This article is on Tuesday, 10 Jan 2006, Straits Times.
In a report from World Bank in 2003, it showed Singapore is second to United States in the amount of energy used per person.
A group in Singapore, focusing in environmental issues, feel that the main culprit is the air conditioning.
1) I guessed with this kind of weather ( i am not saying right now caused it has been raining daily for the past few days, i am saying the weather in general ) , it is only natural that Singaporeans would like to have at least an air conditioning system in their homes.
2) Try to recall the hot weather during the mid-year. The surroundding was so warm that without an air con, it is very diffcult to sleep comfortably.
3) But air con is ultimately still a luxury item. Look at our parents and the older generation, air con in the past was something far beyond the reach of most people. Just say 5 years back, a non inverter system 3 can cost $2500. Like my parents, they could only afford a small 9000btu window unit when they bought their first home. But if you look around, you will have noticed that air con has become very common.
4) Generally air con prices have been dropping. This is mainly due to manufactuers shifting their operations into areas where there will be less overhead.
5) So it is not great that prices have dropped!!!??? If only the electrical tariffs will to drop together, then it will be perfect. We have seen how the electrical tariffs have risen over the past 5 years. from 2000 of $0.1549 per kwh to 2006 $0.2102 per kwh. Though the Singapore Power has been great by looking at the situation and adjusting the electrical tariffs every 3 months.
6) I think it is really down to us to make sure our electrical bills are not high.
What u should do
1) Do buy energy saving products. This includes all appliances. Currently for air conditioning and fridge, you can refer to the Energy Label ticks given by Singapore Energy Labelling Scheme.
For US products, you can go online and check if that model is having Energy Stars.
2) If possible, try to change all your lights to Energy Saving bulbs. U may have to spend some money changing some componets as not all are suitable for use of Energy Saving bulbs. But an energy saving bulb from a reputable manufactuer can save you between 50% to 80% of electricity. That is actually quite a lot.
3) U can consider getting an inverter air con and fridge if your usage and budget allow. These are more energy efficient products.
4) Reduce the use of electrical heating appliance like instant water heater, electrical oven and electrical heat pot..etc. These are very high energy consuming products. U can see the technical specifications at the product and u will understand. I am not saying these products are no good..just that try reduce it. For example, if u want to warm up your food, you might want to consider using the gas cooking instead.
5) Use a fan. This especially help to save you energy when use together will air con. Firstly, if u are using an air con, a fan will first assist in circulating the air in the room thus bringing even cooling faster. Secondly, when the fan on, u will feel both the cold and the wind. The fan will actually make us feel colder due to the wind effect. Thus u can set a higher temp. An single room air con use on average 800 watts per hour while a fan use on average of 70 watts per hour.
6) Off your appliance when you are not around. But if u are just leaving for a while or so, it is better to leave it on or standby mode. There is a power surge everytime we on a appliance.
7) LASTLY, i urge Singaporeans to support the Singapore Energy Labelling Scheme by buying only products with energy label ticks. This pressure can caused the manufactueres to push themselves to produce more energy efficient products in order to meet the requirements.
8) I also hoped SEC / NEA can bring in more products into the Singapore Energy Labelling Scheme.