High water and electricity bills are one of the major frustrations among residents in the UAE, especially during summer when air conditioners are running almost 24|7, the monthly bill thickens.
With some households complaining of 4-digit bills, the frustration can be understood. Luckily for the UAE consumer, both provider and customer would like to see a reduction in the monthly bill.
The country has one of the highest electricity and water consumption levels, while the resources are scarce in the region. Less consumption will benefit all, say authorities. And with that idea in mind suggestions towards this goal are up for grabs.
There are multiple ways of reducing your water and electricity bill. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Municipality have distributed some of those tips.
When residents see a sudden increase in the bill, it cannot always be ascribed to more consumption. Not seldom something has really gone wrong, and the solution should be sought in maintenance.
A leak in a pipe, a crack in the wall, or poor insulation are some examples of common defects that could lead to an increased water and electricity bill. A good indicator of such defect is when the bill of one month is significantly higher than in the same month last year. In such case, a maintenance company should be contacted so the defect can be identified, and repaired.
There are multiple ways to reduce water consumption. Most water is consumed while irrigating the garden. To reduce this consumption, one could water the garden when temperatures are low and after sunset.
If an automatic irrigation system is used, drip irrigation is recommended. This method allows water to drip slowly to the roots of plants through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. One could also reset the flow of the sprinkler system over various seasons to suit the need of plants and the lawn.
Another major water consumer is the toilet. While flushing cannot be avoided, disposing waste in the toilet could lead to unnecessary flushing. Waste should be discarded in the bin.
In the bathroom there are a couple of tricks which could reduce water consumption. Reducing the duration of the shower with 2 minutes saves around 120 gallons of water each month. When brushing your teeth, it is unnecessary to keep the water running. One glass of water should be enough for this ritual. Furthermore, one could install aerators on the taps to reduce the water flow.
If you wash your at home, a lot of water may be spilled. Using the high-pressure water tank might seem appealing, but it is not economic. One bucket of water should be enough to wash the car.
The big electricity consumer is the air conditioner. We might not be willing to switch it off, but setting the temperature can make a difference. Set the thermometer at 24°Celsius or above.
When the ac is running, make sure that all doors and windows are closed. If possible, switch off the ac in rooms that are not used, and switch it off completely when leaving the house. Cleaning the vents and filters once a month can also contribute in your reduction efforts.
We like to switch on our electrical equipment whenever we want without too much consideration. But a bit of awareness could make a great difference.
Instead of having all our equipment plugged and ready for use, unplugging equipment that is not operated can save you. When using a divider, simply switching of the gate that is not used would make a difference.
Often devices can be switched off anyway; think of lights in spaces that are not used, the TV when nobody is really paying attention to it, or the water heater when taking a bath is not on the schedule. During summer days, the water gets heated without the water heater.
Running the washing machine could be planned; a small wash with only a couple of clothes is not economic. Save your laundry until you are able to run a full load, and you will decrease the use of this device. When the program has finished, dry your clothes on a line rather than in the dryer.
Other tips: reduce the number of times you open and close the refrigerator. And use efficient energy-saving lamps; these might cost a little more, but in the long run they are big money and electricity savers.
DEWA has been heavily campaigning to diminish electricity use during peak hours, which are between 12-5 PM. During these hours most electricity is consumed.
“Using electricity sometimes wastefully, means that DEWA has to invest in considerably in providing more capacity to meet this demand. This generally requires that more fuel is used to produce the electricity and in turn, this increases the costs,” DEWA explained.
Therefore, electricity use during off-peak hours is actually lower in costs for the consumer. The laundry can wait till the evening, so can the dishwasher. There is no need for lights during the day.
Furthermore, running several electrical devices at the same time is not economic. Especially big consumers such as the washing machine and the dishwasher should not be operated together. When many such devices need to be operated, an extra load can be established through a registered electrical contractor.