Reverend a convert to saving energy
Reverend Carlyle Williams has been encouraging people for years to put their trust in the Lord; to believe.
In 2011, he too, became a believer, but this time, the revelation had to do with energy saving.
Up to late 2010, Williams and his wife were paying quite a bit for electricity, until their son-in-law came home one day with “good news”. He suggested that if they changed their bulbs and used an energy monitor, they could experience significant savings in their electricity bill.
So, with nothing to lose, they gave it a try.
Today, Williams talks about his new experience with excitement (like a new convert, almost).
“In February 2010, we were using up to 387 kilowatts (kW) in electricity. Once we changed the bulbs and kept checking in with the monitor, by January 2011, we were at 225 kW. One year later, late 2011, we went down to as little as 136 kW. Now, we function between 157 and 176 kW, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand what that means for our monthly bill.”
What was even more exciting was that these rewards came with very simple changes to their lifestyle. He has no solar panels or special energy saving equipment, but already he has experienced a consistent reduction in the cost of electricity. He explains that by just turning off the television when no one was really watching; unplugging the washing machine, the night lamp and laptop as well as changing their bulbs, his family reduced their monthly electricity bill by over 20 per cent.
“When we changed the bulbs on the outside of the house, they were quite dim, but then they got very bright and are now brighter than the old bulbs we used before with minimum use of energy. Certainly, I have no doubt in my mind that energy saving approaches work.”
Like any true believer, the former district superintendent of the Wesleyan Holiness Church is now interested in going to the next level. He plans to invest in solar panels when he is able to afford them. But, he says, at this point, the energy monitor keeps his family on their toes, without any great fuss.
“I have one son who is still at home but I also have seven grandchildren, so during the holidays and on the weekends, I just keep my eye on the energy monitor, so I know when they need to take a break from all the electronic gadgets.”
And while the savings on the electricity bill, especially in these economic times, are very important, Williams points to the fact that energy saving approaches also contribute to a global move towards energy conservation or what is called “going green”.
“If we just pay closer attention to wastage and what we are doing at home, we can contribute to the wider community while experiencing personal savings, and that’s a good thing,” he adds.
Tips from the Williams family:
1. Replace all your bulbs at home with energy saving ones, even your security bulbs on the outside.
2. If you are not really watching the television, turn it off.
3. Unplug the washing machine when it’s not in use – that’s a big saving.
4. Unplug the small items like your laptop and lamps when you are not using them.
5. Limit the time your children (or grandchildren) use electronic gadgets during the day.
Francine Charles is guest writer for Major Events Caribbean Inc.