As a home owner, I have always thought of minimizing my energy use. I own lots of different equipment and accessories that consume so much energy including; Cooker, microwave, a kettle, blender, fridge, Television, home theater, washing machine, iron box, a water heater geyser-for boiling water for use in the bathroom, and more than 20 bulbs. In a Kenyan home, with all this accessories and equipment electricity spend cannot be less than Kshs 4000 per month.
The question is – Do I spend this much on my monthly electricity bill? NO I spend at most Kshs 1500 per month….only!
What have we done and what can be done?
First most important thing we did was to buy LED lights for the whole house i.e. about 21 bulbs! Despite the expense incurred in buying them, we spend less on electricity-it is actually paying back! We also ensure than we use the natural light as much as possible and turning off lights when not in use. There are different types of light bulbs i.e. LED, CFL and Incandescent with LED being the most effective in energy saving and Incandescent most inefficient.
By buying energy efficient bulbs and making use of the day light, you reduce your electricity bill.
Figure 1: Comparison of different light bulbs
- Water heating
Water heating is a great contributor to high electricity bills especially when using a water heater geyser. We used to have and our electricity bills were so high. By installing a solar water heater we were able to cut this to almost zero and we only heat water using electricity during cold and cloudy seasons, which is very rare in our locality.
By using the right water heaters, opting for renewable energy solutions and also using less water e.g. by spending less time in the bathroom helps you save energy.
- Appliances and electronics
As earlier indicated, we have a host of appliances and electronics that consume energy. For this we chose to have energy efficient appliances. How does someone know an energy efficient appliance/electronic? Look for an energy star logo or energy rating of the appliance when buying it at the shop and save your money by reducing your energy consumption. This also helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Figure 2: How to check for an energy efficient appliance-Green being the more efficient
- Renewable energy
This includes use of Solar as a source of energy. We have started with a solar water heater and soon we will have Solar PV. In addition to reducing energy bills this also is key in environmental conservation through reduction of carbon emission. Read more about solar water heating and regulations in Kenya Here .
Figure 3: A solar Hot Water System
- Unused electronics and appliances
Normally unused electronics and appliances on standby mode/power consume some power and contributes to a percentage of your electricity bill. Unplug them!!
Keeping the fridge and freezers at the right temperatures is important in minimizing energy consumption. Ideal temperature for the fridge is 2-4oC and the Freezer is -18oC.
Figure 4: A Refrigerator
- Air sealing and insulation
In countries that experience extreme weather such as winter and summer, air sealing to reduce air infiltration, having additional insulation and closing windows which when left open can account to up to 50% energy loss is important in reducing energy bills.
- Energy monitor
There are a variety of energy monitors in the market that are affordable. We have managed to install on in our home that we are able to check our energy consumption from anywhere we are and also be able to analyze the energy consumption of different appliances in the house and be able to control energy use whenever possible. With this monitor we are also able to switch on and off the water heater when need be remotely! Read more about this monitor here.
Embracing energy efficiency at home, reduces your energy bills and hence reducing your expenditure hence more income! Join me today and let’s make this world a better more energy efficient place to live both now and for the future generations!
HR – Eenovators Limited