How can I save on my energy bill in Singapore?
Welcome to Part 3 of our Solar 101 FAQ!
People around the world have been working from home ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Dec 19/Jan20. As a result, electricity consumption for most households have gone up.
In my case, it has gone up by more than 70%! It pains me when I see how much my energy consumption has increased in the past 4 months. In this article, allow us to address the age old question on how you save on your energy bills in Singapore!
1. "How can I save on my energy bill if I live in a landed house in Singapore?"
The bigger your household is, the more energy is consumed. It is almost a no brainer for you to consider installing a solar system for your house if you live in a landed house when 95% of households in Singapore cannot do so.
Here's how it can help you;
- A solar system can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 50%, depending on your consumption pattern.
- You hardly need to maintain it.
- The solar panels can last for more than 25 years (although energy generation drops over time)
- You have a secondary source of energy which is consumed on the fly.
- Solar panels are much more economically viable now, compared with the past.
- You can recoup the cost of a solar PV system in a relatively shorter amount of time.
- There is no energy wastage. Any excess energy that is not consumed by your house, will be sold to the energy grid and you will get rebates for it.
- You generate revenue from your solar system even when you are abroad visiting the Great Wall of China or skiing in the Swiss Aps (Ouh.. how we miss the days of travel)
So How do I go about installing a Solar System?
Start by looking for the roof plan of your house, electricity bill and send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do the rest. If you do not have a roof plan, send us your postal code with your bill!
2. "I am already buying from an Energy Retailer. Why should I buy a solar system?"
Installing a solar system will help reduce your net energy bill, especially if you will consume most of the energy that is generated. In this scenario, installing a system is more beneficial as you hardly have any energy to be exported. (Export Rate is 5.44 cents cheaper than the consumption rate.) If you have very good rates for your electricity, it just means your opportunity costs is lower than those paying a higher rate and thus your projected returns of investment or breakeven point for the solar system is longer than those paying a higher rate.
However, with this solar PV system, you will be less susceptible to changes in the energy prices and hence it is like a form of hedging against energy inflation. Note this depends on how much the solar PV system can help subsidize your energy bill. By going solar, you are also pledging commitment to reduce your carbon footprint and help save the environment by going solar. Installing a solar PV system might even increase the value of your home!
If you are currently considering to get a solar system and also planning to sign up with an energy retailer, do contact us first so that we can advise you on this as most energy companies in Singapore do not allow solar installation requests.
3. "How can I save other than installing a solar system?"
Identify the highest energy consuming appliances in your household. The high energy consuming appliances are usually lights, refrigerators, air-conditioning and water heaters. We suggest to only replace fluorescent lights with LED lights only when they breakdown. Not all LED lights are built the same. Many LED light manufacturers have different LED product lines with varying lifespan (in hours lifetime) so try to get the ones which lasts longer even though it costs slightly more.
For air-conditioners, look beyond upfront costs and consider upgrading your air-con system to one with at least 4 ticks. A highly energy efficient air-con system will definitely help you to save more in the long run especially in a warm climate like Singapore where we all rely heavily on air conditioning. This applies to refrigerators as well.
Recall that back in the olden days, people got by without water heating. Furthermore, heating in such a warm climate like in Singapore is not as essential compared with countries that have cold climates like Russia. Try to get used to shower baths without using the water heater. At the same time, consider taking a shower standing in a big pail, to collect water and reuse them later. This can help to save on the cost of water as well, which all adds up!
The issue with many consumers is such that they are often myopic and only look at the upfront costs of things even though they can well afford to pay for products with higher energy efficiency! The next time you look at the rising figures on your energy bill, consider a solar system for your landed house and also our other tips. Use this as a guide and look beyond upfront costs!