On 14th December, India celebrates National Energy Conservation Day, instituted by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The day showcases India’s energy efficiency and conservation efforts. This celebration started in 1991 to ensure a brighter and greener India. Also, there is a constant need to create awareness among the population to save energy as much as possible. With the threats of global warming looming large, it becomes imperative that each one of us does our best to achieve energy goals. As part of this initiative, the BEE also gives out National Energy Conservation Awards to recognize the efforts of Indian entities to save energy.
The winter months are also high in energy consumption, as people use water and room heaters. We even tend to use lights more. So, are there some simple tips and tricks to help us save energy and keep our electricity bills down?
Service Your Appliances
The first thing to do is to service your electric appliances like the water heater, AC, and heating systems if you have them. Maintenance helps these appliances function optimally to ensure that electric consumption is less. If you can set the thermostat of water heaters, set it to 49 degrees Celsius. Before winter use, flush it once to remove all debris. If you call the maintenance personnel, please request them to do it and also check the pressure relief valve and anode rods thoroughly for any corrosion. If required, replace any parts to ensure that it works fine. Else, it can increase the electricity bill.
If you have an all-season AC, you can use it to remove humidity and maintain warmth inside the house. Set its temperature to 18 to 22 degrees, with the AC fan speed at medium.
The washing machine is another appliance you need to service before the winter. We use hot water to wash clothes by setting temperatures in the washing machine. In winter, clothes don’t get much dirty, with fewer outdoor activities. Please use cold water in washing machines to wash clothes and do not use the heating option to save on electricity bills.
If you have a dishwasher, please service it to ensure it functions properly. Energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers help save water and electricity. While purchasing, please check for BEE 5 stars to ensure the appliances are the most energy efficient. Please operate both only on full loads.
Switch off Appliances, not in use
We are so used to a fast life that we do not sometimes pay attention to these little things. However, it is essential to switch off every appliance that is not in use. Even those appliances that are off, but plugged in, consume energy. Hence, if possible, unplug the appliances used only periodically such as the mixer, grinders, iron boxes, electric cookers, and even phone and laptop chargers. Regular-use appliances like a TV or oven can be left plugged in.
Switch to Energy-Efficient LEDs
If you have not yet done so, kindly switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs. They have a long life, consume less energy, and are environment-friendly as they emit UV and infra-red free clean lights. They are reliable as they do not degrade with environmental factors like other bulbs. Experts say LEDs are up to 80% more energy efficient than traditional lights. They are cost-effective too as you won’t have to replace them often.
Use Solar Water Heaters
If you can install solar water heaters, then that helps reduce the electricity bills a lot. Even if the water is not very hot in winter, you can plan the plumbing to direct the lukewarm solar-heated water to the electric water heaters to reduce energy use. Complete residential solar systems can reduce electricity bills to a bare minimum, though they may cost a few lakhs for initial installation, depending on the energy needs. Also, most state governments provide subsidies for solar installations and bills.
Insulate your home to ensure there are no creaks through which the winter cold creeps in. Keep windows and curtains open through the day when the sun is out. And close it in the evenings to keep the heat within. Wear warm clothes inside the home to feel warm, so you don’t have to rely on more heating.
These are simple tips that can help us save energy and do our bit to contribute to the energy cause. Ideally, make these as habits and make all members in the house, including the house help aware of these so that everyone takes care of reducing energy use.