Record-breaking temperatures in the Philippines have led to a surge in electricity demand, exceeding last year’s levels, as reported by the Manila Bulletin. The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that power demand in the Luzon grid reached a record high of 12,235 MW on April 19, an increase of 122 MW from last year.
This spike in demand is attributed to the use of more cooling and air-conditioning systems as temperatures soar to as high as 48 degrees in some parts of the country. While there have been no yellow alerts yet, the Department of Energy has projected at least 15 instances of power reserves insufficiency in Luzon this year.
To manage the thin power supply, the energy department is completing key transmission projects and new power-generating facilities. The Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) is expected to increase capacity export from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon, providing additional supply to the Luzon power system.
Meralco, the country’s biggest power utility, advises customers to make energy efficiency a way of life and provides practical tips on how to manage electricity consumption during this crucial summer period.
10 Steps: How to Conserve Electricity in Philippines During Summer
Electricity bills can be a significant expense for households, and finding practical ways to save on electricity can help reduce these costs. Here are some tips to help you save electricity and lower your bills:
1. Stay in one room and use the aircon together
Using air conditioning can be expensive, but you can reduce your energy consumption by using it strategically. Instead of using air conditioning in different rooms, you can all stay in one room and use the aircon together. This can significantly reduce your energy consumption.
Staying in one room and using the air conditioning together can be an effective way to reduce your energy consumption. This is because the air conditioning unit does not have to work as hard to cool one room as it would to cool multiple rooms.
When you have multiple air conditioning units running in different rooms, you are using more energy and increasing your electricity bills. This is particularly true during hot and humid days, when your air conditioning units have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
By using air conditioning in only one room, you can save a considerable amount of energy and money on your electricity bills. You can also consider using a fan in conjunction with your air conditioning unit to further reduce your energy consumption.
Moreover, staying in one room can also help promote family bonding and encourage spending quality time together. You can engage in various indoor activities such as playing board games, watching movies, or having a family discussion while staying cool and comfortable in the same room.
2. Use a laptop instead of a desktop
Desktop computers consume more energy than laptops. By switching to a laptop, you can save between 70% to 80% on your energy consumption. Switching from a desktop to a laptop can be a smart way to reduce your energy consumption.
Desktop computers require more energy to run due to their larger size and the fact that they are often more powerful than laptops. In contrast, laptops are designed to be more energy-efficient, as they are built with batteries that need to last for extended periods without being plugged in.
In addition to their more energy-efficient design, laptops offer several other benefits over desktop computers. For one, they are more portable and can be taken with you wherever you go, allowing you to work or play from anywhere.
Laptops also tend to take up less space than desktop computers, making them a good option for those with limited desk or office space.
3. Clean fans and aircon regularly
Dust accumulation can reduce the efficiency of your fans and air conditioning units, causing them to consume more energy. Regular cleaning can help keep them working efficiently.
Cleaning your fans and air conditioning units regularly is an essential part of maintaining their efficiency and extending their lifespan. Over time, dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the blades, vents, and filters of your fans and aircon units, causing them to work harder to circulate air and cool your room. This increased workload translates into higher energy consumption and potentially even higher repair costs if left unattended for too long.
Fortunately, cleaning your fans and aircon units is a relatively straightforward process that can be done with just a few basic tools. For ceiling and portable fans, you can use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove dust and debris from the blades and motor housing. For air conditioning units, the filters should be removed and washed with mild soap and water, then left to air dry completely before re-installing them.
In addition to cleaning your fans and aircon units, it’s also important to schedule regular maintenance checks with a professional technician. They can inspect your units for any potential issues, such as refrigerant leaks or faulty wiring, and make necessary repairs before they become more serious and costly problems.
4. Use a power board or power strip
Many appliances continue to consume energy even when they are not in use. Using a power board or power strip can help you easily turn off appliances when they are not needed.
Using a power board or power strip is an effective way to minimize energy consumption in your home or office. Many appliances and electronic devices, such as computers, printers, televisions, and phone chargers, continue to draw power even when they are not in use, which is known as standby power or phantom load.
This standby power consumption can contribute significantly to your energy bill over time, as it accounts for around 5% to 10% of household energy consumption. However, by using a power board or power strip, you can easily turn off these appliances and electronic devices when they are not needed, preventing them from drawing standby power and saving energy.
Additionally, some power boards and power strips come with built-in surge protection, which helps protect your electronic devices from power spikes and surges. This can help extend the lifespan of your appliances and electronic devices, saving you money in the long run.
When choosing a power board or power strip, consider the number of outlets you need and look for ones with individual switches or buttons for each outlet, allowing you to turn off specific devices without affecting others. Also, make sure to choose a power board or power strip with a high joule rating, indicating its ability to absorb energy from power spikes and surges.
5. Turn off lights when not in use and switch to LED lights
One way to further reduce your energy consumption when it comes to lighting is to switch to LED lights. LED lights are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, using up to 80% less energy to produce the same amount of light. This means that by switching to LED lights, you can save up to 87% on your energy costs compared to incandescent bulbs.
In addition to being more energy-efficient, LED lights also have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. While an incandescent bulb typically lasts for around 1,000 hours, an LED bulb can last for up to 25,000 hours or more. This means that not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you’ll also save money on replacement bulbs in the long run.
LED lights are also more environmentally friendly than traditional bulbs, as they do not contain any harmful chemicals such as mercury. This means that when you eventually dispose of your LED bulbs, they won’t harm the environment or pose a risk to human health.
6. Place your refrigerator in the proper location
The location of your refrigerator can impact its energy consumption. Ensure it has proper ventilation and is not placed in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances.
Placing your refrigerator in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances, such as ovens and dishwashers, can cause it to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. This increased workload can lead to higher energy consumption, which can significantly impact your energy bills.
To ensure that your refrigerator is in the proper location, it is recommended to place it in a cool and dry area that is well-ventilated. This allows for proper air circulation, which helps your refrigerator operate efficiently. Additionally, make sure that the area around your refrigerator is clear of obstructions such as furniture, boxes, or other items that can impede airflow.
7. Keep yourself fresh and cool
Staying cool is an essential part of reducing energy consumption in hot weather. By keeping yourself cool, you can reduce the need for air conditioning, which can significantly reduce your energy bills. There are many simple ways to stay fresh and cool throughout the day.
One way to stay cool is to wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors, so wearing light-colored clothing can help keep you cooler. Loose-fitting clothes can also help air circulate around your body and keep you comfortable.
Another way to stay cool is to take frequent showers or baths. Taking a shower or bath can help reduce your body temperature and keep you feeling refreshed. Additionally, using cool or lukewarm water instead of hot water can help save energy by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the water.
Drinking plenty of water is also important for staying cool. When you are dehydrated, your body can become overheated, making you feel uncomfortable and tired. Drinking water can help regulate your body temperature and keep you hydrated, which can also help reduce the need for air conditioning.
8. Use energy-efficient appliances
When shopping for appliances, choose those with high energy efficiency ratings. Energy-efficient appliances can save you up to 30% on your energy consumption compared to older models.
9. Use natural light instead of artificial light
Take advantage of natural light by opening curtains and blinds during the day. This can help reduce the need for artificial lighting, which can significantly reduce energy consumption.
10. Cook efficiently
Cooking can be a significant source of energy consumption. Use energy-efficient cookware, cook multiple dishes simultaneously, and turn off the stove a few minutes before the food is fully cooked to take advantage of residual heat.
Additional Tips to Reduce Energy Consumption
- Keep lights clean and choose the right kind of lighting
- Use LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs
- Choose the right fan for the size of your room or area
- Clean your fans regularly and set them to the right speed
- Choose the right unit size for your room or area
- Set the thermostat at the highest comfortable level and use the appropriate fan speed
- Regularly check and clean your air conditioner
- Consider Inverter Technology, which can save you 25% to 64% on energy costs
- Choose the right refrigerator for your needs and consider Energy Efficiency Factor
- Keep your refrigerator at least two-thirds full for proper air circulation
- Avoid storing hot food and consider Inverter Technology, which can save you up to 50% on refrigerator costs
- Watch TV together and unplug your TV sets when not in use
- Choose the right TV size and use Energy Saving Mode
- Consider LED TVs
- Wash at full loads but don’t overload your unit
- Use the right amount of detergent and avoid over-washing clothes
- Spin clothes at the appropriate speed to save energy
By following these tips and being mindful of your energy consumption, you can reduce your electricity bills and save money.
The recent heatwave in the Philippines has caused a surge in electricity demand, leading to concerns about insufficient power reserves. To address this issue, the government is completing transmission projects and building new power-generating facilities. However, as individuals, we can also do our part in conserving electricity by adopting simple habits and making energy efficiency a way of life.
By implementing the tips provided by Meralco and other sources, we can lower our energy bills and contribute to a more sustainable future. It is important to take action now to reduce our electricity consumption and help ensure a stable power supply for our country.
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