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I once fell out with a friend because of a dispute over electricity bills.

I was sharing a flat with her while we were studying in Australia. Well, she rented the flat, then sub-let it to me, providing me a room, meals and home necessities for a fixed monthly rate.

We lived together uneventfully for a few months, then winter came and she suddenly said she needed to increase my rent.

I think it was because she saw me using my fan heater a lot, to chase the cold away.

I can understand the increased cost of heating a room, but at that time I got really angry. It was a substantial increase, plus I was already beginning to feel annoyed about her thriftiness around the house. The meals she provided were so small I was starving half the time and had to buy my own food and groceries.

 

Increase my rent?

 

So it was the last straw for me when she tried to increase my rent when it wasn’t part of our agreement. I told her I was going to move out. She said, fine, but I still had to pay the rent for the remaining few months of our agreement.

We finally came to a grudging compromise. I paid her for an extra month and moved out immediately. We were never friends again after that.

All that bad blood just because of increased electricity usage!

Maybe if I had been as thrifty as her and had just worn more clothes instead of using the heater so much, she might not have asked for more money, and we would have continued to be friends.

Well, I think, we tend not to be overly conscious about using excess electricity when we’re not the ones paying for it. My dad was paying for all my expenses in Australia, so I didn’t feel the pinch. I don’t know about that ex-friend of mine. Maybe she had to pay for her own stuff or maybe she was just kinder to her parents’ bank account than I was.

Nowadays, I’m more careful about using too much electricity, although I’ve never had to pay for it. I do realise that someone has to pay for it, so I should be nice and help them save money.

 

Turn off power

 

Like, I try not to keep the air conditioner running all day. I turn off the lights when I don’t need it. I know I can do more, like not keep my PC running 24/7. But that’s something I have to work on getting used to cos I like having my PC on and ready at the drop of a hat.

Just learnt something useful: Leaving your PC on overnight (around eight hours) costs an extra $15 a month for electricity. That’s not overly much but it’s $180 in a year! Think what I could do with the money!

Okay, it’s my dad’s money. Maybe he can buy a new… um… microwave oven or something? Well, I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine what my parents would want to buy cos they seem to have everything they need already.

Oh, and did you know that you can save about $665 a year by using a fan instead of an air-conditioner?

SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS.

Well, okay, I really can’t stop using my a/c in hot, humid Singapore. But that’s just a nice thought, isn’t it?

So, why am I talking about electricity?

 

Zapped!

 

Because electricity tariffs are up by 3.3% this year. Stupid oil prices keep going up and up and up! So annoying.

But it’s quite exciting to learn that we can save literally hundreds of dollars every year just by adjusting our lifestyle a bit here and there.

Like, turning off the switch at power sockets when done using appliances.

Like, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.

Like, not putting hot food in the fridge.

So many things we can do.

Would be so nice to have a few hundred dollars in savings each year, right? Maybe go on a cheap holiday as a reward!

Alright, maybe you already know all these facts. Maybe you’re an expert.

Maybe you can win a $250 Best Denki voucher each week by proving it!

Here!

 

Play the Energy Challenge

 

It’ll take only a few minutes and it’s very easy to play. Just help Mr Tan save on electricity costs by turning off his appliances or buying energy-efficient ones for him!

It would help if you looked at some energy saving tips here first.

Loads of helpful nuggets can be found there. They’re fun and interesting to read!

 

Energy saving tip

 

Well, okay, I’ll leave you to it. Shall stop blogging now so I can turn off my computer and go to bed. Must save energy!

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