Winter is here, and while ACs are not needed anymore; other comforts from hot water to room heating are demanding our attention. Here are some of the best ways to cut down your energy costs and make sustainable changes this winter.
Start by changing behaviour
This is the first and easiest way to save energy costs. With simple behaviour changes like switching off the lights and fans when you leave a room, switching off the geyser when you’re done with your shower, and unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, you can save a lot of money. Every little bit counts and adds up to a lot over time.
Switch to CFL or LED
The easiest way to consume less energy this winter is to switch all the light bulbs in your home to CFL or LED bulbs. Although more expensive than ordinary light bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs more than compensate by being energy efficient. They use 25-80% less electricity and last between three to 25 times longer than regular bulbs.
Buy energy efficient appliances
Appliances contribute to as much as 13% of our energy consumption. Energy efficient appliances use up to 9-25% less energy. Whether it’s a new mixer grinder or a hair dryer you are purchasing this winter, you can make sure it’s energy efficient by checking for the star rating from BEE.
Use less heating
Indian homes are not designed to accommodate heating systems. Moreover, oil or gas based heating systems tend to be very dangerous and electricity-based heating consumes a lot of energy and is very expensive. Try to use age-old remedies like thick blankets and closed rooms to keep yourself warm as most parts of India are not subject to biting cold for more than a month or so.
Which television to choose
Plasma TVs use a lot of energy so while they look great it’s best to avoid them if you’re looking to save on energy costs. Similarly, LCD TVs are not too energy efficient either. The most energy efficient TV out there is an LED so if you want to have a great viewing experience while also saving costs then that should be your first choice.
Phones and other electronics use energy even when they are off or in standby mode. You can use smart power strips to prevent this from happening. Smart power strips cut off the supply of electricity to the electronic device when it’s in power off or standby mode.
Don’t keep chargers plugged in
Keeping your laptop and mobile chargers plugged in even when you’re not charging your electronics seems convenient but actually consumes energy. Avoid doing this and notice energy savings over a period of time.
Treat your refrigerator right
Refrigerators are responsible for about 20% of the total energy consumption. Make sure you keep your fridge at the optimum temperature, regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and avoid putting hot items in the fridge.
Get a smart meter
A smart meter records consumption of electric energy and communicates the information to the electricity supplier for monitoring and billing. Smart meters record energy hourly or more frequently, and report at least daily which makes their measurement much more accurate and reliable. Using a smart meter will see your energy costs go down as your billing will be more accurate and realistic.
Moving to solar energy is the way to go if you want a sustained reduction in your energy costs. The most effective way to do this is to go for solar panels. Although there is an initial establishment cost, solar panels more than compensate for it with reduced running costs.
You can also use Solar Inverters and Batteries to help you during power cuts. These will stand you in good stead in the coming summer months also.