House for sale 5 ways to go green 1
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"Green is the new black" - from Hollywood celebrity, Leonardo DiCaprio’s advocacy to bring awareness of climate change, to the Malaysian government’s “Waste Segregation” initiative, anyone should and can do their part in helping the environment. 

(Not too sure about the government’s waste segregation implementation? Click here to find out all about it.)

You don’t have to be ultra-rich or someone famous to make a change. Do your part with just a few simple steps to make your home more environmentally friendly and reduce energy usage. Here are a five easy ways to go green at home while saving money on those electricity bills!


1. Switch to energy saving LED bulbs and ensure ample natural lighting

Living in sunny Malaysia affords us the privilege of using natural light to brighten up our homes during the day without having to tun on the lights. This is the most inexpensive way to reduce the usage of electricity and our reliance on light bulbs at home .

Another way is to change your normal fluorescent light bulbs to energy saving LED light bulbs. LED bulbs are not only more cost-efficient but also have a longer life compared to regular light bulbs. These eco-friendly bulbs typically use 25% to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs, and can last 3 to 25 times longer, saving you hundreds of ringgits in the long run. Now who wouldn’t want to make that switch!

(Find out how LED lights can beautify your homes and their benefits here.)


2. Regularly servicing air-conditioners

Servicing your air-cons on a regular basis can also help to save on your electricity usage. Over time, dust and dirt build up in the air filters within your air-cons, which not only affects the air vent, but also causes them to operate in “overdrive” conditions, consuming more energy and thus, electricity. Replacing your air filters and having your air-cons serviced regularly can aid in keeping your costs low. 

Extra note: Keep your home cool with materials such as marble and wood in the interiors, as well as avoid using dark colours in furnitures and roofs to avoid trapping heat in and minimize the use of air-cons.


3. Monitoring the usage of electrical appliances

While all home appliances and electronics require the use of electricity, there are some devices that have a more significant impact on your electricity bills than others. These include your modem/router, kettle, computers (which are almost never turned-off), and plasma televisions. 

You can reduce the energy consumption of electronics by turning them off when not in use. For example, when it comes to computers, even placing them on sleep mode can draw a significant amount of power, so shutting them off completely would be a better option. You could also schedule the start-up and shutdown times instead of having to always manually switch it on and off.

With tons of electrical devices lying around the home, switching them off regularly can be cumbersome. As such, place groups of appliances which are used at the same time on a single power strip and turn them all off at the same time, such as computers, printers, speakers and such.

Extra note: The fridge is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in the home, given that it is on 24 hours a day. Make sure the door is tight sealed tight and free from gaps, so that the cold air within can't escape. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn them on when necessary.


4. Do laundry in a more energy-efficient way

Most new washing machines use warm water when washing. So simply turn off that setting to save a ton in electricity bills as almost 90% of energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating the water.

Other than that, only do laundry when there is a full load as it would be wasteful to run a full wash cycle just for a shirt or two. To add, be sure to set the cycle to suit the material of the clothing or load. The longer or more “rigorous” the cycle, the more energy it will consume. Certain types of clothing such as your delicates don’t need as long of a wash cycle as sturdier materials like jeans or cotton ones do.

Extra note: Want to save even more? Check out some electricity-free and minimal water-usage ways to do your laundry, with this Drumi portable washing machine and others like The Laundry Pod and Gira Dora. Use zero electricity and do your laundry with these green machines in just 10 minutes! An added plus point is the size of these machines, making it perfect for individuals living on their own or smaller homes.


5. Use renewable energy sources

Considering that we get approximately 8 hours of sunlight a day, installing solar panels is a great way to not only reduce electricity bills but also reduce energy-usage. Make use of all that sunlight by installing solar panels, which area great alternative to heating water in your home showers. Make the first-time investment cost of their installation and benefit from the long—term, energy-saving and thus cost-cutting effects of solar panels

Extra note: There are also incentives being offered by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) for those who switch to more sustainable and energy-efficient alternatives. Besides that, the net energy metering (NEM) system, set for implementation in 2017, will also allow home-owners to sell the excess energy generated by their solar panels to utility companies such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).


Start doing your part for the environment just by turning off that computer after using it and making the conscious choice to switch to energy-efficient alternatives, all while, saving on electricity costs. Though LED bulbs and solar panels may seem like hefty expenses now, they can amount to hundreds of ringgits in savings on electricity every year in the long run.

Would you take these simple steps to help the environment? Tell us what you think in the comments below or even share some of the ways you save energy at home!



(Written by: Rekha Shankar, 3rd March 2017)

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Installing solar panels are viable and practical solution for us since we have long hours of sun light throughout the year. Can also sell back unused electricity back to TNB. 

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Is there any projects where solar panels was part of the package? 

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Dont forget about rain water harvesting  =)


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Feed In Tariff (FiT) by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA)

i have created a discussion topic for the those who interested in installing solar panels on rooftops...


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Actually I am quite curious. With Malaysian weather being so hot all the time, how come there's no installation of solar panels in our homes here in Malaysia? I think some countries do install this commonly? Care to share?

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Hahahaha..Kate, I have the same thought as well. But then after I checked the price of solar panel, it seems like going TNB is much cost effective...lol....@.@

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The ROI for the solar panels. Is not as attractive as before because now the FIT quota is now full. If you one of those who invested in solar panels under the FiT back in 2011. Your ROI should be around now. 

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Hi @kate_chew,

The price is mainly the issue- is about Rm40K above so people may need to appy loan to finance it for solar panels. Mostly now are installed by factories, shop houses, manufacturing companies that have the budget.


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Great info to shared among malaysians to save more electricity and $$ on the monthly bills. Making sure each and everyone is educate with these info and teach the younger generation in order to preserve our mother nature.

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@JohnL 

Maybe all it needs is a bit a green-awareness in Malaysia. Introduce some tax incentive and rebates from government's budget in other to generate more interest from property owners?

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Ok, that explains why we don't have solar panels for our homes here.

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@james_bob 

Not to mention the possibility of theft and burglary-access through the solar panels...

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agreed with u. there should be some rebate for people who install it

@domng 

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@Nic. Rebates yes will spur interest. And since we have summer days in Malaysia all year long. It is a matter of time before we hit the ROI figures. 

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Does anyone in Malaysia uses solar panels in their homes? Don't think I've seen any before. Or perhaps I am not observant.

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Omg those washing machines, must buy! Especially for someone who doesn't like to work their hands too long in water while hand-washing their clothes! Like me.

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@veron do not see much also... maybe not profit making for owner since need to pay capital to set up the solar panel first

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@veron 

You may want to fly a drone around your area to spot the solar panels. Surely you will see much more with a aerial view! 

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@veron I have seen a few in Putra Heights. Panels are cheap nowadays.compared to last time. Btw does anyone here knows how to do Energy Audit. TNB is giving me headache. My electricity bill has gone up for my usual $113-$233. I have complaint to TNB since last September and they are still checking according to their staff.

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@renachang 

Do you mean TNB will appoint their third party contractor to do an Energy Audit when consumers lodge a complaint about unusually high electricity bill?

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You can do the home energy audit via the tnb website using their Home Energy Calculator. Click on this link http://hec.tnb.com.my/


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@domng Alternatively you can also go to this link by Cetdem to calculate your electicity consumption link http://www.cetdem.org.my/sustainable_energy/audit_0505v2_en.pdf

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@renachang 

Thanks for sharing. I can see it is really useful for those households who want to reduce their power consumption and electricity bill.

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@renachang something informative here, never knew about this, thanks Rena for sharing.

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At the end of the day, the awareness to switch off all electrical appliances, fans and lighting when not in use will save more than you thought.

Replacing traditional bulbs with LED type will incur some upfront investment, however the ROI will come in a few years time. 

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the cost in investing on the sola (under the MIDA project) can kill you ... you basically need to fork up easily 40 to 60k depending on how big is your house to have it installed and sign a sell back contract to get the investment back on a monthly basis... so to me if you do not have money to invest up front, you are not going to get any gain in return

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@imronaldsoo 

The ROI is there since there are a lot of sunlight hours all year long in Malaysia. We are after all located near the equator line...

Need to risk having the solar panels stolen, which means we need to insure it against theft? More cost incurred in the end.