Did you know that the average person spends over 50,000 INR per year on electricity? That’s a huge amount because electricity is a necessity. In some cases, the annual electricity bill ends up taking 5-10% of a person’s income. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of things that are involved in one simple electricity bill. There are several effective ways to save electricity and all of them can also help you in saving money. Saving money on your high electricity bill doesn’t mean that you must give up on your daily comforts.
Each person and home have their unique energy needs. The amount of energy you consume in a month depends on how big your house is, how many devices are running constantly and how many members of your family are there. Most households have a fridge, TV, a microwave, and a cooler/AC.
If you’re living in a bigger home, then it makes sense that your electricity bill will also be higher, as there’s a need for extra lighting, heating, and cooling. Chances are that you’ll have more appliances compared to an average-sized home. Compared to a person living in a single room apartment, you could end up spending double or triple of the energy.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to save electricity, regardless of where you live and the kind of home you have. One of the simplest methods to save money on your electricity bill is to turn off appliances in rooms that aren’t occupied. This simple technique can make a huge difference in your monthly electricity bill. There are other methods that you can use to reduce your electricity bill, and fortunately, you won’t have to give up your basic comforts.
High Electricity Bills – Energy Crisis in Developing Countries
Developing countries have been facing an energy crisis for a long time now. Energy consumers in developing countries fall into two different categories. Those who have access to commercial fuels such as coal, petroleum products, natural gas, and electricity tend to live in urban areas, where energy systems are huge. On the other hand, people living in rural areas still need biomass fuel sources such as wood, crop waste, and animal dung. Almost all the rural communities don’t have any access to commercial fuels and services.
Energy consumption level is lower in developing countries compared to developed countries for obvious reasons. Developing countries make up over 70% of the world population but they only consume about 30% of total global energy. Both the residential and industrial energy demand has surpassed the production capabilities and there is a shortage of fossil fuel. In India, economic losses based on power shortage are an average of 8% of global income.
The developing countries have several holes in their infrastructure that affect already inadequate power supplies. The biggest reason for energy being insufficient is the severe energy loss, i.e., energy is lost during every stage:
Power plants in developing countries consume an average of 15-30% more fuel per unit of energy produced compared to power plants in developed countries. Not maintaining the equipment and poor quality fuel tend to increase the reliability of the power plants.
Electricity Producers and Resources in Pakistan
Following are the distribution companies (DISCOs) operating in Pakistan:
Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO)
Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) (Now privately owned)
Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO)
Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO)
Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO)
Electricity Consumption Figures in Pakistan
Pakistan can provide itself completely with self-produced energy. The total energy produced in Pakistan is 110 bn kWh, which is 119% of its own requirements. The rest of the energy that’s produced is either sent to other countries or is left unused. In addition to pure consumption the production, imports and exports play a vital role. Pakistan also uses other energy sources such as natural gas and crude oil.
The biggest fact to remember while talking about electricity consumption figures in Pakistan is that the total consumption, i.e. 92.33 bn kWh.
|Electricity||Total||Pakistan Per Capita|
|Own consumption||92.33 bn kWh||417.99 kWh|
|Production||109.70 bn kWh||496.62 kWh|
|Import||490.00 m kWh||2.2 kWh|
The above-mentioned values of electricity production are theoretical, these numbers can only be achieved under the perfect conditions. These figures measure the energy that is generatable, which would only be achievable once the power plants are used permanently and to their full capacity. In practice, this can’t happen as solar collectors don’t work as well under a cloudy sky, also wind and water plants aren’t always operating at their maximum capacity.
Electricity bill – Ways to Save Electricity
If you’re just beginning to start saving money on your electricity bill, then there are some basic things you can do. Each tip should take just a few minutes to complete and you can still save a huge amount.
Electricity bill savings – Kitchen
Raising the temperature of your fridge can help you reduce your electricity bill. The fresh food section of your fridge only needs 2.22-3.33 degrees Celsius and most fridges are set 2-5 degrees lower than necessary. For your freezer, you need it below zero. This way, your fridge will end up consuming less energy than you need.
Turn off and Unplug Unnecessary Devices
Small devices like mobile and laptop chargers are often left turned on throughout the home. Before you leave for the day, you should take a look through the home and unplug unnecessary devices to save money. Most kitchen appliances are left plugged in, and they consume energy, make sure to unplug all the devices.
Keep your Fridge & Freezer Full
When you completely stock your fridge and freezer, they consume less energy to keep everything cold. It helps in regulating the temperature inside and needs less energy. If you can’t keep it full, put bags of ice or jars of water in any open space to make sure the fridge consumes less energy.
Electricity bill – Switch off the Fans
We often tend to switch off lights and replace regular tube lights and bulbs with CFL and LED, but lights are used only after dark. Fans on the other hand run day and night and they consume a huge chunk of electricity. The energy consumed by fans takes up a huge part of the electricity bills.
Used for 8 hours a day, the approximate bill in the year for a normal fan is Rs 1,095. Older fans tend to consume even more energy. Thus, turning off the fans when no one is using them can help you save money.
Electricity bill Savings – Limited AC Time
Air conditioning is the biggest power-consuming device in most homes. If you already have an AC, then you can’t change it to a more efficient model. But if you’re planning to buy a new AC, then you should choose the one that offers the most energy saving. If you use AC for 5 hours a day, the average bill for an old AC in a year is more than 25,000 INR.
Switching to an energy-efficient model can help you save up to 10,000 INR.
Analyse Your Electricity Bill
If you think that your electricity bill is unusually high, then the best thing to do is to analyze your bill.
Detect the biggest power-consuming devices and take corrective measures. You can make specific changes to your appliances and utilize the above-listed methods to reduce your electricity bill.
Solar Power – Produce your Own Electricity
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy that’s becoming highly famous because of the benefits it has to offer. In countries like India, and Pakistan, the sunlight is in abundance, and if the right technologies are applied this sunlight can be converted into electric power. Solar power panels have the sole purpose of absorbing solar power which later can be converted into electric power using the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Most homes have a space that can be used to install solar panels and produce electricity.
A home solar system can provide a huge amount of electric energy, and if placed right, it can fulfill the energy requirements of a home. It can also provide AC power as most homes use AC power to operate lighting systems, gadgets, and appliances such as computers, refrigerators, blenders, fans, AC, TVs, and music systems.
A home powered solar power plan has several elements such as:
It requires a certain number of solar panels to absorb as much energy as possible. Exposed directly to sunlight, an ordinary solar panel produces around 300 watts in an hour, which means during summer, a single solar panel can produce up to 3kWh of energy in a single day. This could depend on how the sunlight falls on your solar panel.
The system requires a battery that can also be charged by the energy provided by the solar panel and the same battery can store electric power to be used during the night.
Your home solar power system needs an inverter to convert the DC power generated to AC power, this is the only way appliances used in a home can use the stored energy.
The entire home solar power system is interconnected with proper cables and wires to use the energy in the most efficient way possible.
Cost of Solar Panel Installation – India
Solar power systems don’t come cheap, the exact cost of a solar power plant depends on the size and its type. There are only two types of solar power plants, off-grid and grid-connected.
An off-grid system is a stand-alone system that isn’t connected to the main grid. In an off-grid system, energy generated from solar energy is stored in batteries (also known as deep cycle batteries different from the ones used in automobiles). Then the energy is converted to AC power by using an inverter.
A grid-connected system does not use batteries but only an inverter to convert the energy from DC to AC. Usually, a grid-connected system is governed by a policy known as ‘net metering’ where the excess electric power generated above the energy required by homes is sent back to the grid. This system works well as the homeowner doesn’t need to do any calculation regarding the size of the power plant and any excess power generated earns revenue.
The typical cost of a 1 kW off-grid system that generates 4-5 units of electricity can vary between 1-1.25 lakh. The cost of a grid-connected system is usually between Rs. 75,000 – 90,000. The major difference in cost is because of the cost of deep cycle batteries in the off-grid system.
Cost of Solar Panel Installation – Pakistan
Solar panel power is in trend these days, and they’re one of the best ways to save electricity. As mentioned above, countries like India and Pakistan have no limit when it comes to sunlight. Getting a solar power panel for your home in Pakistan can help you save a lot of energy.
The energy needs of every house are different and that’s why everyone needs a different solar panel setup. Depending on the personal needs of a home and a family, the average units spent monthly can help you choose the ideal solar panel system for you. Usually, a 5kW solar system is suggested for homes that use medium energy consumption.
The average cost of solar panel installation – in Pakistan, is around PKR. 750,000.