How to pay less on your electricity bill [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

The electricity bill will reduce

Token meters

After rent, the electricity bill is another recurrent monthly expense and many households tend to incur very high bills.

However, energy conservation helps domestic consumers save money while also being mindful of the environment. Your efforts to conserve energy will complement those of others in order to safeguard the environment while also saving money.

A 3% reduction in peak demand would save the country over Sh5 billion in generation capacity expansion and Sh1 billion in annual fuel costs!

Our economy will run more efficiently and productively if we make the most of the available energy resources by reducing waste.

The following tips will ensure energy is conserved at home and the electricity bill will reduce.

In lighting, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which last far longer than incandescent bulbs. CFLs also produce less heat, resulting in lower cooling costs. CFLs have the potential to save up to 80% of the energy used in lighting.

For fluorescent tube illumination, use electronic ballasts, which are more efficient than traditional magnetic ballasts. The electronic ballast saves up to 40% on energy, eliminates flicker, and reduces hum. Electronic ballasts also produce less heat, resulting in decreased cooling costs.

Increase the usage of timers to turn security lights on in the evening and off in the morning, ensuring that the lights are only turned on when they are needed. When possible, motion sensors should be used to ensure that lights are only turned on when they are needed. You may also use photo sensors for security lighting to switch your lights on and off automatically at night and during the day.

Additionally, turn off all lights which are not in use even for a few minutes. You will save electricity. Houses should be designed to take advantage of natural light during the day. Interior surface reflectance has a significant impact on lighting efficiency. Choose lighter colors for walls, ceilings, flooring, and furniture when decorating your home. Dark colors absorb light, therefore a given degree of illumination would necessitate a larger bulb wattage.

When cooking, use pressure cookers, which can reduce food preparation time by one-third compared to traditional techniques. To make use of residual heat, turn off the oven, surface units, or burners just before the meal is done cooking. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to the lowest setting once the food has boiled.

In refrigeration, regulate the thermostat to keep the room at the proper temperature. A fridge's most efficient temperature range is 3 to 5.5 degrees Celsius. Cooler temperatures are unnecessary, and improper temperature settings increase energy use. Dust accumulation on condenser coils can increase energy usage by up to 30%. Keep the coils at the back of your fridge dust-free.

Reduce the amount of times you open the refrigerator. Open/close habits squander 50-120 KWh each year, accounting for 10 to 24 percent of the fridge's overall energy use. Refrigerated drinks and food should be covered. Foods that aren't covered release moisture, which causes them to dry out. This makes the compressor work twice as much.

When you go on vacation, turn off the refrigerator, empty it, clean it, and leave the doors open.

Many electrical appliances cannot be turned off fully without disconnecting them or turning them off at a power strip. The appliances will continue to draw electricity if this is not done. This power consumption is referred to as 'stand-by power'. A television that is left on standby might consume up to 10% extra energy.

A washing machine uses 95 percent of its energy to heat the water. Decreasing the water temperature might save you a lot of money. Reducing the wash temperature from 60°C to 40°C on a full load can save up to 110 KWh per year. Wherever necessary, wash at 40°C or below. An average washing machine consumes 5.24 KWh of power each load and costs Shs.68 (when washing with hot water).

Choose an energy-efficient washing machine when making a purchase. Choose a front-loading type to save 63 percent on average on water usage. Heating less water is less expensive.

When possible, hang clothes and other household items to dry. If the sun isn't shining and you need to use the dryer, make sure to spin the clothing thoroughly and use the medium setting rather than the high setting, which wastes energy and damages materials.

When ironing, iron clothes that require a lesser temperature first, then move on to those that demand a higher temperature. Turn off the iron box about five minutes before you complete ironing all of your clothes, and finish ironing using the remaining heat in the sole plate.

Use a thermostatically controlled iron box at all times. Using a 1,000 watts iron box for 1 hour per day will use 30 KWh per month costing you about Sh390.

When heating water, make sure your hot water tanks and pipes are well insulated to reduce heat loss. To avoid losing hot water, repair leaking pipes or taps; each 30 drops per minute from a hot water tap costs around 18 KWh per month (approximately Sh320).

These tips will help you reduce your household electricity bill and will enhance energy conservation in the country.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Njeri Kinuthia a freelance writer who is passionate about telling my stories about lifestyle, entertainment and current affairs. I have three years of experience in article writing and a beneficiary of Ajira Digital.

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