Lately, Pakistan has been stuck in a never-ending energy struggle. Imagine enduring long power outages, scorching temperatures breaking records, and all these problems hitting you at once – it’s enough to bring anyone down. And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the sight of your power bill arrives to wipe away any summer cheer you had left. These are indeed tough times in our homeland when even the meme game falters.
The recent country-wide protests against the inflated power bills are forcing people to take to the streets. The government is finalizing its action plan to offer some much-needed relief on electricity bills that seem to surpass the monthly wage sum of a large section of society. Meanwhile, we are here to help you reduce that dreaded monthly bill by a considerable margin.
Ways To Effectively Reduce Electricity Bills This Summer
“How to save electricity?” and “What are the ways to save electricity during summers?” are some of the most common questions that people ask during summers.
Here are ten ways you can reduce your electricity bills this year.
ATTAIN ACTIVE TAXPAYER STATUS
Did you know that being an active taxpayer could save you money on your electricity bills? The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has introduced a perk for taxpayers: they can avoid a 7.5% withholding tax which is applicable on electricity bills over PKR 25,000 per month. Previously applicable to bills exceeding PKR 75,000, this change came into effect on July 21, 2021.
If you’re not on the Active Taxpayers List, you’ll be subject to this tax. However, there’s a simple way to avoid it. If you rent or have an electricity meter under someone else’s name, register your CNIC and details on the Ministry of Energy – Power Division’s website (https://mnr.pitc.com.pk/index.php?m=1). This not only confirms your active taxpayer status but also helps you sidestep the extra tax.
It’s a win-win – contributing to the nation’s finances and saving on utility bills.
MIND YOUR POWER USAGE IN PEAK HOURS
The first thing you should do (or might already do) is to be vigilant of your power usage during peak hours. Peak hours refer to those times of the day when the demand for electricity reaches its apex. Within these hours, consumers face the highest charges for every unit of electricity consumed.
The government has recently revised peak hours from the previous window of 6 pm to 10 pm to the new timing of 5 pm to 11 pm. During these hours you need to be mindful of your appliances’ usage that consume heavier electricity like air conditioners, microwaves, ovens, freezers, irons, water heaters etc. Try to use these appliances in the off-peak hours or take breaks during this time to save on your electricity bills.
SWITCH TO LED & INVERTER TECHNOLOGY
Make the smart move today and switch to LED lights and inverter technology. LED lights shine brilliantly while consuming way less energy, giving you the same glow without the hefty cost. Combine this with the efficiency of inverter technology in your air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines, which ensures that your appliances run smoothly even during power cuts – at a lower cost too. Imagine saying goodbye to those energy-guzzlers and hello to savings that add up month after month. It’s not just a switch, it’s a power move towards a greener and more economical lifestyle. Make the change, see the difference!
INVEST IN SOLAR POWER
It’s a well-known fact that solar power can lead to substantial savings on your electricity bills. However, transitioning your entire home to solar power might seem like a pricey undertaking that’s not feasible for everyone. A smart approach to manage the cost factor is to allocate a portion of your electricity consumption to solar panels. Consider purchasing a smaller solar panel and connecting frequently used items such as lights, fans, and outdoor lighting to it. An added advantage: these solar-powered lights and fans will continue to operate during power outages, providing you with uninterrupted service.
Paint Your Roof White
Summers can bring power outages and scorching heat. However, there’s a simple solution: applying special white paint on your roof. This paint acts like a shield, fending off the sun’s intense rays and keeping your living space cool. It’s called “roof cooling coating” and works on all types of roofs, whether flat or slanted. Applying it is easy – you can use a brush, roller, mop, or spray machine.
In Pakistan, a popular choice is Elastomeric coating, known for its sunlight reflection abilities. This means you might find yourself using the air conditioner less often. Typically, a sun-exposed roof demands a lot of AC to stay comfortable. Yet, with a white roof, you can bounce away around 90% of the sunlight, maintaining a pleasant environment without heavy AC usage. A refreshing breeze will suffice.
Here’s a fascinating fact: by painting 1,000 square feet of roofs white, you’re essentially reducing carbon dioxide by a significant amount, as reported by DAWN. Imagine scaling this up for a vast area like 2,500 km² of roofs in Karachi – it’s like removing over 2 million cars from the road for two decades. Truly impressive, isn’t it?
REGULARLY MONITOR YOUR POWER METER
Taking the time to regularly inspect your electricity meter can play a crucial role in preventing excessive power consumption beyond your intended limits. It’s a good practice to establish a monthly target for the number of units you plan to consume, based on your household size and family needs. By doing so, you’ll have a clear gauge of your monthly power usage and can make necessary adjustments to your consumption patterns.
AC/DC FANS CONSUME LESS POWER
If you’re still using older fans that run for more than 20 hours a day, they could be contributing to your higher energy bills. Opting for AC/DC fans can make a significant difference. These fans consume as little as 35 Watts of power and utilize 99.9% copper wires, leading to noticeable savings on your power costs. This translates to up to three times less energy consumption. Also, ensure that your wiring is of excellent quality, featuring copper cores and a suitable gauge to maximize efficiency.
Unplug the Devices That Are Not In Use
Another effective way to reduce the electricity bill in summer is turning off devices that are not being used. You shouldn’t only switch off your TV but also unplug it. Any charger, electronic device, computer or any appliance should be unplugged after use. Although this information is widely known, people still do not practice it. One of the major reasons, besides laziness, is that people don’t save a lot by unplugging devices — merely around PKR 100 to PKR 500 people. Think of it this way, you are paying extra money for something that you did not even use. Even if we can afford to pay the extra amount, we should keep in mind that we have limited resources.
Inspect Devices that Consume More Energy
Hire a local electrician who will visit your house and inspect which part of the house is consuming more energy and why. When people are living in the same house for a long period of time, it is likely they ignore mending old wires or repairing rusty sockets. These small but important electrical items consume extra energy. If you want your home to be energy efficient, then fix the leaks. This process will require less cost and also reduce your electricity bills.
Use Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
On your electricity bill, you can see a schedule. This table suggests those time slots when the meter runs normal and when it runs faster. You should try to take advantage of the hours when the meter functions at a normal pace. You should operate heavy-duty machinery, such as the washing machine, iron or vacuum cleaner, during these hours. Charge appliances during this period.
Choose Your Air Conditioner Wisely
When buying an air conditioner, make sure you choose the machine wisely. The machine you choose should be the best fit for your room. It is a common myth that a big AC will make the room cool faster. The right-sized AC for your room will provide cooling and also reduce your electricity bill. Generally, in Pakistan buildings are not insulated. Also, summer weather lingers for more than half of the year. So, buying the right AC will lower your electricity bills. Do thorough research on which brand and size are best for you before buying anything.
Machines that Consume More Electricity
There are machines that consume more electricity than their counterparts. For instance, laptops consume about 50 watts of electricity, whereas energy-efficient desktops use around 100 watts. Additional 50 watts of electricity are consumed by the monitor. Laptops are, therefore, preferred over desktops at workplaces and at home because of their low consumption of electricity. Similarly, top load washing machines require more electricity than front load washing machines. Also, we should not think about the purchase price of an appliance alone when buying it. We should also consider the lifecycle costs of running the appliance. The lifecycle cost is the sum of the price of the appliance and the cost of electricity or fuel to run it. It also includes the maintenance costs.
Apart from these tips to reduce electricity bills, you can also install a solar panel in your home. Solar panels utilize sunlight and convert it into energy. Therefore, during peak hours you can switch the system of your house to solar panel mode. For more details, you can check how to install solar panels on your home.
Meanwhile, here are a few more guides you may want to check out:
- How to Prevent Heatstroke During Heatwaves in Pakistan
- How to Keep Your Kitchen Cool on a Hot Summer Day?
- How to Get Rid of the Trapped Heat and Make Your Home Feel Cool
- Summer Drinks To Beat The Heat