Monday, March 8, 2010

How to save on your utilities

Source: Voices Special Edition 2008. Your Survival Guide. Central Singapore Community Development.

I stumbled upon another old brochure. Sharing some tips and tricks might be useful and applicable to you.

Money Savers: Electricity
  • Keep them off - switch off electrical appliances at the plug point when you are not using them. (save at least $70 a year)
  • Use a flask - swich on your electric airpot only when you need it. (save up to $360 a year)
  • Cool temperature - set the thermostat of your air-conditioner at 25 degrees Celsius, deemed the optimal temperature by experts. Each degree you raise the temperature takes $25 off your bill a year. (save at least $50 a year)
  • Desktop Helper - don't keep your computer running if you're not using it. (save at least $240 a year)
  • Four ticks is best - buy only appliaces (eg. refs, aircons) with energy efficients labels. The more ticks an appliance has, the less energy it uses. The difference in electricity bill between a four-tick and a one-tick aircon could be as high as $460 a year, and as much as $130 a year for refs.
  • Better bulbs - use energy saving or compact flourescent bulbs, and watch your bill drop by $20 a bulb a year.
Money Savers: Water
  • Five-minute showers - keep your showers short. Turn off the water while soaping.
  • Use a thimble - attach one of these water-saving devices to your taps, especially the one at the kitchen sink. Thimbles can be bought at kitchen equipment outlets, hardware shops and home improvement stores. To get a free thimble from PUB, National Water Agency, call 1800 284 6600, or send an email to Give them your mailing address and they will post a thimble to you.
  • Bottle helper - to reduce the amount of water you flush away, fill a 500l bottle and put it in your cistern. Make sure the bottle touches the floor of the cistern. But don't let it touch the cistern's mechanism.
  • Re-use water - don't wash your vegetables under a running tap. Wash them in a basin of water. Then use that water to flush your toilet. Collect the water from your washing machine, too, to flush the toilet.
Money Savers: Food
  • Frozen option - opt for frozen meat rather than fresh cuts. It could reduce your bill by up to 50%. Frozen cuts are as tasty as fresh ones, and as nutritious.
  • House brand advantage - buy supermarket house brands and items produced in Singapore and the region. They cost less.
  • Buy in bulk - some essential items like rice can be much cheaper when bought in bulk. If the amount is too much for your household, ask the neighbors or your family members to share in the purchase.
  • Less meat, more veg - you could substitute meat dishes in your diet with bean and tofu dishes. And eat more vegetables. These are cheaper and healthier.

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