The dry season in the Philippines, which is associated with searing temperatures, prompts consumers to use cooling appliances such as air conditioners longer and more frequently. This triggers higher electricity consumption, which historically spikes by 10 to 40% from March to June, translating to higher electricity bills.
To help customers better manage their electricity consumption, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) recently partnered with Women’s Business Council for a forum on energy efficiency that highlights different ways to maximize power use and save more on costs.
Part of the distribution utility’s advocacy is to empower its customers by providing knowledge and tools that can use not just during the dry season but all year long:
Air Conditioner: Beat the Heat Without Hurting Your Pocket
Air-conditioning units (ACUs) are among the most used cooling appliances used to beat the heat during the dry season. To save on electricity costs while using ACUs, Meralco advises customers to practice these:
Prevent any air leaks. Air leaks can cause ACU compressors to work harder to reach the desired temperature resulting in higher energy consumption. According to Meralco, preventing air leaks can result in P731 in energy savings per month.
Adjust temperature setting. An ACU set to 25 degrees is much more efficient than setting it to 18 degrees as air compressors need not work harder to reach a cooler temperature. By simply adjusting the temperature setting, Meralco customers can save up to P1,017 per month.
Clean ACU filters every two weeks. A clogged air filter pushes ACUs to work harder to reach the desired temperature. By simply cleaning air filters every two weeks, Meralco customers can save as much as P208 every month.
Making Refrigerators More Efficient
Like ACUs, refrigerators are also one of the most used cooling appliances not just during the dry season but all year long. To optimize the use of refrigerators, here are some energy efficiency tips customers can use:
Check for possible air leaks: Just like ACUs, air leaks can cause refrigerator compressors to work harder, requiring more energy. Preventing air leaks in refrigerators can help customers save up to P434 per month.
Avoid storing hot food: Storing hot food can cause the appliance’s compressor to work harder to reach the desired cooling temperature. To avoid this, Meralco advises customers to cool food first before storing it in the refrigerator.
Avoid overloading refrigerators. Overloaded refrigerators make it harder for cool air to circulate. To avoid this, Meralco advises its customers to fill their refrigerators at 70% capacity. This alone can help customer save up to P248 per month.
Use a motion-sensor LED light. This alone can help in as much as P26 in monthly savings.
When possible, utilize natural lighting.
When using electric fans, customers are advised to upgrade to a direct current (DC) fan as this uses lesser electricity than an Alternating Current (AC) fan.
Meralco advises customers to use a 33-watt air purifier for a room with a size of 28-sqm and below. According to Meralco, a 33-watt air purifier alone only costs P0.58 per hour.
Generally, appliances and gadgets not in use should be unplugged to avoid phantom loading and save up to P250.80 per month.
During the seminar, Meralco North Business Area Head Margarita Basa-David said electricity consumers have the power by simply being conscious of how long they utilize appliances and of the practices on energy efficiency.
“Energy efficiency is about empowering ourselves using the knowledge that we acquire and the right tools for us to make sound choices and practice efficiency and sustainable habits,” she said.
Aside from energy efficiency tips, Meralco also empowers its customers to better manage their electricity use with the help of the Appliance Calculator available in the Meralco Mobile App which provides information about the power consumption and cost of using different gadgets and appliances.