Your Meralco bill is your cue to go green

I’m sure everyone is shocked by their latest electricity bill and if you haven’t received them yet, I bet your anxious to know how much the damage is.

And it couldn’t have come at a worse time when summer temperatures are searing and power outages are being rotated.

I know I’ve posted some tips before on little things we can do to be green for Earth Day 2007.

But while waiting for Meralco to do something about their oppresive rates, might as well focus on things you have control over.

So I’m reposting the the tips that can save on energy ergo your electricity bill too:

  • Since we moved here, we’ve replaced all our incandescent bulbs with energy saving bulbs. Energy saving bulbs are far more expensive than their incandescent counterparts but they are so much more energy efficient and they last longer too! It also helps your electricity bill in the long run.
  • I adjust the freezer and refrigerator’s temp depending on how loaded it is.
  • We put the airconditioning on timer to save on energy. It’s also easier to get up in the morning when the airconditioning is turned off.
  • I actually time cooking rice in such a way that I cook it last minute so I can turn the rice cooker off as soon as the rice is cooked and it doesn’t have to be on warm all the time.

Let me just emphasize that using incandescent bulbs up to now, in my opinion is silly and a big mistake.  It actually bothers me everytime I see one.  It’s the first thing I notice whenever I go anywhere – and I saw a lot of them in Boracay and I’m thinking how much savings in the long term these establishments can make if they only switch to CFLs.  My sister-in-law calls me a hippie treehugger.  I just call myself practical.

I hope this Christmas, you can consider buying LED lights, they’re less of a fire hazard than the incandescent type because they don’t heat up.

For hubby, it’s kinda turned into a little obsession.  We have 4 unopened Lack LED lamps from IKEA.  2 white, 2 black.  That doesn’t include the one we’re using at his side table and the one we left in Manila to encourage my family to go green lighting.  LED comes out more expensive than CFL but that’s only because the technology is fairly new.  But once it goes mainstream LED is the way to go!

LACK LED lamp
LACK LED lamp

On my side table, is a solar-powered LED Sunnan lamp, also from IKEA.  For every Sunnan lamp you buy, IKEA donates 1 lamp to UNICEF.  Not bad.

My fingers are crossed for solar powered technology.  I hope they develop something that would make solar panels cheaper and more efficient so more people can install them.

Sunnan Solar-powered Lamp
Sunnan Solar-powered Lamp

If we need more light we just use the wall lamps on top of our side tables which is just 5 watts but is already too bright for sleeping even with the lamp shade to diffuse the light.

Another thing I can add to save on energy is to regulate the temperature of your air-conditioner.  For us 24C is fine.  Find the highest temperature you can go that will still make you feel comfortable instead of just keeping the temperature at 18C like what my mom does but then she has a lot of insulation in the form of body fat so our comfort level are probably different.  The last time she visited me in Singapore, she got a nose bleed from the heat which is not worth the risk at her age so I just let her keep it at 18C as she likes it.  But I can’t sleep in a room with her without freezing my ass off.

Make sure too that air-conditioned rooms are sealed – windows and doors are closed and heat doesn’t creep into the room.

Vampire loads add-up too so unplug those appliances that have those pilot lamps on even though they are turned off especially if you’re going to be out the whole day.  It’s good to buy those extension plugs with individual switches so you can switch on/off individual appliances from the sockets.

Paint your roof white!  Ever hear of the white roof movement?  This is what we did for the little low-cost housing project we have in Sta. Rosa.  We wanted whoever is going to live there realize the benefits of a green house so we insulated and painted the roof white and installed only CFLs in the house.   I’m sure they’ll be happy if they find they’re saving on electricity costs.  A white roof looks odd  and it’s difficult to find matching colors for the house that won’t defeat the purpose that’s why we ended up with an all white house but it’s easy to get used to.  Add some shade trees right there and you’ll be cool as can be.

White Roof
White Roof

I also would have wanted to design a system that would collect rainwater from the gutter and use it to water the plants but it was too complicated vs the effort for everyone else but me.  Plus my contractor’s idea of a green house is to have nice landscaping so I figured we were so not on the same page.

So how do you save on energy at your home?

8 thoughts on “Your Meralco bill is your cue to go green”

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