By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe
Saving electricity has become a challenge with warmer climates prevailing all year round. In Sri Lanka it is quite difficult to survive without a fan or A/C in most houses and office blocks. In Colombo and other suburban areas, every house is equipped with a fan as it is one big concrete jungle. But it is always advisable to cut down costs and lower your electricity bills. Here are a few tips on how you could possibly save electricity:
Switch to CFL bulbs: Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money—and a place everyone can start. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Use natural light: As Sri Lanka is a sunny country, you could use natural light to brighten up the interiors of your house during the day.
Take shorter showers: Using hot water is expensive and if you are a resident of the Hill country, you are likely to use hot water to shower during the cold season.
Turn water off when washing hands or brushing teeth: We sometimes forget to turn off the tap while applying soap on our hands or when brushing our teeth. Although this would be convenient for you, it is slowly tapping on your bill.
Unplug unused electronics: Standby power can account for 10% of an average household's annual electricity use.
Install window coverings: Promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun. Therefore you do not have to use the fan or A/C unless it’s very warm.
Reduce heat in the kitchen: Avoid using the oven and other appliances unless absolutely necessary. Try making salads and smoothies rather than having to depend on electrical appliances.
Run full loads of laundry: Rather than washing your clothes every day, trying doing your washing once a week. In Sri Lanka women in rural areas have the privilege of doing their laundry in the nearest lake or river, thereby cutting down the cost of a washing machine.
Hang dry your laundry: This is a common practice in Sri Lanka and many housewives rely on the sun to dry their clothes. But on rainy days they would have to seek alternative methods.
Be efficient with refrigeration: Keep your fridge and freezer at their ideal temperature.
Saving electricity is one way of saving energy in the long run. In Sri Lanka there are various projects being implemented to cut down the cost of electricity and carry out sustainable methods of energy conservation such as electric power. United Tractors is one source where you would have access to a fully integrated approach to electric power in Sri Lanka. Many of the biggest buildings and industrial facilities in the country are powered by Cat generators. The most power dependent institutions such as hospitals and 5 star hotels too rely on Cat power.