It still stumps me to be living in a country with one of the highest power rates in the world. Yes you heard it, the cost of our electricity is more expensive than Singapore or Japan. You can just imagine how much of the low-salaried Pinoy’s monthly budget goes to paying for power (sigh)
In other countries, the cost of electricity is subsidized by the government – hence, their lower rates. Also, the Philippines has fared badly in developing its power industry – whether coal, geothermal, hydro or some other. As such, consumers like us have to pay for the cost of generating electricity by privately-held companies.
The anatomy of our electric bill goes this way: a large chunk goes to the generation charges of the owners of power plants, then the distribution cost imposed by distributors like Meralco or the electric cooperatives in the provinces. The story doesn’t end there because there are also transmission charges for what goes on between the power plant and the power distributor, passed again to the end user (us!)
It would be easy for a household manager like me to heap the blame on Meralco once the monthly electric bill arrives, but not really.The situation is part of a greater problem which won’t be solved unless you choose to migrate out of the Philippines to escape high power costs
Anyway, it was good for Meralco managers to meet with selected bloggers at Aracama (The Fort) last week to enlighten us on how we can further cut down on electricity cost. It was enlightening as I thought I was already saving on our electricity but it turns out we need to do more. Here are the energy tips shared by Alfred Iporac of Meralco Customer Solutions and Maita David of Meralco Customer Services. Read after the jump:
1. Unplug appliances when not in use – be it TVs, game consoles, DVD players, computers, stereo, even the aircon. They still use energy when when not in use or in standby mode. An exception would be the freezer and refrigerator.
2. Use a power board. This is a device which can supply to multiple appliances at the same time and switching it off also turns off all of the appliances connected to it using the same switch.
3. Switch off lights when not in use and use natural light in your home whenever possible.
4. Use energy efficient lighting like LED lamps and Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL).
5. Aircon use accounts for more than 50% of your electricity bill. Set it at the comfortable temperature level (25C) For every one degree increase in thermostat setting, savings may reach up to 5% of total aircon operating cost.
6. When buying new aircon, choose units with the higher Energy Efficient Ratio. Newer aircon models (like those inverter types) are more energy efficient than the old ones and bring about savings of up tp 30%.
7. When choosing washing machines, front load washers are more energy efficient than conventional top loaders. Practice sorting clothes as different clothes require different wash cycles.
8. When buying refs, choose one with the higher Energy Efficient Factor (EEF).
9. Do not overload electrical outlets. Extension cords should only be used for temporary service.
10. Have your aircon cleaned regularly.
11. Avoid unnecessary opening of refrigerator doors and defrost ref regularly (for manual types).
12. This Christmas, set a timer to switch off Christmas lights and prevent them from staying on all day and all night.