Reducing electricity consumption in Singapore


We’ve all left the house with the fan still running, fridge door ajar, or mains switched on by mistake. But instead of kicking ourselves over these slip-ups, a closer look at the power needs of each of our home appliances might help us focus on the most effective ways to reduce our electricity consumption.

To help make the biggest dent in your monthly bills, we’ve sussed out home appliances with the highest electrical consumption. From power-guzzling water heaters to refrigerators that sip on electricity 24/7, you’ll want to pay extra attention to these key appliances – whether you’re kitting out your new BTO, upgrading, or planning for maintenance for the long haul.

Note: At the time of publishing, the price of electricity is $0.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The wattages listed are based on the most popular models of each appliance in Singapore.


1. Air conditioning – $0.50 per hour


electricty consumption singapore - annual cost of air con

In tropical Singapore, it might be tempting to reach for the aircon remote the moment you reach home, but keeping your bedroom nippy might be that constant hole in your wallet. It takes plenty of power – 2,000 watts – to maintain the extra-shiok cool air, and even if you’re only using it for the eight hours you’re snoozing at night, this quickly adds up to $4/day.

Average hours used per day: Eight hours
Total cost per year: $1,460

How to cut consumption:
For households that regularly rely on it, air conditioning is hands-down the largest contributor to energy wastage. But while opting for alternatives like fans can help score massive savings, you can also check out bonus tips to keep your HDB cool throughout the day. 

Otherwise, if you die-die cannot sleep without this Singaporean essential, opting for a more efficient 5-tick model can save you up to $270 per year over a 2-tick unit. Maintaining a temperature of 25ºC and scheduling aircon maintenance twice a year can also save you money in the long run.


2. Water heater – $0.75 per hour


Visiting an onsen in Japan or soaking in a sauna might be a luxury, so it’s little wonder that most of us yearn for a steamy, hot shower to unwind and relax – especially after a long day. While you might not spend much time in the shower each day, this ritual might still be setting you back a sizable sum as water heaters can consume around 3,000 watts – 50% more than aircon units.

Average hours used per day: Two hours (for an average household)
Total cost per year: $548

How to cut consumption:
If reducing shower time or simply opting for cold showers are out of the question, try switching out your water heaters for tankless ones to reduce your energy wastage by 24-34%. For comparison, the next most popular tankless heater in Singapore only consumes 1,500 watts, easily halving your electricity cost.


3. Refrigerator – $0.02 per hour


double door fridge
External ice makers and water dispensers can increase electricity wastage by up to 20%
Image credit: KitchenAid

One of the most important appliances in the kitchen, our fridges are our go-to for everything from fresh milk in the mornings to frozen suppers late at night. Though most fridges only consume a paltry 180 watts, these must-have appliances are plugged in round the clock and can drain power over long periods of time.

Average hours used per day: 24 hours
Total cost per year: $400

How to cut consumption:
For an appliance that’s left running for years on end, opting for the most efficient model will go a long way in helping you save on your bills. In general, picking the smallest practical fridge size for your household can help reduce energy usage. Top-mount freezers are also more efficient as they keep the hot condenser unit at the bottom of the fridge well away from the super-cold freezer.


4. Washing Machine – $0.50 per hour


washing machine electricity consumptionImage credit: cottonbro via Pexels

We’ve all been told that we should reduce laundry sessions to save on water consumption, but this can also help to save on your electricity bill. For the average Singaporean household’s 7-litre, 2,000-watt washing machine, each session will consume a solid $2 worth of electricity.

Average hours used per day: One hour
Total cost per year: $183

How to cut consumption:
Selecting front-load washing machines can help reduce both water and electricity. And while you aim for full loads for each laundry cycle, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t overload your washer – as that can be inefficient and cause wear-and-tear over the years.


5. Desktop computer – $0.05 per hour


electricty consumption singapore - desktop pc power wastage
Image credit: Dreamcore

For those of us lucky enough to WFH on the regular, our computers might be one of the largest reasons you’ve been seeing slightly higher figures in the mail each month. Desktops and gaming PCs can consume up to 500 watts, which can add up especially if you’re constantly OT-ing or if you love kicking back after hours for Netflix or a few rounds of Valorant. 

Average hours used per day: 10 hours
Total cost per year: $183 per computer

How to cut consumption:
Like most electrical appliances, computers consume different amounts of power depending on how much is required – gaming marathons in 4K are a much larger drain on power as compared to casual browsing on your favourite sites. 

Apart from keeping your gaming hours in check, you might also want to opt for more power-efficient laptops like ultrabooks and MacBooks – which mostly only consume about 90 watts, tops.


6. Fans – $0.02 per hour


electricty consumption singapore - ceiling fan power wastage
Image credit: @_shakiebaby_

Consuming only around 80 watts, fans might be vastly more energy-efficient compared to air conditioning units. However, they can still be a big drain on your electricity bills especially if your home has several in use concurrently, or if you’re in the habit of using them for long sessions.

Average hours used per day: Eight hours
Total cost per year: $51 per fan

How to cut consumption:
If there are multiple people in a single room, using ceiling fans can help keep everyone cool without having several fans to do the job. Where possible, working or relaxing near a window with good ventilation especially during cooler parts of the day can reduce overall usage. Otherwise, you’ll also be consuming less energy when you use your fans at lower speeds.


7. Lighting – $0.25 per hour


electricty consumption singapore - lighting power wastage

Good lighting can do wonders to help liven your home up, and keeping the average four-room BTO bright and cheery takes about 187 watts. As a guide, you can find the recommended wattage for lighting by multiplying the total area of your home in square feet by 1.5.

Average hours used per day: Six hours
Total cost per year: $102

How to cut consumption:
Most houses use LED lights, but if you’re somehow sticking to fluorescent or even incandescent bulbs, you’ll want to upgrade for up to eight times the efficiency. It might surprise you to know that smart bulbs can also help reduce electricity wastage – you can save over 70% of power when you set your lighting to 50% brightness.


Reduce electricity wastage and save on bills with DBS OEM promos


From work and play to household chores and everything in between, our electricity consumption can easily rake in a sizable bill at the end of each month. Apart from investing in more efficient appliances and being more mindful about energy wastage, you can also max out your savings through DBS Open Electricity Market (OEM) promos.

Till 30th September 2021, you can score up to $190 in bill rebates and vouchers when you opt for DBS electricity retailer partners – Geneco and Sembcorp Power. All you have to do is sign up for your preferred 12- or 24-month electricity plan and make payment through DBS or POSB Cards, to enjoy the following rebates:

  • Geneco 12 month plan – $25 bill rebates, $40 Gojek vouchers
  • Geneco 24 month plan – $60 bill rebates, $30 FairPrice vouchers, $80 Gojek vouchers
  • Sembcorp Power 12 month plan – $20 bill rebates, $40 Gojek vouchers
  • Sembcorp Power 24 month plan – $60 bill rebates, $80 Gojek vouchers

Your friends will also get a bonus $20 in bill rebates when they sign up with your referral code.

Pro tip: Snag extra cash rebates of up to 3% when you use your POSB Everyday Card to pay for your bills.

Those gunning for extra deals can also check out exclusive DBS Home and Living promotions to enjoy everything from 8% off Simmons mattress to $50 Harvey Norman vouchers and $30 off Lazada purchases.

Apart from saving on your electricity bill with these tips, these DBS OEM promos let you also snag extra perks along the way. With rebates and vouchers up for grabs, along with a swath of home and living deals to go with, homeowners – both new and experienced alike – will be sure to stretch their dollar just a little further.

Save more with DBS by switching to an electricity retailer


This post was brought to you by DBS
Cover image credit: The Smart Local, KitchenAid