Don’t believe in making drastic changes to your habits to cut down on the costs of utilities in Singapore? Try these tips.
Don’t you feel a sense of dread every time you open the envelopes that contain your utility, broadband, cable and mobile bills? Thanks to inflation and an increasing energy tariff, you’re only going to feel a heavier sense of dread in the next coming years.
Here are practical tips to save on utilities in Singapore without living in the dark and melting in the heat.
1. Install a Water Saving Kit in Your Home
Even if you don’t care about the environment, you should care about saving water at home because it can cut down your water bill.
The Singapore government has a Water Efficient Homes programme that provides water saving kits to residents in the form of a thimble. According to PUB, people who have installed the thimble in their homes have cut down on their utility bills by 5%.
This is absolutely free of charge, and you can request one here.
2. Clean Your Air Conditioner Filters Regularly
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the filters on your air conditioners, they might be clogged up with dirt. This makes it difficult for the cold air to come out, and your air-conditioners will use more energy (and time!) to cool the room to the temperature you’ve set.
Make a habit of cleaning the filter once every month or two. You don’t have to hire a repairman to help you –in fact, it’s so easy you can do it yourself.
To save more energy, set the timer to switch your air-conditioner off halfway through the night. You’ll be asleep anyway and wouldn’t feel much of a difference.
3. Use an Alternate Version of Electrical Appliances
It’s convenient to use an electrical kettle to boil water or a dryer after washing your clothes. But these appliances use up serious amounts of electricity. The more energy you use at home, the more money SP Services will charge you.
Using a kettle over a stove to boil water instead isn’t going to take more effort on your part (it’s not like you have to stoke the fire to life). Neither is hanging your clothes out to dry.
4. Use a Credit Card to Get Cash Rebates on Your Bills
Some cash rebate credit cards in Singapore reward you with cash rebates when you use them to make payments. You get even more cashback when you create a recurring bill payment option with them.
For example, your utilities bill is an average of S$200, your broadband and cable bill comes up to S$100 and your mobile bill is around S$65 a month. You can get up to the following cash rebates with these cards:
|Water/Electricity (S$200)||Broadband/Cable (S$100)||Mobile (S$65)||Savings|
|UOB One Card||5%||5%||5%||S$18.25|
|HSBC Visa Platinum||–||5%||5%||S$8.25|
|OCBC 365 Credit Card||–||–||3%||S$1.50|
5. Review Your Broadband, Cable or Mobile Subscription
Are you using the same broadband, cable or mobile subscription from 4 years ago? You’re most likely ripping yourself off. The subscription plans from a while ago are a lot less worthwhile than the current plans in the market.
For example, some families are still paying for a 25Mbps broadband subscription when a 1Gbps plan costs the same price.
Review your current plans for broadband, cable and mobile. And if you do decide to make a switch after your contract is up, do your shopping before deciding on one.
6. Sign Up for a Streaming Service and Cancel Your Cable Subscription
Unless you’re a huge soccer fan or love soap operas, you don’t need a cable subscription when there are streaming services like Netflix, HBO NOW and Amazon Prime.
Sure, you’ll need a VPN service to access these sites (although Netflix is coming to our shores early 2016), but you can watch all the movies and TV shows available at your own pace. And instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month for cable, a streaming service and VPN subscription can cost less than S$20.
For example, if you sign up for Netflix US, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of US$7.99 or more, depending on the plan you choose. A VPN services like PureVPN would US$4.16 or more. You’ll be saving yourself so much money!
7. Get Rid of Your Landline
We’re no longer in the 1990s where we depend on landlines for calls. People who need to reach you can call or text your mobile phone. If you want to save on talk time on your mobile, get connected to WIFI and call your friends on Viber, Whatsapp or FaceTime.
Singtel’s Home Line service charges $29.43 for three months while StarHub’s Digital Voice service charges S$10.49 a month. You’ll be saving an average of S$10 a month without a landline.
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By Jehanne Teo
Starting out as a lifestyle writer, Jehanne currently writes for SingSaver.com.sg about saving money in everyday situations.