Meralco cuts rates

09 June 2015, Manila Standard Today

Happy Hour received several text messages saying that Meralco has lowered its rates by P0.58 per kilowatt –hour for the month of June. This means we can continue to use our aircons some more (“aircon pa more”), one of our buddies declared, recalling the agony he went through last month when some of the hottest days hit the country–feeling like Hamlet as he repeatedly asked himself: “to use or not to use?” (the airconditioner, that is).

For those consuming an average of 200 kilowatt-hours every month, this translates into about P116 in savings–but like they say, every peso counts! Better yet, take into heart the following power saving tips from http://www.moneywise.ph.com–whose tagline “because financial wisdom is freedom” is becoming a byword among those who are starting to realize that being wise about money and spending would not hurt:

1. When not in use, unplug all small appliances. Even if you turn off any appliances but left plugged, it still continue to consume electricity. Turn off lights when not needed and keep your appliances well-maintained. They operate more efficiently and use less energy when in good working order.

2. Use Mobile Apps to track appliances energy consumptions. If you’re keen on monitoring, a useful app is only a tap away. Use it to pre-compute expected bills and energy consumptions of your appliances. Check out the Meralco Virtual Engine-Pto know the estimated cost of operating your individual home appliances.

3. Keep blinds or shades at home closed where the sun directly shines. When open, the sun can really heat up a room. Turn off the lights. They add heat, just like sunlight does. Use natural light whenever possible. It is the best source of light and will help you save kilowatt-hours. Strategically arrange your household in such a way that you can use natural light.

4. Keep the air conditioner on the same temperature. Don’t keep changing it. Cool down the house early in the morning by placing a box fan in the window and opening up another window at the opposite end of the house, if you do not have central air. Clean or replace your air conditioning filters to make sure it works efficiently. Install the aircon in a cool area. A unit operating in the shade uses 10 percent less electricity than the same unit operating in direct sunlight.  Consider also using an interior fan in conjunction with your air conditioner to help spread cool air more effectively without greatly increasing electricity consumption.

5. Clean lighting fixtures regularly, as dirt will lessen illumination by as much as 50 percent. One can work more effectively under good lighting which lessens the hours of operation of lamps. In contrast, poor lighting will make someone work longer thus increasing electrical consumption.

6. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. Although CFLs cost higher than incandescent bulbs, they use up only 25 percent of the energy being used up by incandescent bulbs, and last eight times longer. A 16-watt CFL produces the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb at a quarter of the energy cost.

7.  Place refrigerators at least 4 inches away from the wall so as not to overwork the motor and to allow efficient heat release from the condenser coils. Don’t position your refrigerator in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances like the stove.

8. Clean your electric fans regularly, to keep them running efficiently. Remove the dust accumulated at the fan blades, motor housings, and grills as it reduces the air current generated by the fan. Cobwebs, dust and other forms of impurities piling up at the motor’s cover prevent air to naturally provide the cooling needed by the motor or heat produced by the motor to be released. This causes additional heating of the motor’s windings, which leads to more consumption of energy.

9. Switch off your TV set when no one is watching. If you are using a transformer, unplug it because it consumes electricity. Don’t use the standby mode because this uses as much as 60 percent of the electricity that would be used by your TV set if it were switched on.

10. When your computer or monitor is not in use, turn it off to reduce energy consumption. The monitor uses as much as 60 percent of the power used by your computer. The other 40 percent is used to keep the hard drive spinning and to power the electronics. Less energy is consumed when computers or monitors are turned on and off as often as required than when left on over time. If your computer makes use of a transformer or kept at standby mode, unplug it because these situations still consume electricity. Invest in energy-efficient computers and printers which save up to 90 percent electricity than standard models. Study and use your computer’s power saving features. The sleep mode automatically converts the computer to a low-energy mode when not in use, cutting energy usage to less than half.

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