7 ways to reduce energy consumption

In Nigeria, electrical energy is one of the forms of energy mostly in demand due to the vital role it plays in the country’s economic development.

According to Energypedia, “Nigeria is one of the most underpowered countries in the world, with actual consumption 80 per cent below expectations based on current population and income levels.”

A few weeks ago, the Federal Government announced a hike in electricity tariff to be mediated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, adding that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing about 240 per cent increase.

The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024, adding that customers who belong to the Band A category would enjoy up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

However, for many domestic users who self-generate electricity or depend on public sources, this increase in tariff will necessitate an adjustment in behaviour and lifestyle which will ensure that they conserve more electricity, lessen their use of fuels, and reduce their utility bills.

Here are some ways to do so.

Don’t leave appliances on standby

An electrical engineer, Dare Adebayo, in an interview with our correspondent, pointed out that one of the reasons some householders accrue high energy utility bills is due to the energy that accumulates from heavy appliances that are left on.

“When you leave cooling units for hours, along with other appliances like printers, WiFi routers, light bulbs, video games, TV, and washing machines, the electric units start to count very high. Plug the items you use regularly into a power strip, so you can easily switch them all off at once.

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“So, if you switch off the power point rather than leave the appliances on standby, you would save most of the energy. Switch off your equipment overnight or when you’re away. In the case of laptops, they have energy-saving settings that will turn the screen off after a period of inactivity,” Adebayo added.

Use energy-efficient lighting

Adebayo also advised that householders purchase energy-saving light bulbs which would consume less energy.

According to him, energy-efficient globes could save up to 80 per cent off lighting costs.

“This is because LED bulbs use less power and last longer. Even if you decide to leave some major security light bulbs on at night, you will still spend less money and time replacing them,” he stated.

Limit use of air conditioners

Adebayo explained that it is more energy-conserving for people to avoid the constant running of air conditioners which he said could reduce their lifespan.

“Air conditioners are like refrigerators; they are designed to maintain a set temperature. Once they reach the desired coolness, they shut off until the temperature rises again. This works to save energy and reduce wear and tear on the appliance, otherwise, you can reduce their lifespan if you use them for extended hours every day,” he advised.

On his part, an environmentalist, Gboyega Igbamerun, noted that people should alternate the use of air conditioners with natural air in their homes as it was better.

“Open the windows and allow fresh air to flow into the house and make sure there is cross ventilation. It is better than being perpetually dependent on the air conditioner,” he added.

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Don’t waste water

Igbamerun noted that in many Nigerian homes where water is dependent on pumping a borehole using electricity, wasting water translates into wasting energy.

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