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All you need to know about your appliances to fight rising bills

2018 has been a year of increases: Singapore’s prominence on the world map, the retirement age, water prices, electricity tariffs… You get our drift.

And like you, we felt the collective groan that vibrated through our tiny island when a second electricity tariff hike for 2018 was announced recently. But, instead of complaining, let’s educate ourselves about our often-used home appliances, plus the ways in which we can reduce electricity usage and manage our bills better.

Check out the following measures you can take, ranked in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Fight rising billsFight rising bills

Switch it off!

Ease of implementation: 5 ticks because it’s the easiest to do, and it will cost you NOTHING upfront!

Your TV, computer, microwave, washing machine and clothes dryer all have a ‘standby’ mode, which means they’re still consuming energy even when not in use. They’re smart ‘vampires’, sipping tiny bits of electricity every time you don’t switch them off while inactive. Over time, these electronics actually consume more electricity than you’d expect. Even your phone chargers can continue to draw tiny amounts of energy when plugged in and not charging anything, so Mum was right – Switch. It. Off. And that costs you NOTHING! On the flipside, standby power can account for up to 10% of your home electricity use, which translates to about $70 a year.

Pro tip: Power strips with an on/off switch are helpful in reducing phantom energy usage while still giving you the convenience of toggling appliances you may or may not need.

Cool down without increasing your bills

Ease of implementing: 4 ticks, only because Singapore is so warm.

We get it, Singapore is humid – and there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing the beep of the air-con as you retreat into your personal cold room. For those who cannot live without air conditioning, consider this: every 1°C increase in the thermostat setting saves about 10% of the air-con’s energy usage. Thus, the optimum temperature for energy-saving and comfort is 25°C and above.

For those looking to minimise their carbon footprint, ceiling fans are great for keeping a room cool while using minimal energy. Alternatively, for rooms without an air conditioner, you could opt for a portable cooler. Check out your local COURTS store to figure out what’s best for your house, be it full air-conditioning systems, fans or room coolers.

Pro tip: Invest in a bright-coloured curtain to keep the sun’s heat out of your home. In addition, curtains add flair to any room! And yep, custom curtains are also available at COURTS.

Don’t neglect the hard workers

Ease of implementation: Implementing this may take some skilful budgeting, so 3 ticks!

These are the appliances that never get a break. They run 24/7 to keep your food items cold or your wine at just the right temperature. Whether it’s the refrigerator, the wine chiller, the freezer or the water filter system you’ve installed, the energy consumed adds up quickly.

Simply check the tick ratings that feature prominently on tags when you go to megastores such as COURTS. It’s easy: The more ticks an appliance has, the less energy it takes to power it.

Pro tip: Factoring in maintenance and warranty plans into your budget from the get-go could save more money in the long run. For example, when you buy appliances, furniture and fittings from COURTS, look out for a one-stop service centre under “GURU”, a programme that provides maintenance services, instant replacement of faulty appliances, extended warranty plans and repairs all in one stop! This service is available at all COURTS stores, while selected services are available online.

Just right is the best

Ease of implementation: Because planning ahead may take some effort, 2 ticks!

Ticks aside, it’s important to consider the size of the appliance and how it fits into your home needs. As your family expands, don’t stick to a washing machine that is too small and requires multiple rounds to finish your laundry. It makes sense to get a larger model, which usually has a better tick rating than a smaller model, by comparing power usage with efficiency.

Pro tip: There are even ‘smart’ washers now, with functions like quick dry to save time and effort, especially for big families. Score!

You’re definitely not alone in wanting to economise on your bills – the growing demand for energy and water-efficient home products is proven by consumers’ behaviour. It’s heartening to know that COURTS has been increasingly growing its range of energy-and water-efficient appliances to meet the rising demand by Singaporeans. COURTS has even estimated that they have saved their customers around S$5 million in energy and water bills between 2017 and 2018.

With the widest range of products, same-day delivery and price promise, we know where we’ll shop at for home needs!

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