We’re not going to miss Dubai’s long summer for the next few months. But now that we’re already enjoying the cooler temperatures, we thought it would be a good idea to prepare well in advance for hotter days and the subsequent spike in our electricity and water bills each year. And maybe make some energy-saving resolutions for the new year, while we’re at it?!
Experts have noticed a marked reduction in household savings during summer months as residents of Dubai are compelled to rework their monthly budgets to shell out extra money on utility bills. Like many others, are you also worried about your rising DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) bills during the long summers?
Here are some useful tips that can help you save money on your DEWA bills:
Rationalize AC usage
According to a government study by Powerwise, around 70 percent of UAE’s electricity use during the summers comes from air conditioning and cooling devices. Naturally, limiting AC usage can help you save a buck load of money on electricity bills. A tried and tested way to lower your AC costs is to set your AC thermostat’s default temperature at 24 degrees Celsius. You’d be surprised to know that by setting the temperature just 1-degree higher, you can cut down your electricity consumption by up to six per cent. Moreover, 24 degrees is the ideal temperature and can offer the same level of comfort while saving power.
There’s another way to cut back on your cooling consumption. If the AC thermostat in your house is over a decade old, it is time to invest in a new one, preferably a model that is energy efficient. Older thermostat systems use up more power since they are not as efficient as they once used to be.
[Related: 9 Must Do’s Before Leaving the UAE!]
Limit water usage
The water usage component in your DEWA bill deserves your attention, just as much as electricity consumption. A high water bill month after month can add up to a lot of extra money if you are careless.
Some basic habitual changes and smart investments can help you become water wise and also reduce your DEWA bill. For instance, make it a rule to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You can also buy efficient shower heads and faucets that optimize water use, and invest in a low-flow toilet.
There’s another simple way that will help you reduce your water bill. And that is to use water-guzzling appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers more judiciously. Investing in water-efficient options, and opting for shorter wash cycles can help cut your water consumption over the long run.
Implement the turn-off rule
When was the last time you left the room and turned off all the lights? Or left the house and remembered to switch the AC off? Out of sheer laziness and ignorance, most of us forget to turn off appliances and power switches in the house. This leads to inflated energy bills that could otherwise be avoided easily.
Most of us are oblivious to the simple “turn-off” rule, not aware of the massive impact it would have on the power bill. From keeping the water heater on for an extended amount of time to failing to switch off the lamps in your balcony, we often promote excessive energy use which in turn leads to exorbitant DEWA bills.
[Related: Have you tried the ‘Zero-Sum Budget’ yet?]
Become a part of DEWA’s Shams Dubai solar program
DEWA started its Shams Dubai program in 2015 with a goal to promote clean energy use. Under this program, customers can install solar panels on their property to meet their home’s energy usage requirements. This can help significantly cut down your monthly electricity bills.
Installing solar panels may be easier if you own a villa in Dubai. Even if you’re renting for the long term, you can speak to your landlord about getting this set up. Maybe you could split the cost with your landlord. For those living in residential buildings, it may be worth collectively getting in touch with your building developer. You can explain to them the benefits of the program and how it can help you save significantly on DEWA bills, and subsequently increase the value of the property.
Invest in energy-saving devices
From energy-saving appliances like smart thermostats, to CFL and LED bulbs, there are a lot of energy-efficient devices out there that consume less power and help you save money in the long run. Although sometimes more expensive to start with, these variants will prove to be a worthy investment in the long haul.