Monday, November 23, 2009

Clicking is Saving

Ever dreaded receiving your monthly electric bill from fears of seeing how much all those hours on the internet, watching television, using the microwave, leaving the lights on while you sleep, singing on your videoke, and charging both your cellphones will set you back? Ever blamed Meralco for the big difference in your bank account before and after paying your bill? Feeling hopeless and alone? Nothing else to do on the internet while downloading the latest episode of Gossip Girl or Glee?

Meralco has just the thing to help you out. The Meralco Appliance Calculator – or MAC – lets you compute the energy consumption cost of your appliances so you can better manage your electric bills. Found on Meralco’s official website, MAC is an accessible but extremely useful tool for those wanting to see which appliances cost the most to operate or how much you can save by cutting down on a certain number of hours on certain electrical devices… or for those who just don’t have anything useful to do with their time on the internet.

So how exactly does MAC work? First, go to the Meralco website and click on the MAC icon. A separate window would pop up and certain information would be asked from you - such as your average monthly bill and type of appliance you wish to calculate the cost of. The list of appliances in MAC is quite comprehensive, giving you options like “Refrigerator (6 cu. Ft.)” or “TV Set (color 21”)”. Make sure to click on the correct type of appliance to make the calculations more accurate. Input the number of hours, days and weeks used per month and PRESTO! You now know how much that particular appliance cost per hour, day, week and month. Want to see how much you can save by cutting back on its usage? Click on a lower value for the “number of hours/days/weeks used” drop-down boxes and see how much the difference is. Click on the “add to my appliance list button” to see what percentage that particular appliance is taking up on your monthly bill and go on computing for other electrical devices found in your home. There’s even a button for you to read some energy saving tips for each appliance.

Do take note that the data provided by MAC is not the actual amount you have to pay Meralco and serve only as an estimation to help you manage your bills better. Still, this is quite the online innovation that Meralco has provided for us. How else would I have known that I would be able to save more than a thousand pesos by changing all our incandescent light bulbs at home to CFLs? Or that by using the timer on my air conditioner and using it for just 4 hours every night instead of 8, I would be able to save enough to subscribe to a plan 500 postpaid cellphone service (and get a phone for free!) Meralco, indeed, has found a way to help out its customers manage their finances better, something that we all need to do now more than ever.

Saving is just one click away.

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