Friday, May 14, 2010

My electric bill has doubled... but I'm okay with it

I found two really cool gadgets online today (scroll below). And this reminded me of another issue concerning us Filipinos--our energy bills.

I've been keeping quiet about my electric bill even though every Filipino I know is raising a huge fuss about theirs... and with good reason. The bills people quote are shocking! How on earth did their bills get that high?? I just nod and agree and say, "Yeah, my bill doubled, too." What I don't say is, "My bill doubled from P900 to P1,900." Yup, I have shoes and dresses that cost more than my spiked bill.

The Power Aware cord, by Magnus Gyllensward and Anton Gustafsson. The cord visualizes how much power is 
being drawn: For example, getting more intense when you turn up your stereo. 

I know why my bill went up--it's because my energy consumption went up. But Vince and I have always been energy-savers so what we consume is probably less than the average Pinoy household. Here are just a few things we do:
  • All our appliances are energy-efficient. They cost more when you buy them but they really do pay for themselves. Every month, I see the proof in our electric bill.
  • All our light bulbs are energy-efficient, too. 
  • Our window panes are tinted to decrease the strength of the hot hot hot sun. When that fails, we have triple-lined curtains to block the sun out. These curtains cost more than regular ones but they instantly cool the house.
  • We open our windows. There's no need to turn on the A/C or even the fans because the winds that flow around a high rise are quite cool and powerful. We just open the windows a crack and the entire apartment is like a wind tunnel.
  • We turn off and unplug everything in the house when we're not using them (except the ref!). It's an extra step when we do want to watch TV, use the computer, etc but we think every little thing helps!
  • Oh, and baby powder helps big time! I'm usually powdered everywhere because the heat is unbelievable but baby powder saves me from getting sticky!
Another tip I can share--though this isn't mine--is to call an electrician and have your meter and wiring checked. My parents used to get huge electric bills no matter what they do. When they finally called in an energy auditor, they found out that there was a "ground" so the appliances were continually using energy even though they weren't in use. The electrician fixed the ground and the bills went down.

The Energy Aware clock by Loove Broms and Karin Ehrnberger. The clock would chart electricity use in 
real time and lets  you track your energy consumption over time.

In this terrible summer we're all experiencing, it's really difficult to think of saving energy when the heat is enough to drive us insane. To be honest with ya, I've been turning on the A/C almost every night. It's just too hot! But energy can be saved--invest in new energy-efficient gadgets, find ways to cool the house without using electricity, dress in light clothes and use baby powder!

Photos and product descriptions from's article: Can Designers Save the World?


  1. You guys are lucky then!! :)

    We also have energy saving appliances, kaya I wonder tuloy if ever we didn't get to buy them - how much kaya will our bill cost?

  2. Thank you for your tips!
    I'll keep them in mind when I'll move to my own place!

  3. hey this is a very interesting article on energy saving frances. i believe our household electrical bill has doubled too and i'm always interested in knowing how to reduce it in simple ways. i too try to unplug our unused electrical items so that they don't consume energy even when they are turned off. but i think i'll try some of your ideas - getting energy efficient light bulbs and energy saving gadgets.

  4. Didi, ya, yun din ang iniisip namin ni Vince--I can't imagine how much we'll be paying if we had just regular appliances!

    Tamara and Lizzie, yes, every little thing helps!

  5. Im glad you are environmentally consious and in little ways doing your bit to keep the energy bills lower. Good work buddy!

  6. Ishrath, it's harder to live an environmentally aware life but not as hard as people think =)

  7. Neighbor, my friend swears by her Panasonic(?) Inverter split-type aircons. She says that when she and her husband were living at their rented home with a regular AC, their bill was about P3,500. Now that they've moved into a much bigger house with two of these Inverter units, their bill's the same! You're right though that these energy-saving appliances are pricey (50k for the AC), but in my opinion they are worth it.

  8. Hi! I think I need an energy auditor/electrician. Our electric bill is hindi bumababa. Can you recommend a reputable one? Thanks!


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