I have to say that I only know MERALCO as the harbinger of electricity bills. That orange and white bill tacked on our refrigerator door has unfortunately reflected increasing power hikes. So when I attended a lunch that MERALCO hosted recently, I listened intently. I was with other SoMoms and we all wanted to know why there is a power hike and what we can do to conserve energy or at least be efficient in our usage.
First things first:
The Philippines has the most expensive electricity in the whole of Asia. We even surpassed Singapore and Japan. Aray diba and here are the reasons:
Thin supply and few producers. Simple supply and demand means that with high demand and a few suppliers = high charges.
Us consumers pay the highest per kilowatt hour because most costs from producing, to distribution and taxes are all passed on to us.
The power sector is privatized, ergo no state subsidy.
The biggest and most volatile component of our monthly electric bill is the Generation Charge. This accounts for almost 60 percent of our power bill. The Generation Charge accordting to the Meralco website is “the cost associated with Meralco’s purchase of power, from its suppliers – the NPC, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).”
Those are just some of the FAQs that Meralco presented. They also said that as the face of the power industry they bear the brunt of complaints of consumers and that’s why they are working doubly hard to inform consumers of their rights as well as offer tips on how to use energy efficiently and how to conserve as well (magkaiba pala sila, I didn’t know that!)
Energy Conservation vs Energy Efficiency
Energy conservation is cutting usage for a few hours. Energy efficiency is using energy wisely, which means that you use less energy but maximing the usage.
For us, energy conservation takes the form of not using the aircon at night. Yep we sleep only with our electric fan and open windows. It not only saves energy but Dan and I realized that the kids do not get the sniffles that often when we stopped using the aircon. However, our parents love keeping their room cold but the things is their split-type aircon is too expensive to run and maintain. So they replaced it with an inverter aircon. This machine is quiet and it cools their room fast.
Phantom energy is true!!
Power Tip: Use a power strip/power board. Those long extension cords that light up when turned on? We have those and we it off and then we unplug the entire thing. Phantom energy is true! Bampira sila sumisipsip ng kuryente! haha 😀
Power Tip: When shopping for lightbulbs for the home, check out wattage vs lumens. The best bulb would be the one with the lowest wattage but gives out the same brightness as the bulb with the highest wattage.
Power Tip: Use natural light as much as you can! Open the windows, bring the happy sunshine in!
Power Tip: To know the right kind of aircon for you, get the size of the room in square meters then divide by 2 then look for the equivalent capacity. Also, use the Air Conditioner energy guide:
Power Tip: Layout matters, if aircon is in front of the tv, the aircon works double time. Why? Mainit si TV e! The aircon has to work extra hard to keep that source of heat cool!
Power Tip: Heat generating appliances use more energy. So if it’s sunny outside, sampay sampay na lang instead of using the dryer.
Power Tip: Refrigerators with the highest EEF are the most cost efficient! Also make sure that the gasket of your ref is tight by slipping in a piece of paper in between the door and the gasket. If the piece of paper doesn’t fall off then it means the gasket is tight and the ref door seals in the cold effectively!
Kinda sucks that the power hike is right in the middle of the holiday season. What we’ve done now is to limit the hours we keep our Christmas lights. 3 hours is the max! We prefer being energy conservative because we still have working Xmas lights but if the time comes that we have to replace them, I’ll make sure to keep the following in mind:
How about you guys? Are you more energy conservationists or energy efficient? What adjustments have you done because of the price hike! I hope you can share tips!!