Save Energy Save Money | Daily News

Save Energy Save Money

The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority educates the public on saving electricity and reducing the electricity bill. Since electricity has become a hot topic in the country these days, it is useful to know how we can save electricity and get our electricity bill reduced drastically.

We neither need to be in the dark to reduce the electricity bill nor do we have to stop using electrical appliances. What we have to do is, use electricity efficiently depending on our needs. Let us educate ourselves to achieve that target.

According to the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, most people build only one house during their whole lifetime. Their main objective is to live comfortably in the house they build. It is needless to say, in Sri Lanka, which is a tropical country, coolness inside houses is an absolute necessity for comfortable living. If proper ventilation could be obtained naturally, won’t it be a real coolness?

If you are planning to build a house, talk with your architect about conserving energy in the house. Then, throughout your life in that house, the electricity bill will not be a burden to you. Fix more doors and windows on the northern and southern walls of the house. When windows and doors face east, the house receives direct sunlight in the morning hours, heating the air inside the house and the same condition will prevail in the afternoon when the doors and windows face west. Only the eastern part of the house will receive light in the morning and only the western part will receive light in the afternoon. To obtain maximum light for a longer period and to preserve the maximum coolness, fix more doors and windows on walls facing the north and south.

Trees and shrubs that are grown and properly maintained near the windows of a house cool the air entering the house. If trees and shrubs are located in such a way that they cover the entire house, the temperature inside the house could be reduced by about two degrees Celsius. Fix louvres to windows. One reason for the rise of the internal temperature of a house is the heat emitted by the bodies of inmates. As the air inside is heated up, its density reduces causing it to rise. As that happens, low-density cool air has to enter the house from below. Cold air cannot be made to enter the house by fitting louvres or fanlights above windows. To obtain optimum results, louvres should be fixed from top to bottom of a window.

Efficient lighting reduces the electricity bill of a household by 30 to 40 percent. So the utilisation of natural light for most of the day is important.

  • Inside walls with light colour paints enable the receipt of more light with fewer Watts.
  • Use light colours when selecting materials for curtains.
  • White or light-coloured ceilings contribute immensely to the retaining of artificial as well as natural light inside the house. Varnished wooden ceilings and panelling make the inside of the house darker.
  • Always purchase CFLs, fluorescent lamps or LED bulbs instead of normal (filament) bulbs. That will enable you to save about 80 percent of the amount of electricity used to light your house.
  • CFLs and tube lights save electricity five times more than filament bulbs.
  • LED bulbs have a life span of over seven times than a CFL, even though they are costlier.
  •  About 250–300 Lumens of light are required to study at night. When you are studying at night, light bulbs of more wattage have to be used to obtain that amount of light from the ceiling light fixture. But, the required light could also be obtained to your tabletop with the use of a table lamp. LED downlight bulbs of five Watts are ideal for this purpose and they are commonly available in the market now.

lThough there are several rooms in a house, there is at least one room where lights are kept switched on for longer periods. An LED or a CFL must be used to light that room. When you are leaving the room, turn off the light, electric fans and the air conditioner. Accordingly, the usage of electronic ballasts leads to high efficiency.

Air-conditioner is the appliance with the highest electricity consumption at home. A room air-conditioner generally consumes about 1,000–1,300 Watts. If such an appliance is used for about eight hours in the night, 240–310 Units will be added to the electricity bill. Obtaining the required coolness naturally and keeping the same with electric fans will be a great backing to personal as well as the National economy.

When using an air conditioner, keep the temperature at 26 degrees Celsius. Electricity usage increases by four percent if the temperature is lowered by one degree. Grow trees around the house and maintain them to curtail air-conditioned rooms getting direct sunlight. Keep the air-conditioned spaces sealed. Stop cooled air leakage to outside. Avoid placing furniture and other things in a way that the flow of cold air from the air conditioner is blocked. Avoid using heat-emitting electrical appliances in air-conditioned spaces. Keep the heat outlets of the air conditioner well maintained without blockages.

Refrigerator

Half the electricity bill goes to the refrigerator. The use of a refrigerator doubles the electricity bill of a home. According to research, the refrigerators in most houses of Sri Lanka have nonessential items such as bottles of water, bottles of cool drinks or bundles of greens. But, the householders are spending Rs. 500–750 a month for keeping those in the refrigerator. When purchasing a refrigerator, be mindful of the needs of your home and decide the size of the refrigerator accordingly.

  • As an efficient refrigerator works for less than 18 hours a day, calculations are done on that basis. Purchase a refrigerator that consumes less Wattage, as per your requirement. Keep in mind that refrigerators with the automatic defrosting facility consume very high levels of electricity and refrigerators with inverter technology consume about 45 percent less electricity than conventional refrigerators. Environment temperature makes refrigerator inefficient.
  •  When positioning the refrigerator, keep a gap of 10 inches or more between the back of the refrigerator and the wall.
  •  Refrain from using cookers and heating appliances close to the refrigerator.
  • Place the refrigerator so that it is not exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Let hot foods cool before placing them in the refrigerator.

For an efficient refrigerator

  • When placing food items in the refrigerator it is important to place them in their appropriate places.
  • Placing or wrapping wet foods in polyethylene bags leads to increased refrigerator efficiency. Refrigerator size Wattage (W) Monthly electricity consumption (kWh) Single door refrigerator70-10038 - 54Two-door refrigerator125-14067 - 75 Three-door refrigerator140-18075 - 97
  • Pack food items loosely. Ice melts if they are placed in the lower part of the refrigerator leading to the absorption of heat as the coolness wears off reducing the energy consumption of the refrigerator.
  • The time spent on searching for items with the refrigerator door open can be minimised by pasting a list of what is in the refrigerator on its door or memorising the locations of various food items.
  • The electricity consumed could be minimised by lessening the number of times the refrigerator door is opened and closed.
  • Keep the refrigerator switched off when there are no foods to be refrigerated. That will also help to reduce your electricity bill.

Maintenance is also important:

  • Correct maintenance is important for the efficiency of the refrigerator.
  • If the rubber beading in the refrigerator is hardened or damaged, replace it.
  • If foreign matter or foodstuffs such as rice and sugar have fallen inside the upper rubber beading, clean it without delay.
  • Remove water in the receptacle in the back of the refrigerator and wash it once a week. This will help in avoiding the dreaded dengue fever.

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