Friday, August 12, 2016

Using electric power at home

My monthly use is less than 50 units (1-2 kWh per day). I am very proud of this.

Check your power bill or meter to see how many units you're using monthly. 

More affluent homes in Nigeria easily use 5-10 times as much energy per person from PHCN, 500 units per person! - and on top of that still have a generator with the life-wasting issues that come with that (waste money, time, and fuel to generate noise, stress, and fumes).

Let us try to pity ourselves fa. :D

You too can cut down on your power use and even get off the grid with solar and storage.  See the future.  If you want to change, here are some tips for saving energy: 

Use energy-efficient lighting.  You want light, not heat, right?  Change your "globe" to CFL - compact fluorescent light - or better.  Not only do you use 5 times less power and waste less as heat, but these CFL lightbulbs also last much longer before they need to be replaced.
Approximate power (Watts) used by different globes to deliver the same light output as a 100W incandescent old-school lightbulb
Use energy-efficient appliances in general.  Many times the engineers determine this anyway, so your more modern appliances are already more energy efficient than the old designs. 

Turn it off if you're not using it.   24-hour cable television in the empty rooms?  Outdoor "security" light on at midday?  Leave a 60 Watt bulb on 24/7 to indicate when "NEPA has brought light"?  At least change it to an LED light, please. 

Rethink ventilation and cooling.  If you use an A/C, is the room/space closed or are you attempting to cool the entire city?  :)  If you live in the tropics like most of Africa, is your space so uncomfortably cold that you're shivering indoors or have to use special clothing and bedding to survive?  Businesses do this a lot, actually - very annoying - and so people have to wear thick Western clothing in this tropical heat!  Can you have windows, vents, and well-designed air-flow substitute for the air-conditioner? 

Pay attention to heating appliances - they use A LOT more power.  You may not need an electric cooker because it is usually wasteful.  You should not keep your electric bathroom/kitchen water heater on infinitely when not in use.  If necessary, ask a professional about timers, thermostats and automation to make your home run more efficiently.  

Turn it down if a low level is good enough.  If your fridge-freezer only has water and bread in it most of the time, you don't need it at freezing point, so adjust the thermostat.  If you don't keep a lot of food, you can use the freezer compartment for all your fridge needs instead of over-cooling the whole space.  Change your airconditioner's set temperature to a comfortable level. 

Don't waste water.  Especially hot water.  It took a lot of energy to get that water.  Don't leave the shower running, don't leave the pipes/faucets leaking, and don't leave the pumping machine overfilling the tank.  Call in the professional to help you sort these things out.  Ideally, the government would provide water services, but even government water should be respected and conserved.  

If you take hot showers, ... just kidding!  Take your hot shower if you need it.  Hey, it's not about not being able to live well, it's about being conscious of the fact that these are Valuable and Non-Renewable resources, and acting responsibly in accordance with our conscience and pocketbook.  Keep that hot shower brisk. 

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Previously on UpNaira