Chill factor: Save water and power

With this sweltering weather upon us, how do we stay cool? The Sunday Times susses out things to eat and where to go

While trying to stay cool, do not forget to save precious resources such as water and energy.

According to the national water agency Public Utilities Board (PUB), water consumption fluctuates throughout the year and may increase when the weather is hot.

The amount of water consumed every day, including both domestic and non-domestic sources, has gone up, from 429mgd (million gallons a day) last year to the current 430mgd.

Energy usage also tends to go up when the weather gets hotter. Figures from the website of energy utility company Singapore Power shows that the average electricity consumption in those months for a four-room HDB flat was about 410kWh (kilowatt per hour) a month, compared with 379kWh a month in other months.

HOW TO SAVE WATER

• Take a five-minute shower instead of a 10-minute one and save 45 litres.

• Brush your teeth using a mug instead of letting the tap run for two minutes and save 11.5 litres.

• When you use two full flushes and two half flushes instead of four full flushes from a traditional low-capacity flushing cistern, you save 3 litres.

• Instead of washing dishes under a running tap for five minutes, use a filled sink and save 28 litres.

• When you use a washing machine graded three ticks by the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme, you save 112 litres.

TIPS TO SAVE ENERGY

• Bedroom: If using fans alone is not enough to keep you cool, run the air-conditioner for about an hour before switching to the fan. Set the air-conditioner temperature to 25 deg C or higher.

• Living room: Choose energy- saving lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs. Avoid incandescent lamps.

Switch off your home appliances at the power socket when they are not in use. Standby power can account for up to 10 per cent of home energy use.

• Kitchen: Do not overload the refrigerator to ensure that cold air can circulate freely. When running the washing machine, use the economy mode to save energy.

• Bathroom: Take more cold showers.


•Tips from PUB and Singapore Power

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 27, 2016, with the headline 'Chill factor: Save water and power'. Print Edition | Subscribe