Despite the fact that several economic and financial analysts have explained that Nigerians should not expect the effect of the economy rebound anytime soon, it is important to note that our diposable income is at an all-time low, begging the question of how to manage our utility bills, especially electricity bills, without running into debts.
Prepaid meters put the power back in the hands of the customer (figuratively rather than literally) and allows them to choose how much power they want and how they intend to use it
This is an issue that has the potential of adversely affecting the power sector, as more and more consumers will continue to struggle to pay up their electricity bills, which spells bad news for all stakeholders.
Power is arguably the most important utility in every household; its usefulness and necessity cannot be over-emphasised and with electricity tariffs set to increase sooner than expected, it has become even more important to adopt some strategies to manage our electricity bills.
what to do
Financial managers have advised that electricity bills should be kept in check with the effective concepts mentioned below.
The goal of energy efficiency is to optimally utilise the least possible amount of energy to achieve your tasks. It basically entails using less energy to provide same service. Various Distribution Companies across the country have embarked on various energy efficiency schemes, aimed at educating the general public on the great benefits of using energy efficient appliances. Using energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps over incandescent light bulbs can be of immense benefits.
CFLs have several advantages over incandescent light bulbs as they last eight to 10 times longer, using about 75 per cent less energy, and producing 90 per cent less heat while delivering more light per Watt. For example, a 25 Watt CFL provides about 1,800 lumens, compared to 1,750 lumens from a 100 Watt incandescent lamp.
Energy efficiency is not limited to illumination alone. Consumers can greatly reduce their electric bills by opting for more energy efficient appliances (i.e. fans, refrigerators, air conditioners, television sets) over the fancier and less efficient models. This simple and effective technique can save thousands of naira in electric bills.
If you don’t have a prepaid meter, you should get one and if you have one already, you can get a smarter one.
The goal of prepaid meters is to allow for complete transparency as customers buy units of power and can clearly monitor how the power is utilised. Prepaid meters put the power back in the hands of the customer (figuratively rather than literally) and allows them to choose how much power they want and how they intend to use it.
Recently, due to electricity theft and over-billing issues, DisCos have started to employ smart meters, which are even more accurate in reading power and more difficult to bypass.
Customers must subscribe to prepaid metering if they want to have full control of their electricity bills. It is the wise thing to do and it allows customers to effectively plan how and when they want to utilise power.
The prepaid metering system may not be perfect yet as its flaws are often well documented, however, it is certainly more effective than its alternative.
Energy conservation is like the distant no-nonsense cousin of energy efficiency. While energy efficiency seeks to adopt alternative methods to deliver the same services with less power, energy conservation seeks to eliminate excess use of power by simply shutting down appliances when not in use. This involves putting off all appliances and sockets after work or when leaving the house (except it is absolutely necessary that these appliances stay on). Energy conservation can be regarded as one of the oldest tricks in the book to manage electricity bills.
In recent times, energy efficiency is often preached ahead of energy conservation and this is simply because, you can only conserve so much power after all. However, energy conservation may be the simplest and most reasonable way to manage your electricity bills, especially in this part of the world.
MONITOR TARIFF CHANGES
The Nigerian economic climate is constantly changing and more strategies are being employed to reduce budget costs. During this period, one must be constantly willing to adapt to various changes and willing to take necessary decisions to combat post-recession activities.
Also, electricity tariffs are constantly on the up and it is important to keep a close eye on these tariffs and make necessary actions. For example, electricity tariff may go up soon, so it would be wise to buy more electricity units now before the prices rise. Keeping an open mind and paying attention to the industry players does not necessarily exclude you from the ups and downs of the economic crisis, but it, at least, gives you some heads up.