The electricity bill came as a shock treatment for most Keralites who have been stuck indoors for two months due to the lockdown. As per the current regulations, if the power usage exceeds a certain unit, then the meter reading jumps to the next higher slab for the entire unit. As a result, families, who make limitless use of electronic gadgets and appliances stare at ‘shocking’ current bill. Here are some points to keep in mind while using various electronic equipments so that you could save power and money.
You electricity bills could sky rocket if air conditioners are not used with caution. A regular 1 ton AC consumes 6 units power when operated for 12 hours. Try using the good old ceiling fans or table fans when the weather isn’t too hot. Make sure to check for the BEE star rating while purchasing air conditioners. Electronic appliances that are 5 star rated are the most energy efficient ones. Inverter air conditioners that are energy efficient and consume less power are available in the market these days. The power consumption would drop by 5% every time the AC’s temperature setting increases by one degree from 22 degree Celsius onwards. So, it is better to set the thermostat at 25 degree Celsius.
Make sure that there is enough air circulation around the condenser of the air conditioner. The AC filter should be cleaned at least once in a month.
Mixer / blender
The motor of the mixer runs at very high speed. So, it is not advisable to operate the mixer for longer duration. It will take more time for the ingredients to grind as well as you want if too much water is added. Do not switch on electronic appliances like mixer or blender in the evenings when the voltage is low. Make sure to soak the rice and the urad dal before grinding them to make the dosa/idli batter. It has been estimated that around 15% power could be saved if these are grinded after soaking them for at least two hours.
It is better to operate the washing machine in its instructed load capacity. Instead of washing a few pairs of clothes daily, you could try doing the laundry once or twice a week. This would save the power and water as well. You could opt for the quick cycle mode to wash clothes that aren’t too dirty. Switch on the washing machine only after loading in the clothes in the drum. After the use, make sure to turn off the washing machine and remove the plug from the socket. Try not to use washing machine during the peak hours between 6.30 pm and 10 pm. Drying the clothes under the sun instead of the in - built drier could help save power.
A refrigerator that has a capacity of 165 liters is sufficient for a family of four members. It is important to note that the power consumption would be more as the size of the fridge increases. By switching off the refrigerator between 6.30 pm and 10 pm, when the voltage is at the lowest, you could not only save power but also improve the efficiency of the fridge. It is a false notion that the power consumption would jump when the fridge is switched on again. Refrigerators with in – built inverters that are energy efficient is available in the market. When regular refrigerator consumes 2 units of electricity per day, inverter fridges require less than one unit in a day.
Filling up the refrigerator with foods and other items would only increase the power consumption. Keep the cooked food items in the fridge only after it has cooled down completely. After taking them out of the fridge, allow the food items to reach the room temperature before reheating them. Frosted freezers may increase power consumption; so it is important to defreeze the freezer at regular intervals or as instructed by the manufacturers. Make sure that the refrigerator door is always shut properly. The rubber beading on the door should be replaced if it is too old or gets damaged.
Induction cookers consume lots of power and are not really energy efficient. So, your electricity bills could be on the higher slabs if induction cooker is regularly used for cooking. Try using induction cooker only as a reserve, when your regular LPG stove or the traditional wood fire stove do not work.
Do not use vessels whose bottom surface is lesser in radius than the circle shown on the induction cooker. Use water that is just enough for cooking. You could lower the induction cooker’s power after the water has boiled.
Switch on the power of the induction cooker only after keeping the vessel on top of it for cooking. Similarly, take off the vessel after turning off the power of the cooker. Induction cooker is not suitable for preparing dishes that require higher cooking time.