06 March 2015

Zero waste network gives “Kuryentipid” tips contra power shortage

In the face of recent Department of Energy announcements of power shortage during the dry months, zero waste advocacy network EcoWaste Coalition issued a list of practicable tips that everyone can do to help ease the worsening energy situation.

The “Kuryentipid” tips, the Coalition’s electricity conservation guide, list down 22 "hot" workable ideas that the public can do to bring down the consumption and wastage of electricity.

“Many of these tips in the list, you will find to be no more than commonsensical simple things that may have crossed your mind,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“Such ideas as making the most of the natural air and light available via your windows, unplugging appliances and gadgets when not in use, and organizing chores for energy efficiency like using the washing machine with the right load are among these ‘hot’ tips,” she continued.

The government itself has started to issue similar tips, such as setting air conditioner thermostat to 25 degrees, cleaning electric fans to achieve efficient cooling effect, and even allowing employees to wear comfortable wears like shorts and even slippers.

Recent reports have quoted the DOE that a looming power shortage during the summer season is already seen to come: “Buong [Luzon] po yung ating nakikita na ninipis yung ating reserba” according to DOE Energy Management Utilization Bureau in Filipino.

Due to work overload to produce more power to satisfy an increase in energy need during the hot months, shutdown of power plants are also seen, which will worsen the foreseen crisis.

As early as the last quarter of last year, the government had started to warn of a power deficiency to be felt by the nation specifically during the dry season of 2015.

The energy issue even prompted the government to exert efforts at granting President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III “emergency power” to solve the then impending crisis.

While the EcoWaste Coalition was vocal against its opposition to such “drastic move” of providing more power than necessary to PNoy, the group also asked power consumers to do their part to alleviate the energy situation.

“Simply saving electricity at home and workplace, not only eases the burden we consumers put on the decreasing power supply, but also cuts back on our bills, tames global warming, and more importantly, instill in us that consciousness of saving and attitude of prudence,” said the EcoWaste Coalition.

Toward reduced electricity consumption, pollution and expenditures, the Coalition asks consumers to consider the following “kuryentipid” tips:
1.       Open the curtains, drapes and windows, as well as remove clutter, to allow natural air and light in.
2.       Install skylights wherever possible to maximize the daylight.
3.       Switch off lights, radio and television sets and other energy-consuming devices when not in use.
4.       Wipe lamps and fixtures clean to improve illumination as dust decreases brightness and energy efficiency as well.
5.       Reduce the strength of lights to only what is needed. Use lights that are low in wattage for places where bright lights are not required.
6.       Make sure that outdoor lights are switched off during the day.
7.       Turn off appliances and gadgets at the power socket when not in use since these still consume electricity even on standby mode.
8.       Use a fan to keep cool instead of an air-conditioner. Ceiling fans, in particular, can make you feel few degrees cooler while consuming less electricity.
9.       Use an air-conditioner sparingly, set the temperature at about 25 degrees Celsius, keep the filter clean and ensure the unit is serviced regularly for more efficient cooling.
10.   Organize household chores like cleaning, cooking, ironing and washing more efficiently and try to do these with lesser frequency.
11.   Put leftover food on top of newly-cooked rice to warm it instead of using the stove, toaster or microwave.
12.   Set fridge temperature at 5°C, organize items to allow airflow and do not overload. Cover liquids and foods to control moisture that makes the fridge work harder. Also, leave enough room around it to allow the heat to escape from the condensing coil and compressor.
13.   Refrain from keeping the refrigerator door open longer than necessary, check the gaskets and make sure the door shuts tightly to avoid cooling loss. Defrost regularly.
14.   Allow hot foods to cool first before putting them into the refrigerator.
15.   Thaw frozen foods before you cook them to lessen energy use. Defrost them inside the refrigerator as this helps in cooling the fridge.
16.   Keep your washing machine loads at maximum; wash manually if possible. Save laundry wash water for cleaning and other purposes.
17.   Use just the right amount of detergent to avoid extra rinsing.
18.   Hang clothes to dry instead of using the electric dryer.
19.   Choose not to iron clothes whenever possible. If needed, do ironing in big batches. Start with clothes that need lower temperatures, avoid heating and re-heating the iron and use the residual heat for delicate items.
20.   Use the kulambo (mosquito net) instead of electric mosquito repellants. Keep your surroundings clean and dry to prevent mosquitoes and other pests like roaches and rodents from breeding.
21.   Save water by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash your face and do take shorter showers as these also save electricity used for pumping the water.
22.   Plant vegetables and fruit trees to shade your house from the sun and water them after sundown. Get some indoor plants to make the house cooler.
According to the group, putting in practice such zero waste ideas as the “Kuryentipid” tips, is also one way to raise the consciousness of the public on the issue of wasting, which has to do, not only with garbage, but with practically anything that we have, consume, and make use of.

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