I went to Abu Dhabi Distribution Company for water and electricity and asked for my bills, and the staff were really helpful and got me everything from July 13, 2009 to January 11, 2011.
That was my first-time ever to visit that place. I started asking about reading our meter, as I really don’t know where it is. Because we live in a rented villa, I really never paid attention to this. I just paid the bill and didn’t pay attention to anything else. As for natural gas, that isn’t a factor, because I always cook with an electric cooker, because I believe it’s safer. But I found out that the electric cooker takes lots of energy.
Things I learned to do:
1. Get in the habit of switching lights off whenever leaving the room
2. Lower the air conditioner 1 or 2 degrees, or put it in automatic mode, where it will switch itself off when it’s cool. In the winter we have no problem with temperature, but in the summer, OMG. Lowering it down makes a real difference — 25% — and it’s unbelievable. My electricity bill increases in the summer time because of the AC, so we are only good for 3 to 4 months: December, January, February and most of March. After that, it really becomes hot and the AC is a great essential to us.
3. Turn off the water heater when it’s not in use. I learned something new here. Did you know if the water heater is on, and you go to take a shower, you might get an electric shock? It’s really scary, and made me think a thousand times before giving the kids a shower. Heating water takes energy so taking a quick shower will do rather than having a bath.
It was surprising to learn that leaving a TV or computer on standby overnight uses almost as much electricity as it does when it is switched on. So we have to turn it off and unplug, as well as using power strips (which by the way have plenty of it all over the house). I got new ones which separate each thing that’s plugged in.
I also learned something new, which is that if I am planning to buy a new appliance for the kitchen, these days they have an energy-saving ones, so I should look for it. As for the water, the first thing we are about to do is change all the shower heads to new ones that give the same feeling of pressure but use less water.
This week was unbelievable. I got to know so many simple things that we ignore, how much we are wasting. What a shame. It might be little things, but they really waste energy a lot than we could imagine. All the points I mentioned made me think of changing my behavior towards dealing with energy and definitely making changes.