Bringing down your monthly electricity bill of an average household of six people in India requires some simple calculation reading through this piece.

A typical house requires air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, water pump motors, cloth ironingkitchen appliances like ovens, and cloth washers. Not to mention bulbs, fans, and recreational gadgets. All these appliances have a label at their back that indicates the total wattage of each one of them.  

The first lesson in reducing your monthly electricity bill is to read the label. Let’s consider this example of a convection hybrid gas/ electric heater. The label says 100 volts input current on the top and 26 Watts besides it. So, the total current consumption of this device would be 26/100 =0.26 Amps, which is the current drawn by the convection fan. 

We don’t want our total amperage for all our appliances combined to cross 13 Amp at any time in the day, on each phase. Let’s leave the phase concept for later. In truth, a small middle-class family doesn’t require any more amperage either, even while using low amperage air conditioners, heaters or refrigerators throughout the day.

Continuing with the same, our aim is also to keep all our Kilowatts shown on all the labels of our electric devices, below 3.5 KW on one phase, the average of a typical family. This wattage is something a rickety electric supply company that is typical of a third world country would easily be able to handle.  Any total above this value will probably burst the top ceiling of the billing rate factor used to calculate your monthly bill. I will explain the phase concept separately.

Theoretically, your electric Supply Company sends in 100 Amps to your house. That is 100 x 240 volts = 24 kWatts. Diving 24000 into three phases would be 8000 watts (8kW) in each phase. But trust me, you don’t want to use all those, and they might not be available in peak summer and winter seasons.

An electric phase is like a water pipeline that you use in your kitchen, your washroom, and your garden simultaneously, but cannot increase the flow beyond a certain limit. In addition to that, you can’t get extra water from the other two water pipes, coming into your home.

Some typical Wattage of electrical appliances that we use are:

1.5 Ton Inverter AC – 1200 – 1800 Watts

Refrigerator – 300 -500 watts

Freezers – 450 Watts

LED TVs – 150 Watts

LED Bulbs or CFLs – 20 Watts

Ceiling Fans – 120 Watts

Conserving energy is not only pleasing for the eyes when you see your monthly bill steeply falling, but it is good for Mother Nature as well.

Some good energy conservation ideas worth looking into are:-

Convection hybrid gas / electric heaters of 4 KWh for winter months are very easy on the bill. With just a small fan that blows air over gas heated plates, is just perfect for an 18×20 feet room.

AC to DC inverter air conditioners, use less electricity because of the DC circuit and are less noisy too. The initial high cost is well compensated in a few scalding summers, typical for a South Asian country. 

7 KW reversible solar system would not only generate more electricity during peak summer months that last up to 8 months in today’s global warming, but they also recover the initial high cost in 5 years tops. The rest would be salted margarita on the beach.

So next time you go shopping for your favorite automatic washer-dryer, do read the label at the back.

You are welcome!

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