An Electric Bill Breakdown

 Ever wonder what the actual breakdown of your electricity bill is like? Basta sa Bahay takes a look at its own electric bill to give you an idea of what it's like.

The breakdown is estimated using the Meralco app

Just a bunch of caveats that this is an estimate, and the goal is more to estimate relative electric usages of each appliance. I talk about the Meralco app here and discuss there briefly how you use the the Appliance Calculator. You'll get more accurate results knowing the exact wattage of each of your appliances, of course. Usage, think how many hours/day and number of days an appliance is used, is also an estimate, I use daily averages here. Finally, the last row, which is my catch all, I get by taking my average monthly electric bill and subtracting all I am able to estimate. The results are also rounded for easier reading.

The results

As expected, it's temperature controlling appliances that consume the most electricity. My air conditioning, which takes 8 hours daily, is my biggest consumption at ₱1,150 monthly. I use it everyday for 8 hours in eco mode (this lets air conditioner take "rests" when the target temperature is reached). This is followed by cooking on a single burner induction stove at ₱820 monthly. This 1.5 hours daily actually includes reheating care of a microwave, as well as a rice cooker. The main activity is actually once a day, with reheats for the second meal in my household. Finally, refrigeration, which is 24 hours daily, is at ₱410. The inverter is a big reason this is low. These three comprise 72% of the electric bill, and are the priority if we are to bring down spending on electricity.

Computers, at ₱360 monthly for daily use of 11 hours, the aquarium pump at ₱200 monthly for 24-hour usage, and electric fans at ₱130 monthly for 16-hour usage, comprise the next biggest consumptions. This leaves ₱220 monthly for all other electronics: lights, TV, and phone charging.

28% of spending comprises appliances and electronics apart from air conditioning, cooking and refrigeration. Tackling this portion would mean making several changes since many appliances and electronics make up this part of the bill.

What can be controlled

In general there are two levers: length of usage and wattage.

  • Air conditioner: Length of usage is the easiest to change for this appliance. We can decrease the wattage by increasing the target temperature, though I do have an issue with the height at which my air conditioner is right now. While it's a top discharge, it's quite low in my room and the room will cool easier if it were higher up. This is because cold air tends to flow down, and warm air tends to flow up.
  • Cooking: A lot can actually be controlled here. I believe a big portion is how I often forget to bring out frozen food, and will sometimes defrost it using a microwave or the pan, whereas leaving it out for an hour will achieve the same results at no cost. One should also examine other cooking habits. I've only recently learned how a lid decreases cooking time considerably (think about how you keep the heat within the volume inside the pan and the lid).
  • Refrigerator: This is one case where length of usage cannot be controlled. As usual though, it's the habits with your refrigerator that can be changed. Here I will have to examine if I open the door unnecessarily. Honestly, I could use a few minutes to plan out before opening my fridge door, because I am guilty with examining contents with the fridge door open for a few minutes, especially with vegetables.
  • For the others, I can imagine putting a timer for the pump, and perhaps having motion detectors for lights I often leave open but unused.


■■□□ Needs improvement

Though, I have made a lot of improvements, I believe there is more I can do to bring down my electric bill.

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