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Beyond the hour: Home and office Energy-saving tips


1. Use a fluorescent lamp or Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). These are energy efficient light bulbs that can last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy.

2. When buying a new refrigerator, choose a unit with a higher Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF). Defrost your refrigerator regularly. Frost acts as an insulating blanket which causes the motor to work overtime, resulting in increased power consumption. Cover liquids and wrap food you are storing. Otherwise, moisture – the source of frost – released inside the refrigerator will cause the motor to work harder than normal.

3. Just like refrigerators, air-conditioning units with higher EEFs also consume less electricity. Choose a unit with a capacity that is just right for the room where you will install it. Make sure to clean the air filter.

4. Allot a specific day to iron your clothes in one batch. It’s better to do it in the morning when it’s cooler and brighter. Iron your thick and heavy clothing items first. You can use the remaining heat from the unplugged iron for the thinner items.

5. For stoves and ovens, choose those that have an automatic ignition system. When cooking, it is more energy-efficient to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG rather than electricity. Make an organized system for cooking in order to optimize the use of the stove or oven.

6. Turn off the television when not in use, and make sure to unplug it. Television units in standby mode still consume electricity.

7. For electric fans, lock the oscillator when you only need the wind in one direction. Maintain the cleanliness of the fan to prevent it from breaking down easily.


1. Turn off all unnecessary lights. Use natural lighting to a maximum advantage whenever possible. Regularly clean or if possible, repaint light-colored surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and furniture. This ensures that more light will be reflected in work areas, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting.

2. Reduce or eliminate outdoor lighting for decorative and advertising purposes. Use the most efficient light sources available.

3. Keep all doors and windows closed when the air-conditioning system is on. Aside from cleaning parts such as filters, fans, belts, cooling coils, and ducts regularly, filters should also be replaced at least once a month to maximize airflow through the units. Do not set the thermostat lower than necessary. The prescribed setting for air-conditioned buildings is 25.5 degrees Celsius.

4. For buildings with big glass areas or windows which are in direct sunlight, consider applying window tints. These will prevent the transmission of solar heat while still transmitting visible light. This reduces solar heat gain up to 75%, hence, reducing the cooling load. Tinting also reduces glare and fading due to ultra-violet radiation.

5. If the building has two or more elevators, operate all units only in the morning when the majority of the employees are going in and just before the end of the regular office hours. Encourage people to use the stairs when going up or down one to two floors.

*Tips from the Department of Energy

TAGS: Earth Hour, energy, tips
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