Being an OFW means you are the breadwinner. This also means you are in charge of almost all, if not all the expenses, back in the Philippines. While some expenses can be eliminated (read: fastfood or trip to Starbucks), there are non-negotiable expenses you have to deal with every month. This includes electricity bill back home and even in your place overseas.
Obviously, you need electricity, so you cannot eliminate it completely. The good news is you and your family back home can do something to at least decrease your electric bill and save money in the process.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Make it a habit to check the energy rating of appliances before buying. Go for appliances that are more energy-efficient. The higher the energy efficiency ratio (EER), the better the energy saving performance feature for the appliance. It could be more expensive than appliances that are less energy-efficient, but you can save more in the long run because your family is able to reduce electric consumption.
2. Iron clothes in bulk by scheduling a specific day every week. Consequently, iron clothes that require low temperature then move from there. Keep in mind that iron takes more electricity when you just opened it. You or your spouse can also use fabric conditioners to reduce the number of clothes to be ironed.
3. Put on the timer if you plan to use the air-conditioning unit at night. This will automatically turn off the unit that could translate to additional savings,
4. Go for LED lights instead of incandescent lights. LED lights last longer and are more energy-efficient compared to its counterparts.
5. Use thick and dark colored curtains on your window to stop the heat from going in and penetrating the room. This is a better option that putting dark tint on your windows since you can simply open the curtain in case you need additional lighting inside the room.
6. Switch to induction cooker since majority of the heat is transferred to the cooking vessel instead of putting it into waste. You get to save extra cash as well since you don’t have to buy gas. Also, use flat-bottomed pots and pans since they are easier and faster to heat.
7. Charge gadgets wisely and efficiently, preferably when the battery is critically low. At the same time, avoid leaving gadgets plugged overnight.
8. Always unplug when the appliance or charger is not in use. Even if an appliance is turned off, it still consumes electricity, which leads to higher electricity bill. Unplug.
9. Regularly maintain home appliances by getting it checked to ensure efficiency. Appliance companies have dedicated maintenance team, so make that call and schedule maintenance.
10. Get rid of appliances that are less energy-efficient. The 90’s refrigerator may be working fine. but it is consuming more electricity, which could contribute to higher electric bill. The same goes with air conditioning units.
11. Do not place heat-generating appliances like television or lamps near the air conditioning unit. The heat coming from these types of appliances will be picked up by the unit’s thermostat, thereby increasing its energy consumption.
12. Choose appliances in your home wisely. Manufacturers these days are becoming more conscious in designing and making their product. Most incorporate energy-saving features, so in case you need to shop for an appliance, don’t just stop with the energy efficient ratio but also ask for its features that could help lower your electric bill.
Keep in mind that your bill won’t magically decrease over night. These saving techniques take time before they are converted into habits. Practice discipline and everyone in the family should be committed to it.