The Power Project


As managers of their households, moms are always looking for ways to make their homes run more efficiently. During the summer most especially, keeping tabs on their electricity bill is a primary concern as wanton use of certain appliances can drive up power consumption to stratospheric levels. But moms know that they cannot save electricity on their own; they have to get the whole family involved in the project. Here, we’ve gathered age-appropriate tips for every member of the household to help you along:

Taking the lead. Make energy conservation a part of your family lifestyle. If your children spend their growing up years in an environment-friendly home, they are more likely to heed your calls for conserving resources. Start with something as simple as what Enid Carreon Viana, caterer and mom of three, does. She says, “We unplug all appliances not being used.” According to a Meralco PowerLab Study in 2013, unplugging your appliances can save your family up to P300 a month on electricity.

Move on to more sustainable practices. Choosing organic and natural foods over processed foods is a good way to start as less energy is used when they are prepared. Plant a vegetable garden in your backyard. Start a compost. Opt for energy-efficient appliances. In the case of Arlene Hernandez, doctor and mom of three, their family has shifted to inverter technology. Appliances using inverter technology are able to reach the desired temperature setting faster, and maintain it more efficiently. Arlene says, “I am happy with our inverter ref. It really lowered our power consumption.”

Find ways to maximize natural light and ventilation in your home. The objective is to reduce your family’s overall carbon footprint.

Teaching preschoolers. At an early age, we teach our children how to say please and thank you. In the same manner, we should start training our kids to conserve energy too! Kids are natural helpers. If you explain why saving energy will help your family save money, so that you can say, enroll them in swimming lessons, they’ll gladly help out. Going a step further, talk to them about how saving energy can help Planet Earth in the long run. Kids love science, and you can check out books and online resources together to make the learning experience a fun one. There are also animated features which focus on energy conservation; just search them out.

It may not be safe to ask kids to unplug appliances, but you can ask them to help you out in the garden. Or you can ask their help to clue you in when they see a light open when nobody’s in the room. The earlier you teach your children about energy conservation, the better as they don’t have to un-learn wasteful habits.

Encouraging grade schoolers. Older kids can be more active participants. Meg Isleta, insurance specialist, has older kids, and they follow certain power guidelines. She shares, “Don’t leave the ref ajar and don’t overfill. Use fans during the day. Lights off automatically in any unoccupied room.”

More than such practices, explain your electric bill to your children. Point out the months where you consumed more power, and the corresponding amout that those entailed. Enlist them in a one-month experiment. For example, ask them to use the television and computer a few hours less than their usual, and then check how that affects your bill. Encourage their creativity. Ask them how your family can save energy. Let them draw up energy conservation projects on a cartolina, and see which ones your family can practice. Each child can take turns being the project leader.

Challenging teenagers. Adolescents can take on more responsibilities. Your teenaged child can be the light monitor. He’ll take charge of turning off all the lights before the family turns in for the night. He’ll also see to it that each lightbulb is an energy efficient one. If your family is buying a new appliance, ask him to do research on energy-efficient ones and give you a report before you make a purchase. Take him with you when you finally make the purchase. You can also challenge your teenaged children to help bring down your electric bill by 20 percent for a particular month. Think of an appropriate reward once the target is achieved.

Teaching household help. Orient your household help in the same way that you did your children. Don’t just give them instructions. Explain to them the importance of conserving energy too. They are more likely to follow instructions when they are aware of the significance.

There are many ways to save on electricity during these hot, summer months. Make sure every member of the family pitches in to make your energy saving project a successful one.