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24 April 2007

Have money, will spend - II

Power just got more expensive in Mumbai.

Housing complexes in Mumbai are having small get-togethers to share how to save and conserve power and water. My housing complex is not doing any such thing -which is true of most who live in insular complexes where the private builder is responsible for most amenities. In fact as my maid informs, madam, only you tell me save water, save power, no one else does. She positively smirks as she enlightens me how my careful segregation of garbage into wet and dry all gets de-segreted when it reaches the main bin.

While some of us common folks try and do our bit , who monitors the commercial guzzlers?

Drive down S V Road a busy,bustling boulevard and on both sides of the road, huge showrooms are brightly lit with energy guzzling lights and air conditioning systems. While resident users are advised to keep it at 26 degrees, I stepped in to an ATM on S V Road, it had the aircondition on at full blast. A kiosk that normally is the ground floor of a residential building.

The energy that is used by ground floors of the residential buildings that have rented it out for shops and banks- do they get the residential tarriff or the commercial one?

Almost every newspaper and magazine has been publishing handy tips and the government has taken many steps to ensure that adequate knowledge interventions in training and information is available to consumers and citizens.

Some things that I do and I can assure are very useful in keeping the energy bill low are some simple practical things;

1. Yes the energy efficient bulbs by now everyone knows, but I suggest that put a 10 watt (what is normally known as zero watt) bulb in every room including the passage and the washrooms/bathrooms. For those who normally do not like the house to be in dark and have the habit of leaving the room lights on even when no one is in the rooms, ensuring one lightbulb of minimum wattage, meets both requirements.

2. Ask the car washer to wash the car only on alternate days or two-three times a week. Believe me it is more than enough.

3. Use the washing machine only with a full load.

4. Keep fridge on medium

5. Really, do you need the lights, fans, a/c, radio, music system, gaming systems etc on for all the time it is actually on? Switching it off will not only save that precious energy but also usher in an oasis of calm in your surroundings. Try it and see for yourself.

6. Monitor your bill regularly and report/check any discrepencies and variations to the utility service provider. You'll be surprised.

7. Water plants and gardens only in the evening. If you can use recycled water-great!

8. The idiot box- kya karen? Read more, meet friends, cook, throw a party. Whether you live alone or in a large family,less TV is more savings, better health and peace of mind. I love my TV shows but....

Or what one of my relative has done in this era of LCD and flat screens. The only TV in their relatively large, recently re-furbished in a stylish, modern home is a small 18' one on a counter in the open kitchen. It is a culture shock for visiting
relatives.

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