Best way to mark Earth Hour

Posted on March 22, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-

THE best way to mark Earth Hour is to reduce your electricity usage.

Here are ways to save electricity, while keeping your lights on:

> You can’t save much electricity if you do not know which device in your house is the largest energy consumer. Fret not, for some online help is available. Tenaga Nasional Bhd has a simple guide at tnb.com.my/residential/energy-savings-at-home/cost-of-using-your-electrical-appliances.html. For those who want to know the actual watts used, try the SP Services (a member of Singapore Power Group) link at services.spservices.sg/cs_services_energy-audit.asp.

> TNB’s guide on how to reduce electricity use is found at tnb.com.my/residential/energy-savings-at-home/how-to-reduce-your-bills.html. As energy-efficiency rating of electrical equipment is not mandatory in Malaysia, it is somewhat hard for consumers to know which is the most efficient equipment. However, a few air-conditioning manufacturers are marketing their products here using Singapore’s energy-efficiency labelling system that is based on the number of ticks (more ticks means greater efficiency).

> Not that we are condoning buying (remember the 4th R called refuse?) but if you really, really need to buy a household appliance, make sure you get the most efficient one. A guide from the Singapore National Environment Agency (els.nea.gov.sg/mels/aircon.asp) is very useful in this regard as some of the models marketed there are also sold here. Malaysia’s Energy Commission also maintains a list (because efficiency certification is still voluntary at this stage) at st.gov.my/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5312&Itemid=1772〈=en.

> If your monthly electricity consumption exceeds RM10,000 (hopefully not someone’s home!), it is time to hire professionals to assess where the bill can be trimmed. One such company is Z-Cep (z-cep.com.my), which is offering free energy audits to those who are willing to open their doors to them.

Here’s how you shouldn’t celebrate Earth Hour:

> Do not drive around to admire the city enveloped in darkness.

> Do not stay connected at all times – learn to use the shutdown function on computers and smart devices.

> Refrain from driving to large gatherings, and use public transport wherever possible. The less travelling (unless by walking or cycling), the better.

> Avoid lighting up candles or lamps as they too give out carbon dioxide and air pollutants, not to mention being fire hazards.

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