Electricity distribution companies in Nigeria started the year with a further increase in electricity tariffs. This is as a result of the new order issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC instructing that Distribution companies should increase electricity tariffs which were implemented on the 1st of January 2021.
As a result of this increment, the majority of energy consumers complained bitterly and this is as a result of the increase in the monthly electricity bill given to customers especially customers on postpaid or estimated billing. Customers using prepaid meters are not left out because there is a need for them to buy more energy compared to what they were purchasing before. Others confirm the claim that they don’t enjoy the power supply (Light, as fondly used in Nigeria) despite the huge outrageous bills given to them.
In this article, I will be giving out tips to follow which can help us to reduce the excessive rate at which energy is being consumed in our various homes.
1. Replace all bulbs with energy-saving light bulb
To efficiently manage the energy you consume on daily basis, it’s important for you to replace all the high consuming energy bulbs to light efficient energy bulbs. This is simply because the majority of traditional or ancient light bulbs waste about 95% of the energy they use giving off excessive heat, with only 5% going toward the light. I will suggest you get rid of them or make use of them on an occasional basis. Leaving them on for long periods is highly wasteful. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80 percent less electricity and last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs
2. Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use
A case where all electrical appliances and lights are on when nobody is at home can be regarded as a waste of electricity. It implies that the energy was consumed for no benefit for example leaving a light on in an unoccupied room, heating an empty house, dissipating heat unnecessarily in the resistor, and putting your air conditioner on when nobody is at home just to cool off your room. It’s advisable to put all this off when not in use in order to be able to conserve your energy at any point in time.
3. Use smart power strips and switch them off when not in use
Switch off your power strip before you leave. You can save energy and money when you remember to turn off your power strips when not in use!
Phantom load or Vampire Power is the electricity drawn from outlets when equipment is off or on sleep mode but still plugged in. Many types of electronics and office equipment, including computers, printers, and phone chargers continue to draw electricity even when they are in sleep mode.
The phantom load can account for up to 15% of the electricity used by equipment and appliances!
Always unplug electronics and appliances when not in use. You can make this task easier by using outlet/power strips, which can turn everything off with the flip of a switch.
4. Purchase energy-efficient appliances
On average, appliances are responsible for roughly 13% of total household energy use. When purchasing an appliance, you should pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. Although energy-efficient appliances might have higher upfront purchase prices, their operating costs are often 9-25% lower than conventional models.
When purchasing an energy-efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers consume 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional ones, whereas ENERGY STAR refrigerators use only 9% less energy.
5. Install a programmable or smart thermostat
A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling during the times when you are asleep or away. When you install a programmable thermostat, you eliminate wasteful energy use from heating and cooling without upgrading your HVAC system.
On average, a programmable thermostat can save you $180 per year. Programmable thermostats come in different models that can be set to fit your weekly schedule. Additional features of programmable thermostats can include indicators for when to replace air filters or HVAC system problems, which also improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
6. Reduce your water heater usage
Water heating is a major contributor to your total energy consumption. Other than purchasing an energy-efficient water heater, there are three methods of reducing your water heating expenses: you can simply use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, or insulate your water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes.
If you are considering replacing your water heater with an efficient model, you should keep in mind two factors: the type of water heater that meets your needs and the type of fuel it will use. For example, tankless water heaters are energy-efficient, but they are also a poor choice for large families as they cannot handle multiple and simultaneous uses of hot water. Efficient water heaters can be anywhere between 8% and 300% more energy-efficient than a conventional storage water heater.
7. Regulate and service all your appliances when due
All products have manual instructions that guide the user on how to make use of them. It is very important to follow the instructions of the manufacturer so as to avoid malfunction of your appliances.
Talking about refrigerators, it normally has either an analog or digital regulator, depending on the manufacturer.
There is always a designated temperature that is recommended and if increased, the consumption rate is likely to increase.
Let also take a closer look at air conditioners. When it’s due for service, The pressure becomes high and the air conditioner consumes more energy. Hence, it is advised that easy maintenance should be done once in a while.
8. Unplug the mobile phone and laptop chargers
Always unplug electronics and appliances when not in use. Unplugging will save you energy, money, and can prevent electrical fires. When the power strip is left on, the devices plugged into it continue to use energy and actually increase your energy usage. The Northern Resources Defense Council found that devices in sleep or standby mode account for about one-quarter of all residential energy
9. Insulate your home
Insulation plays a vital role in lowering your utility bills by retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. The recommended level of heat resistance, or “R-value,” for your insulation depends on where you live. In warmer climates, the recommended R-value is much lower than for buildings located in colder regions like the Northeast.
The level of insulation you should install depends on the area of your house. Your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas where you should consider adding insulation
10. Make use of natural sunlight during the day
The usage of the natural brightness of the sun should be practiced during the day. During the day, we can switch off artificial light and open our windows to brighten our home. What this implies is that all bulbs ought to be switched off on a sunny day while the sun brightens your apartment till night hours.
Normally, if the above suggestion adheres to, there will be a noticeable improvement in the consumption rate of electricity across the country.