4.10.2010

Powering Through

Our electric bill is ridiculous. How's yours?

There is something seriously wrong with Meralco. First the power outages, and now, highway robbery. Although the former was quite funny because I was in the office and we had a very very important Japanese visitor that day, and well, that's Murphy's law for you. Power outages in the office are crazy - one second you're happily working, the next everything is black and you've got a billion devices beeping like mad, and the next second you hear people hurling invectives because they don't have a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) and so their work is down the drain.

Anyway, I remember back in college, one of our professors mentioned that Meralco measures power using a 3-minute window. Or it could be 5, or 7. Anyway, an x-minute window. Now for this length of time, you will be charged not with the average consumption, but with the peak consumption within that window. The bottom line is if there's a power outage, and you don't switch everything off, and then the power goes back on, all your appliances turn off at the same time, which results in a spike in your power consumption, and you get charged for the equivalent of 3 minutes (or 5, or 7) of that spike. So it's definitely in your best interest to turn things off during power outages. And I'm saying this because we all know how power outages and elections go hand in hand.

Having said that, I think the best way to reduce the skyrocketing power bill without dying of heat stroke is to go to the mall - there is air conditioning, free WiFi in some, and you get to de-stress. I mean sure, the theoretical savings are replaced by low-EQ purchases, but at least I get something pretty in exchange for my money as opposed to handing it over to Meralco for it to be stuffed into some corrupt official's pockets.

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