Monday, March 28, 2011

Saving energy in Singapore beyond Earth Hour

One more Earth Hour is over with some real savings on building facade lightings and increased carbon emission by switching from a light bulb to a candle for an hour. Every year, I never fail to see a company announcement/advertisement prior to this highly sincere but symbolic event which always reminds me an episode of fantastic show Two and a Half Men. Here Charlie stalks his ex-fiancée Chelsea and suspects she dates with a man. He waits for her parking in front of her apartment with his brother Alan is on board. Chelsea comes with the man and Charlie nervously wonders: Would they go in together? He tells his brother:

"Look at that thing he's driving. Alan replies, "What? It's a prius. of course it's a prius."

Charlie (cynically): "I'm saving the planet, could i play with your boobies?"

Alan    : "Hey, do not put down the green lifestyle. i have worked very hard to reduce the size of my carbon footprint."

Charlie:  "You're a mooch and a miser. Don't try to make it sound hip."

Here is an announcement from a large five star hotel about their effort to trim lights during earth our (we are saving the planet) followed by several advertisements informing us that they are also kind to provide a premium dinner options on Earth Hour day for us to enjoy food with candle light (can we play with your credit card?)

Do not get me wrong, I am neither insensitive like Charlie nor a mooch and miser like Alan. I do my best to save energy. And in Singapore the most serious way to save energy for individuals is not turning off the unnecessary lights but to limit the use of air conditioning and while using to set the temperature to higher degrees.

Air Conditioning Servicing
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Mr. Electricity, Michael Bluejay, explains it:
"In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else -- 16% of total electricity used. In warmer regions AC can be 60-70% of your summer electric bill, according to Austin Energy. If you're serious about saving energy, address your cooling costs first, since that's what uses the most electricity.
Source: Saving Electricity"
You will save most if you can do without air conditioning as much as possible. It is even very possible in Singapore, a ceiling fan or a standing fan will be sufficient for most of the time. I am telling this by experience, I hardly use AC till I sleep and occasionally continue the night with only using a fan.

If you need to use AC, set it to higher degrees. 25 Celsius plus will be good and it is better if you keep the temperature at 27 degrees. Since AC unit also dehumidifies the room, i can comfortably sleep at 28 degrees Celsius.

The trick is you start with 25 degrees and increase it up to 27-28 degrees step by step. For example 1 degrees up in every week. This will save you significant amount of money since increasing AC temperature from typical 22 to 27 will save 15 - 20 percent of AC electricity which sucks more than 100 SGD in most flats in Singapore.

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