95% of Singapore’s electricity is generated from imported natural gas. The price of natural gas is tied to oil prices by commercial contracts, and it depends largely on global market conditions. Hence, the electricity tariff is reviewed and revised every quarter by the EMA (Energy Market Authority). From 1 April to 30 June 2022, the electricity tariff increased by 9.9% compared to the previous quarter due to higher global gas and oil costs caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
So this begs the question, how can we save electricity at home?
1. Switch off any lights when you are not using them
For the most basic electricity saving tip, it is good to make a habit of switching off the lights when leaving the room or toilet. This would probably save 2% of the electricity bill.
2. Use natural lights
We can move our working desks nearer to the window and use natural daylight. Another way of using natural lights would be painting walls white or lighter colours as light reflects more against lighter colours.
3. Switch off the water heater’s standby button when not in use
For convenience’s sake, we typically leave the heater standby button on even when we are not using it most of the time. According to NEA (National Environment Agency), leaving a water heater on standby would incur an additional cost of $107 per year.
4. Choose more ticks on energy labels for air conditioners and refrigerators
According to NEA, you will save around $263 a year for a 5-tick air conditioner instead of 2-tick aircon. The more ticks there are, the more energy efficient the appliance is. For a refrigerator, you will save around $50 a year for a 5-tick refrigerator instead of one that has 2 ticks.
5. Switch off any power socket before you sleep
You will save about $22, if you turn off the standby power of your laptops, modems, routers, TV and gadgets before you sleep.
6. Adjust your air conditioner’s temperature to 25 degrees
You will get to save 2% on your electricity bill if you switch your air conditioner’s temperature to 25 degrees Celsius. Typically, your bill will increase by 6% for each degree decrease, while for every degree raised, you will save 13%.
7. Service your air conditioner frequently
If you fail to service your aircon on a regular basis, it would probably lead to a higher electricity bill as it consumes more power to work properly.
8. Do not overload your refrigerator and washing machine
An overload of food stored inside the refrigerator may block the flow of air from the vents, which means the condenser and motor will have to work harder to maintain the set temperature, and thus more electricity will be used. This applies to the washing machine as well.
9. Learn how to calculate the electricity cost of an appliance
This will help us to monitor how much we use electricity for an item. For example, if your 300W TV is switched on everyday for 5 hours, then you are using 1.5kWh x 30 (days) x $0.2794 (current electricity tariff), which would add up to $12.573 per month.