Electricity Bill: Experts Offer Tips on How to Reduce Costs

Electricity bill: experts offer tips on how to cut costs
Electricity bill: experts offer tips on how to cut costs. Photo: pexels

According to professionals from the Healthy Building Certificate (HBC), a company that consults and certifies buildings that adopt a set of measures to promote well-being for their users, they encourage healthy daily habits such as using natural light throughout the day and reducing electronic device use at night – a strategy beneficial for reducing electricity costs and improving sleep quality.

“Recent studies released by Harvard University have even shown that excessive use of lights and electronic devices may be linked to cases of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. We’re not only talking about financial savings, but also about building a healthier lifestyle,” assures Allan Lopes, HBC’s global founder and director, who operates in Brazil and abroad.

The HBC experts highlighted the main drawbacks of excessive electricity and electronic use and also provided valuable tips to reduce your electricity bill. Check it out!

1. Electromagnetic Waves

Have you ever heard that using microwaves can cause cancer? This myth, based on popular belief, does indeed have a grain of truth.

Electromagnetic waves emitted by everyday appliances and electronics don’t cause the disease, but can lead to irritability, insomnia, and headaches in up to 10% of the global population, considered electrosensitive, according to studies released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Knowing that it’s impossible to be 100% free from waves, HBC’s global director advises avoiding unnecessary and excessive exposure whenever possible. “Take small steps towards our well-being. For instance, if your electronic devices are not in use, unplug them. Engage in an ‘electricity fast’, aiming to spend a few hours with everything turned off,” Lopes suggests. He also emphasizes that besides consuming fewer kilowatts, people will reconnect with themselves and their surroundings.

2. Blue Light

Exposure to lights emitted by electronic devices, especially at night, can make it hard to sleep and reduce chances of a fully restorative rest.

HBC’s CEO in Brazil, Marcos Casado, explains this happens because of the blue light these devices emit. When absorbed by the retina, they stimulate the brain to stay alert. “Additionally, they suppress melatonin production, the sleep-inducing hormone,” notes Marcos.

To avoid sleep-related problems, the expert advises suspending device use at least two hours before bedtime. Another tip is to use devices in night mode, dimming the lights, which reduces retinal strain.

“Although a more extreme measure, we also recommend not turning on all lights at home and not increasing device brightness during the early evening. If possible, let your body adjust to the darkness, illuminating only when truly necessary,” adds Casado.

Spending Less

3. Lighting

Considering general home lighting, architect Bruno Moraes suggests always using LED bulbs, known for their longevity and energy efficiency. “For those who find LED’s white light bland and want to add a decorative touch, I often suggest using filament bulbs or lamps selectively. The most frequently used light in the house should always be the most economical,” he explains.

Another tip is to consider a lighting circuit for different home areas. Dividing the environment into multiple circuits allows for only some lights to be turned on, rather than all at once.

In addition to creating a cozier ambiance and varying lighting moods, it prevents too many bulbs from being used simultaneously. “Motion-sensor lights are also a great option to prevent energy waste,” Bruno shares.

4. Devices Plugged In, Even When Not in Use, Do Consume Energy!

Contrary to popular belief, leaving devices like mobile phone chargers plugged in does impact your bill. Although the consumption might seem negligible – around 0.26 Watt –, in a house with multiple residents, this habit can substantially increase monthly costs. Therefore, it’s worth unplugging devices when not in use.
For appliances that can’t be unplugged, like refrigerators, adjusting the temperature setting won’t affect food preservation and will help save energy.

5. Shower

The shower and hot water taps are known energy hogs. “In winter, they are often used at maximum power for longer, spiking the bill,” the architect recalls. An interesting alternative, he suggests, is to invest in a gas heating system. “It’s much cheaper,” he assures.

6. Pay Attention to Consumption
Architect Bruno Moraes also stresses the importance of checking energy consumption when purchasing new appliances. “It’s crucial to see how much energy each one consumes. I always tell my clients it’s not just about aesthetics, brand, or price. In the market, for instance, one oven model can consume two to three times more than another with similar functions and power,” he reports.

Another tip in Brazil is to look for the Procel seal (National Energy Conservation Program), which provides detailed product data. “From the label’s chart, consumers can understand the product’s economic rating. This information results from meticulous and proven evaluation,” Bruno concludes.

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