In September 2021, the SP Group announced that electricity tariffs in Singapore would increase again by 3.1% from October to December 2021, to 25.79 cents/kWh. This came on the back of an extended period when local electricity tariffs increased consistently since July 2020, when these charges were set at 20.97 cents/kWh. In 2022 1st quarter, tariffs is increased to 27.22 cents/kWh
Note: kWh, or kilowatt-hours, is a measure of how much energy is used per hour, whereas kW, or kilowatt, is a measure of power. For reference, an average home aircon unit uses 0.8kWh. With the new 27.22 cents/kWh tariff rate, the operation of 8 hours every night will add on to monthly electricity bills by an additional $2.75 for a single aircon unit!
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and study. Working and learning used to happen in our offices, workplaces, and schools before the pandemic. Unfortunately, it has become a norm for us to work-from-home (WFH) today. Even children as young as three-years-old have not been spared. Kindergartens and child enrichment programmes have similarly found means to shift online over the last one-and-a-half years. As a result, household utility bills have skyrocketed for many of us. The news of yet another electricity hike could not come at any worse timing.
As one of the most developed nations in the region, Singaporeans also consume the most electricity per person for household uses amongst all Southeast Asian nations. Statistics published by the Energy Market Authority showed that Singaporeans consumed a whopping 26,200 GWh of electricity for household and commercial purposes in 2020. Comparatively, Malaysia, with a population six times that of Singapore, only consume 90,200 GWh of electricity for the same uses. On average, a Singaporean consumes 5.24 kWh of electricity a year. Comparatively, a Malaysian consumes a far lesser amount at just 2.91 kWh of electricity a year.
However, we can do much more to reduce the financial burdens of electricity and play a part in living an eco-friendlier lifestyle through a few simple but meaningful actions. Here are three “switches” to live a greener lifestyle amidst escalating electricity costs.
- Switch off plugs when not in use
According to statistics from SP Group, standby power accounts for up to 10% of Singaporean households’ total energy consumption. Switching off the electricity supply when not using devices, such as computers, Wi-Fi routers, and television sets can significantly reduce energy costs.
- Switch to energy-saving devices
Technological advancements have created household gadgets and machines that conserve more energy, which reduces the total carbon footprint and energy consumption. Choosing to use less energy-intensive appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, or opting for LED light bulbs, will have a positive effect on our utility and consumption bills. For example, LED light bulbs have been found to not only have a longer lifespan but reduce electricity consumption by up to 75% compared to incandescent lights!
- Switch to natural ventilation, reduce the use of air-conditioning
Air conditioning units consume a great deal of electricity. Using a household aircon unit for the same period could cost more than 20x compared to a typical standing fan!
If you really must use the aircon, set your temperature between 24-26°C. You can save up to $25 per year per aircon unit for every degree we increase or decrease out of this range. While sleeping at 18°C might bring short-term comfort, we may not rest as comfortably when we realise that we could be forgoing costs savings of up $200 a year per aircon unit…
Electricity is generated from finite resources, which may not be harvested or sourced sustainably. The use of natural gas and fossil fuels in large quantities also result in a net-harmful impact on our environment. As consumers, simple actions, such as the three switches mentioned, will not only reduce the financial costs of utilities but go far in mitigating damage to our environment as well.