Taxes and bills are part and parcel of adult life. While we may regard them as nothing more than monthly financial encumberments, our bills are actually a reflection of who we are and how we live our lives. In particular, our electricity bills offer a glimpse into our daily routines and our living habits.
To learn more about the electricity consumption habits of our fellow Singaporeans, we decided to do a bit of poking around. 15 Singaporeans tell us about their monthly electricity bill, as well as the main culprit behind their electricity consumption.
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To nobody’s surprise, air conditioners are a huge culprit behind Singaporeans’ electricity consumption. It’s no secret that we heavily rely on our air conditioners to tide us through the sweltering heat of the day, and many of us have the habit of keeping our air conditioners on during the night as well.
“There are 3 people in my household, and our monthly electricity bill usually falls between $150-$200. Like most homes, our washing machine, fridge, lights and fans make up a portion of our electricity consumption. However, that being said, the bulk of our electricity usage is attributed to the fact that all 3 of us sleep with the air conditioner on every night.”
“Me and my partner sleep with the air conditioner on every night, which is probably the main contributing factor to our electricity bill, although I do also have a habit of keeping a lot of the lights in our house on. However, since it’s just the two of us, we’ve been able to keep our monthly bill under $100 despite our daily use of air conditioning.”
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
“Before I moved out, my family of 6 spent around $300-$400 a month on our bill. The cost of our electricity bill was pushed up by our air conditioning units, our electric kettle, and other high consumption electrical devices.”
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“I stay in a 4-room flat by myself, and spend $150 per month on my bill. The air conditioning in my master bedroom is usually on for around 12 hours daily, which contributes a lot to my electricity bill. On Fridays and Saturdays, I turn on the air conditioner in my hall for about 8 hours.”
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Washing machines & dryers
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We all have to get the laundry done at some point, and our trusty washing machines do tend to guzzle quite a fair amount of energy in order to produce squeaky-clean clothes. Singapore’s weather has an odd habit of flip-flopping between torrential rain and sweltering sun, so it’s no surprise that some households also use dryers instead of opting for sun-drying.
“Instead of wasting time waiting for clothes to sun-dry, our household uses a dryer to quickly dry our wet clothes. The weather nowadays is so fickle, and the unpredictability of the rain makes it even more necessary for us to use our dryer. Since we live in a household of 4, our laundry loads are pretty large, and we use our laundry machine and dryer thrice a week. However, because we try to save electricity in other areas, we’ve managed to keep our monthly electricity bill under $100.”
“There are 4 people in our family, and we have a helper along with a dog. Our electricity bill ranges from $100-$200, depending on the month. We don’t own a dryer, but we use our washing machine frequently due to the fact that our family doesn’t have the habit of rewearing clothes – we usually prefer to throw our clothes into the laundry basket instead of hanging them to rewear the next day. Consequently, our laundry loads are larger than average and we end up using our washing machine every other day, which greatly increases our electricity consumption.”
“Our dryer contributes a lot to our electricity bill. We use it twice a week, and it takes a few hours for our clothes to fully dry each time. Dryers are typically high consumption electrical appliances, but because there are only 2 people in our household and we’re in the office most days, our total monthly bill doesn’t cost us more than $100.
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“The biggest burden on our electricity bill is definitely our washing machine. My family of 5 does our laundry thrice a week, and each load is usually around 8kg. Aside from laundry, the frequency of all other electricity-consuming activities in our household is increased fivefold as compared to living as an individual. Our monthly electricity bill typically falls between $100-$150.”
“It’s unconventional, but our household uses a Steigen Automatic Laundry System – it’s an automated clothes drying rack, not exactly a normal dryer, but it does take up a lot of electricity when it’s in operation. Our monthly electricity bill usually falls between $100-$150, primarly due to our Steigen but also because we turn the air conditioner in our master bedroom on every night.”
“I live with 2 other people in my house, and we spend roughly $200-$250 a month on electricity bills. A large part of our electricity bill can be attributed to our laundry habits – we own both a washing machine and a dryer, and our laundry loads are usually quite large.”
“I spend around $500 on my electricity bills every month. A huge culprit is definitely my air conditioner which I use every night, but the real killer was my dryer. The increase in my electricity consumption and my electricity bill was really prominent after I started using my dryer.”
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“There are 6 people in my household, and our monthly electricity bill is typically $350-$400. I’d say the biggest contributing factors to our electricity consumption are our fridges – we have 3, and they are inevitably always turned on. Air conditioning is definitely another culprit, but we do try to reduce our usage of air conditioners during the day since all of us sleep with the air conditioner on at night.”
“We have 2 fridges in our home, which use up quite a lot of electricity. Most homes only have 1, but we keep a large quantity of frozen food as well as store a lot of drinks, which is why our house has 2. As a family of 4, we usually spend over $450 on our monthly electricity bill.”
“There are 2 people in my household – myself and a tenant. We’re quite mindful about our electricity consumption, and our electricity bill comes up to a maximum of $60 a month. Since we hardly use our air conditioners and make an effort to only do laundry when necessary, the biggest contributing factor to our monthly bill is our fridge, which is always on.”
Lights & fans
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“I live with 3 other people, and our monthly electricity bill is usually less than $100. There are a few appliances in our home which are perpetually running – our fridge, as well as the lights and fans. While it’s inevitable that our fridge constantly consumes power, we also have a habit of keeping our lights and fans on almost all the time.”
Cutting down on electricity usage
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There’s a reason why larger appliances like fridges and washing machines come with an energy efficiency sticker – it’s important for us to be aware of how our appliances operate and consume electricity. When possible, it’s wise to opt for appliances with higher energy efficiency ratings. Models with better ratings may come with a slightly heftier price tag than their single green tick counterparts, but they do help cut down on a lot of unnecessary energy usage in the long run.
Looking for energy saving variations of the same appliance is another method to cut down on electricity consumption. For example, inverter-type air conditioners tend to consume less energy than their non-inverter counterparts, and smart bulbs help save more energy than regular bulbs.
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Small actions matter too – remember that turning off an appliance doesn’t stop it from drawing power from the outlet it’s connected to, and devices can end up using quite a fair bit of power even if they’re just on standby mode. As such, it’s best to turn off power outlets along with turning off appliances themselves.
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For those who die-die need the air conditioning, we get you. Singapore’s weather is hot, and it’s definitely not uncommon to use your air conditioner daily – just make sure that you don’t forget to get your air conditioner serviced regularly. Dirty air filters can impede airflow and end up wasting energy, so it’s a good idea to call an aircon servicing service once in a while.
We ask: Electricity bills and the main culprit
Amongst the many electricity guzzling devices in our homes, air conditioners and dryers seem to be the main culprit when it comes to raising our electricity bills. While it’s unrealistic to expect your electricity bill to drastically decrease overnight, never underestimate the power of making small changes and forming new habits.
It’s never too late to start breaking down your electricity bill and understanding which appliances in your home could do with a little less usage. After all, not everyone can afford to have solar panels installed on their roofs, but being aware of your lifestyle and habits is the first step to altering your electricity consumption and reducing your carbon footprint in the long run.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Read more about electrical appliances in Singapore homes:
- We ask Singaporeans about the best standing fans
- Dishwasher vs handwashing
- Battle of the cordless vacuum cleaners – Dyson vs Bosch
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