power sources.
This article will walk you through the simplest tips that will help you achieve the most savings – both for the environment and for yourself.
13 Practical Ways to Save Electricity at home:
Switch to LED lights:
LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs generally only consume low amounts of power. Although these might be more expensive to purchase, the initial investment pays off in the long term by a considerable margin.
Incandescent lights, in addition to consuming more power – also produce more artificial light. LED bulbs also last longer than their counterparts.
To compare energy efficiency, we must first understand the parameter to look for known as useful lumens.
This is a measure of light emitted per unit of power (W) consumed by the bulb. In general – installing LED lights can result in up to a 65% reduction in the energy consumed – which will also reflect a reduction in your electricity bill.
Unplug your appliances
When not in use, always leave your electronic appliances unplugged.
While you may not realize it, the standby power, called phantom power usage that is consumed by these also contribute significantly, around 10% of the total, to energy usage in your household. To know more about standby power consumption read this article by Eartheasy.
Even smaller kitchen appliances like toasters, coffee makers, and other chargers sap and waste energy over the long run.
Wash your clothes in cold water
Enabling only cold, or even lukewarm water to wash your clothes in the washing machine may cut down its power consumption to up to 90%.
This is because most of the electricity is utilized solely to heat the water before washing. There is hardly a difference in the cleaning process when mildly soiled clothes are washed with cold water as compared to hot.
However, if your work clothes or children’s clothes tend to get dirty with mud, grease, or other material harder to wash off than most – collect them and wash them in a different load.
Although this may not seem like much – in the long term will make a difference to the overall power consumption in your household.
Utilize solar energy
By installing solar panels in your home, the initial investment easily pays off in the long term since you will save upward of 50% on your electricity bill. For appliances that can be run on solar power -think about switching to the cleaner alternative.
This is particularly true for lights that are outdoors and are switched on throughout the night. Using solar-powered lights for daily use will make a definite difference in power consumption.
In addition to being green and clean, these bulbs require no maintenance or frequent replacement.
All this coupled with the elimination of long wires as well as manual on-off makes for a pretty good case to switch to solar lights for the outdoor lights at your house.
Other solar power appliances include – water heaters, fans, flashlights among others. All these options are readily available on the market and are great investments to make towards a better future.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances
A recent study by the Council of Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) suggested that in India, only 25% of the population were aware of the concept of energy-efficient appliances.
If you weren’t till this point, this is what you need to know – energy-efficient appliances are put to a test before they are placed in the market and receive a BEE star rating.
Each heavy electrical appliance – like AC, fridge, and washing machine receives a star rating between one and five stars.
Five stars mean that the appliance is extremely efficient and will reflect that way in its power consumption.
You may also like: Best BLDC Ceiling Fans in India [Energy Saving]
Turning off appliances
On average, of the total electricity used by a household 5-10% is towards lighting. Seemingly obvious, but we all occasionally (or often) forget to turn off the lights and fan in the room when we walk out of it.
This could be for hours on end or just fifteen minutes – but electricity wasted is a waste either way.
This thumb rule is not as applicable if you use CFL bulbs. If you utilize CFL bulbs and are leaving the room for under 15 minutes, keeping it on could actually save you some energy.
Use outdoor light
Try to avoid switching on the lights inside your house during the day time unless you need strong focused light for a certain purpose. This will allow you to not only enjoy the natural light – but also get some wind circulation from inside the house to outside.
By using electricity-powered lights only at night, you may be able to cut down a significant chunk of power usage. Doing this is simple irrespective of where you live.
Think about relocating your workspace to the most well-lit room in the house and always use light-colored curtains to allow sun rays to pass through them easily.
Install motion sensors
Another great way to eliminate wastage of electricity is to turn to motion sensors. Several studies insist there will be 30% to 40% savings when you switch to dimmers based on motion sensors.
Common in countries like Japan and Taiwan – lights coupled with these sensors have shown promising results, particularly when used widely in overall power consumption.
This is especially true for rooms that have lights often left on by accident like the utility rooms and bathrooms. This could be a great way to fix the human error that often leads to electrical wastage in such rooms in the house.
Switch to air drying
Using a dryer for your clothes and on your dishwasher may be a convenience you enjoy, but comes at a hefty price. Not utilizing the heat-dry alternative on your dishwasher can mean you save from 15% to 50% of the electrical usage.
You can still use the air-dry option or just leave them out overnight and let them dry. This also applies to dryers for your clothes. Use a hanging line and dry them either indoors or outside in the sun.
This allows you to save on power consumption and gets your clothes just as dry.
Throw out the old
Heavy electrical appliances like the TV, AC, washing machine, refrigerator are solely responsible for upwards of 50% of the total power consumption in every household.
Utilizing old models that have been either overused or no longer meet the star labeling can be wasteful of more than 65% of the electricity it consumes.
This can also be due to the wear and tear of these machines. For instance, an old refrigerator may leak out the cold air from a gap in the door if the suction wears out and require more power to keep the insides cold.
Using appliances that meet the mark of energy efficiency can also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and contribute to the fight against global warming.
Choose microwave whenever possible
When you switch from conventional ovens to microwave ovens you may be saving more energy than you think. This works in several ways. In addition to reducing the cooking time for most tasks – they also use less energy. In fact, for boiling potatoes, microwaves utilize 75% less energy as compared to an oven.
In addition to this, using the oven will increase the heat in the kitchen which will have to be countered by an air conditioner or fan, which ultimately consumes extra electricity than using a microwave.
Choosing to use the microwave for just about any task instead of the oven may allow you to save anywhere from 30% to 80% of electricity.
Alternate cooling options
You may not realize this, but according to the Austin company – in warmer regions, ACs may contribute up to 60-70% of the total electric consumption.
Even otherwise, on average, air conditioning consumes 16% of the total power usage. If your household mainly depends on traditional air conditioners to stay cool, it may be time to think about other options to at least incorporate into your daily routine if not to completely replace it.
Beginning with better ventilation to water-based coolers there are several options available to cool down your house with minimal electricity.
In addition to this, it is also a must to avail regular maintenance for your air conditioner.
This will also aid to reduce the overall power consumption in your household.
Place your fridge strategically
Your refrigerator utilizes around 15% of the total power usage of an average household. Given this statistic, it is only right to pay more attention to how you place and use this appliance.
First, keep it out of direct sunlight. It is also important to provide good air circulation around it, so place it such that there is at least a 2-inch gap from the wall on every side.
Also, refrain from stuffing the refrigerator till it is full. This will require extra power to keep cool and decrease its efficiency.
Food For Thought
All these tips and tricks when used consistently will surely reflect on your electricity bills.
But not only will you feel better about the payment you have to make, but you can also be satisfied that you played a role in reducing energy consumption in the world.
Whatever the change, however small – when we all are in it together it can be revolutionary. After all, every great movement began with just one person and a great desire for something better.
In the long term, reducing electrical wastage worldwide can reduce global warming and all the other problems it brings with it.
Saving our planet is up to us, and if it begins with something as simple as switching off a light – let us take a pledge to begin today and stick to it till the end of time!
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