June 14, 2018

How To Reduce Your Utility Bills The Easy Way

Electricity. Water. Phone. No one wants to pay expensive bills every month. We all want to save our hard-earned money, put it in the bank, make a good investment, reap the benefits and live happily ever after. As much as we want to cut away from the utility expense, we just cannot do without utilities. Fortunately, we have more control over our utility bill than we think. Here are some easy ways to shave some pesos off your bills.

1. Keep them tidy

Remember how your appliances worked when brand new? Maintain that optimum performance by regularly cleaning your appliances. Your lights will shine brighter after a good wipe; your air conditioning (AC) unit will cool your condominium faster when the vents are clean, and your refrigerator will work better when its condenser coils are dust-free. Neglecting maintenance and routine services can result in your appliances using more electricity and you having a bigger electric bill.

2. Spare a Watt

Naturally, when you use less energy, you have less to pay. How can you conserve energy? Lose the idle current running in your unused yet plugged devices. So, unplug and not just switch off your equipment when not in use. Unplug your gadgets after charging, unplug the water cooler at night, turn off your water-heating tank after shower, avoid placing your computer in sleep or standby mode, schedule the timer of your AC, and utilize natural light. Want an effortless option? Use a power strip for an all in one instant unplugging.

In case you want to go an extra mile and you are itching to refurbish your condo unit, I suggest upgrading into energy-efficient appliances to conserve energy. So replace your bulbs with LED lights and your regular AC with an inverter air conditioning system. Moreover, purchase appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings. Appliance manufacturers, especially of refrigerators and ACs, are required by the Philippine government to declare their Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) in yellow stickers to help the consumers in their purchasing decision. The higher the EEF rating, the less electricity you use, the more you save in bills.

3. Track with the App

Did you know that you can track your electricity usage? Meralco (Manila Electric Company) has a free mobile application that lets you keep track of the operating costs of each appliance and calculate your total household consumption. Tracking your energy use will help you manage your utility budget and avoid surprises at the end of the month.

Another way to manage your consumption is by going prepaid. Meralco now has prepaid electricity service called Kuryente Load (KLoad) wherein you will buy load for your Service Identification Number (SIN) and manage it like you would your prepaid phone service. This way, you are consuming based on your allotted budget.

How To Reduce Your Utility Bills The Easy Way
4. Check for leaks

Be on the lookout for dripping faucets, running toilet and stained ceiling. An average drip per second can waste for more than 21 liters of water wasted every day. To prevent unnecessary waste, close the faucet tightly, fix faulty toilet flappers and report the curious stain on the wall or ceiling. Evident stains on your walls and ceilings may mean pipes or rain leak problems that can lead to bigger and more expensive problems. Call an expert ASAP to check your plumbing system.

5. Save every drop

Turn off the tap when not in active use like while brushing your teeth, shaving your beard, shampooing your hair, or washing the dishes. Turn the water on only when you are ready to rinse. Also, avoid flushing toilet paper, cigarette butts, and other small trash down the toilet, as it would consume more water to prevent clogging. Not only will you save your money, but Mother Nature will also thank you for conserving water.

6. Air and Water

Another efficient way is to install aerators into your faucets. An aerator is a small device screwed into the faucet head that reduces water flow by mixing it with air, creating an illusion of higher flow, but using less cubic meters of water. Similarly, choose a low flow showerhead with flow restrictor, either aerating or laminar-flow, when shopping for water-efficient showerheads.

How To Reduce Your Utility Bills The Easy Way
7. Keep it Personal

Mobile plans come in a package of texts, calls, data and mobile app subscriptions. In choosing your mobile plan, make sure that you are only signing up for what you need. Determine what you need and select your plan accordingly. Better still; ask your provider if they offer personalized plans. If yes, mix and match modules according to your preference to get the most out of your budget.

8. Conserve Mobile Data

Check your phone settings and ensure that your phone does not use data without you knowing. You can customize your apps to only use WI-FI, mobile data or both in Settings>Apps. Ensure that your apps “update/download only when connected to Wi-Fi” by checking that option in Settings. Moreover, take advantage of good Wi-Fi connections at home, school, office, coffee shops, and other secure places so that you can save up on your data limit.

9. Try Prepaid

Going prepaid has many advantages. One, you will not have a monthly bill. Two, you will only pay as much as you need. Three, there are tons of affordable promos to choose from. So, say goodbye to surprise charges, exceeding limits, two-year contracts, and switch up fees. Yes.

How To Reduce Your Utility Bills The Easy Way
10. Never Miss a Due Date

Be it electric, water, phone, cable, internet, credit card, car or mortgage, pay the bills on time to avoid late payment penalties or charging interest. Late payment can also result in disconnection or worse a ban. To save yourself from the hassle and drama, you can pay your bills through Metrobank Direct.

The first few months I lived in my condominium (and away from my parents); I was overwhelmed with the monthly bills I had to pay. The fact that it was way over my budget almost made me cut my lines, but of course, I need electricity and water. Somehow, I realized that the lessons and habits we learned as kids, such as using glass when we brush our teeth and unplugging appliances when not needed, go a long way in curbing our energy usage.

Today, I do not dread the monthly arrival of my bills. I know it is within my budget.

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