# Effective energy saving tips for HDB homeowners

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Saving on electricity bills isn't just about choosing the right provider; it's also about adopting smart energy-saving habits in your daily life.

For a family of four residing in a 5-room HDB flat in Singapore, there are several actions they can take to save on electricity bills. Here are some examples along with potential cost savings.

## Energy-saving habits to cut down on electricity usage

### Switch to LED lighting

By replacing all traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs throughout the flat, the family can save around up to 83 per cent on lighting costs.

Let's assume an average of 10 light bulbs in the flat, with each LED bulb consuming 10 watts compared to 60 watts for an incandescent bulb. Assuming an average usage of four hours per day, the potential cost saving can be around S\$226 per year!

 LED bulb x 10 Incandescent bulb x 10 Per Hour 10 watts x 10 = 100 watts 60 watts x 10 = 600 watts No of Usage Per Day = 4 hours 400 watts 2400 watts Total Usage Per Year (based on 365 days) in watts/ based on 10 bulbs 400 watts x 365 days = 146,000 watts 2400 watts x 365 days = 876,000 watts Total Usage Per Year (based on 365 days) in kilo-watts 146 876 Average = 30.95 cents/kWh *** 146 x \$0.3095 = SGD45.20 876 x \$0.3095 = SGD271.12

### Use energy-efficient appliances

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines can lead to significant savings on electricity bills.

For example, replacing an old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model can save around 20-30 per cent on energy consumption. Assuming an average annual electricity cost of S\$400 for the refrigerator, the potential cost saving can be around S\$80 to S\$120 per year.

### Optimise air conditioning usage

Set the air conditioner temperature to 25-26°C during the day and 23-24°C at night to reduce energy consumption.

Using fans to circulate air can also help maintain comfort while using less energy. By optimising air conditioning usage, the family can potentially save around 20-30 per cent on cooling costs, translating to savings of S\$200 to S\$300 per year.

### Unplug unused electronics

Encourage family members to unplug chargers, electronic devices, and appliances when not in use to eliminate standby power consumption.

While the savings from this action may seem minimal, it can add up over time, potentially saving around S\$20 to S\$30 per year.

### Install energy-saving devices

Consider installing energy-saving devices such as motion sensor lights, smart power strips, and programmable thermostats to automate and optimise energy usage. While the upfront cost of these devices may vary, they can lead to long-term savings on electricity bills.

Overall, by implementing these energy-saving actions, a family of four living in a 5-room HDB flat in Singapore can potentially save anywhere from S\$340 to S\$510 per year on electricity bills.

These savings may vary based on factors such as current electricity rates, usage patterns, and the efficiency of appliances and lighting fixtures.

### Make use of your climate vouchers

Under the Climate Friendly Households Programme, every HDB household can claim S\$300 in Climate Vouchers to purchase energy- and water-efficient products.

Singaporeans can benefit from climate vouchers, which are essentially subsidies provided by the government to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient appliances and practices.

These vouchers can be used for purchasing energy-saving appliances, such as energy-efficient air conditioners, refrigerators, and LED lights, helping you save both money and energy in the long run.

## Factors to consider when choosing an electricity retail provider

There are seven electricity retail providers currently. When it comes to choosing an electricity retail provider or considering a switch in Singapore, there are several key considerations to keep in mind, especially from a personal finance perspective. Let's break them down.

### Electricity plans and rates

Take a close look at the electricity plans offered by each retail provider. Compare the rates they offer, including both fixed and variable plans.

Fixed-rate plans offer stability as the price per kWh remains constant throughout the contract duration, while variable-rate plans may fluctuate based on market conditions.

### Contract terms and flexibility

Consider the contract terms and duration offered by each provider. Some plans may require a minimum contract period, while others offer more flexibility with shorter contract terms or even no-contract options. Evaluate your preferences and financial situation to choose a plan that aligns with your needs.

### Promotions and discounts

Keep an eye out for promotions and discounts offered by electricity retailers. These could include sign-up bonuses, cash rebates, or discounts on electricity bills for a certain period.

Take advantage of these offers to maximise savings on your electricity expenses.

### Customer service and support

Assess the quality of customer service and support provided by each electricity retailer. Look for reviews and feedback from existing customers to gauge their satisfaction levels.

A provider with excellent customer service can offer peace of mind and assistance in case of any issues or queries.

### Green energy options

If you're environmentally conscious, consider choosing a retailer that offers green energy plans sourced from renewable sources like solar and wind. While these plans may sometimes come at a slight premium, they allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

### Additional fees and charges

Be aware of any additional fees or charges associated with the electricity plans offered by each provider.

These could include administrative fees, early termination fees, or meter reading charges. Factor these costs into your decision-making process to ensure transparency and avoid unexpected expenses.

### Usage patterns and consumption

Analyse your electricity usage patterns and consumption habits to determine the most suitable plan for your needs. Some providers offer tailored plans or smart meters that provide insights into your energy usage, helping you optimise efficiency and minimise wastage.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing an electricity retail provider or deciding to switch. Ultimately, the goal is to find a plan that not only offers competitive rates but also aligns with your financial goals, lifestyle preferences, and commitment to sustainability.

ALSO READ: Gas and electricity prices to rise from July to September

This article was first published in ValueChampion.

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