As we brace ourselves for the forthcoming heavy Summer season, we are increasing our energy consumption every day. As energy consumption is irreversible, choosing to reduce consumption is an important decision to make. India suffers from acute electricity shortage during the summer season, as energy consumption doubles resulting in large scale blackouts which last as long as 8-10 hours. During the peak summer months, there is a heightened dependence on air conditioners in homes and offices. Despite India’s economic growth doubling over the past few years, its energy management situation has clearly not improved and it looks worse compared to before. But as citizens, we can initiate change right from your doorstep by following these effective steps to cut our electricity costs.
#1 Unplug the vampire devices when not in use
Most of the home appliances such as mobile phones, desktops, television, printers and other home entertainment devices are vampire devices, which means they keep drawing a small amount of energy even when switched off. Appliances such as washing machines, ovens and induction stoves keep draining energy even when switched off. Therefore, it’s better to completely unplug them from the power sockets, so that they can be turned off when not in use and this will help reduce your home’s power consumption.
#2 Make sure your refrigerator is power efficient
Your refrigerator is a major consumer of electricity and you will tend to use it more during the hotter months. In order to curb your electricity usage, you can set your refrigerator’s temperature controls as close to 37 degrees as possible. If you are unable to determine the temperature you can use a thermometer. Also, check if the gaskets on the fridge and the freezer doors are sealed properly to prevent the cool air from escaping.
#3 Always choose Energy-efficient appliances
Henceforth, you can go for energy efficient appliances, this offers consumers a metric that could be used when comparing power usage for making a buying decision. Despite, the high up-front costs of these highly efficient appliances, its decreased power consumption will negate the initial investment. If you are keener on saving energy, you can install compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED bulbs which produce as much light as normal incandescent light bulbs, but only consumes 1/5th the electricity to do so. Also, they last longer compared to the conventional light bulbs.
#4 Use lighter colour shades for your roof
Dark colours, in general, will absorb more heat so it’s not advisable to use dark colours for your roof as your room will get hotter. Especially in the summer, rooms with dark roofs can generate a temperature of more than 45 degrees. Hence, a lighter shade of colour or a reflective colour could help your house to stay cooler considerably without having much dependence on the air conditioner.
#5 Try alternative modes of cooling down your home
Our natural tendency during the summer months is to use the air-conditioner but the downside to it is high power consumption. You can opt to use ceiling fans instead, they may be low tech but they do wonders. If you live in a humid place then you can go for portable or a table top fan. The advantage with portable table-top fans is that they can be positioned strategically in any position. On an average, portable/ceiling fans use 1/60th of the energy used by an air conditioner. Another simple but effective technique is to keep your windows open at night to help in the circulation of air inside your room. At night the air is cooler and it is bound to bring relief overheated indoor air.
#6 Installing solar-powered appliances to minimize your usage
Becoming self-sufficient is the first step towards reducing your energy consumption. Instead of depending on electricity for your day-to-day needs, you can switch to solar powered appliances for your everyday use. Solar-powered water heaters will help you save a lot on the electricity bills. They are very energy efficient and could help heat water for even an entire apartment. Solar powered lighting systems are available in the market these days. Despite being expensive they are a great way to light outdoors or in general for landscape lighting. These lights usually remain switched off during the day, soaking up the sun’s light energy and automatically turning on during the end of daylight.
#7 Ventilate your home naturally
Air conditioners and fans just provide temporary relief from the heat waves. We are naturally drawn towards using these devices since they offer quick solutions. Nevertheless, they do consume a lot of energy as mentioned above. By installing light coloured curtains and blinds you can prevent sunlight from entering your home. You can also go for plants like reed palms/bamboo palms to instigate circulation of air inside your home, this will help you in curbing your dependency on electronic devices to cool your home.
As summer is the season where the majority of India’s energy consumption increases, these simple, but effective tips will help you overcome the impact of excessive energy consumption. Always remember, change starts right in our home. So, let’s conserve today to make way for a better future.