Preparing for the Power Rate Surge: Meralco’s Electricity Saving Tips

Who does not dread the electricity bill? I do, especially during the summer. During a luncheon hosted by Meralco I attended some days ago, I was enlightened on the surges in power charges and what we can do to cope. Did you know that regular maintenance of power plants (usually every couple of years) results in an increase in generation charges at this time of the year? That was news to me. From now on, I will expect that extra cost and duly prepare for the increase in rates come November.

At the luncheon was Alfred, their resident Energy Baron (see what they did there?) who shared with us some pointers on how to make our home more energy efficient.┬áBut first let’s take some time to pay tribute to the Beef Muscovado of Grace Park. Oh yum.

Now on to the tips.

Get one of these and do not overload it.

I’ve always known that unplugging electrical devices helps in cutting electricity costs. But I’ve always been lazy to always do it so I end up not unplugging appliances and devices very often. To add to that, the extra heat generated by electrical devices on standby is extra work for your airconditioner, resulting in extra power consumption as well! A surge protector like this, with the on and off switch can solve that problem with just a flick of your finger (or in my case, my big toe). But then, do not overload your surge protectors and compromise the safety of your homes.

Time it.

Put anything that’s on for an extended period on a timer. In our case, it’s the airconditioner, which I always forget to turn off. One idea I got from the luncheon is this: Christmas lights on a timer! Not only is it energy-efficient, it’s safe too.

Pay attention to the yellow tags.

The yellow tags attached to the aircons, refrigerators and other appliances is actually an indicator on how energy efficient that machine is. The higher the Energy Efficient Factor (EEF), the better.

Let there be light.

Bring up those curtains and let natural light come in! It’s also a good thing that incorporating natural light into home design has become a trend, and one that’s here to stay it seems. It will cut down on your electricity by eliminating the need for daytime use of your houselights (which you should remember to turn off when not in use – a simple tip that we always forget!) If you’re still using incandescent bulbs at home, then it’s high time you switch to CFL and better, LED. Check out this chart to see how much energy you save with CFL and LED – 40 to 62%!!

Keep your cool without the costs.

We all love cool environments, but did you know that setting your aircon thermostat to even just a couple of degrees higher can efficiently cut down on electricity costs? So consider bringing up the temp to a comfortable 23 to 25 degrees instead of 16-18 degrees. Help your airconditioner as well by reducing outside heat when you turn it on, and that means lowering the blinds and making sure all openings are sealed. Positioning also helps. Avoid putting any appliances or devices that generate heat near your airconditioner (like a TV) or it will make your aircon work harder to compensate.

Speaking of cool environments, they also told us that they know of people who turn off their refrigerators at night, thinking they could save on electricity. (Seriously???) This actually costs more, because the extra work it takes to cool down the interior of a refrigerator will cost more. Safe concept for those who turn off their airconditioners every 2 hours only to turn them on again after a couple of hours.

Maintenance is key.

Get your airconditioners regularly cleaned. Defrost when 1/4 of ice has formed in your freezer. If you have a frost-free refrigerator, good for you! (But manual frost-frees take more electricity. Go inverter for refs!) Clean your lamps and bulbs for better light output.

Meralco also introduced us to their app, Move. Move stands for MeralcO Virtual Engine. It’s a cool app you can download for your smartphone or tablet that gives you information on power maintenance schedules, locations of BayadCenter bill payment facilities, a directory of Meralco offices nationwide, the Meralco AppCal (where you can input your energy bill and see which appliance is consuming the most energy) and view your latest Meralco bill.

It’s also got this interface with power saving tips and cute animation that’s great for sharing energy efficiency with your kids.

Siya ang nag-intro ng app. OKAY LANG.

Like this post if you think I look like Jollibee in this picture. Photo courtesy of My Mom Friday.

Juaco of the Loyola Meralco Sparks football team.

Photo courtesy of My Mom Friday.

Thanks Meralco for hosting the lunch! Hopefully with advisories and tips, we can all weather the surge in power rates until everything goes back to normal. Until then, let’s do this!

So with these tips, let’s hope that you and I will weather this surge in power rates. Things will normalize early next year. Till then, let’s do this!

*This post is sponsored by Meralco.

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