If every household could work together it will make an immense difference in the load being placed on South Africa’s aging infrastructure and the load being placed on Eskom. If every household reduced their energy consumption by just 10% not only will the strain on the infrastructure be alleviated but the house hold will also have a significant reduction in energy costs. Here are a few helpful tips on how to achieve up to 10% reduction in energy consumption.
Becoming more energy conscience will be the first step in reducing costs. Be aware of the small things like dripping taps for example can cost up to R600 per year if not fixed. Replace the seals on dripping taps before they become expensive. Your geyser uses approximately 39% of your monthly energy usage. If you are able to switch it of at set times or purchase a timer which will do this for you automatically. Insulating you geyser and any exposed piping can also reduce the costs even further.
Shower more instead of bathing, it firstly uses less water than bathing and it uses subsequently less hot water, which in turn means less water to heat by the geyser. Using an energy efficient shower head will further help in reducing water and heating costs. When you purchase you next month’s groceries purchase new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) bulbs for your house. Although the initial cost may be a bit expensive, CFLs do not burn hot like incandescent bulbs. Bulbs which generate heat only produce light as a by-product. CFLs produce only light with a minimal amount of heat.
You might think that switching your TV off when you go to bed is enough this is unfortunately a myth that needs urgent attention. Appliances which are switched on to standby mode can still use up to 50% of their operating power. It is a more energy efficient choice to switch them off at the wall socket. Another culprit that most people forget is their cell phone charger. If your cell phone is fully charged, unplug the charger as it still draws power.
Refrigeration is a necessity and not a luxury and therefore you should keep the seal on your refrigerator and deep freeze clean and in good order. If the start to perish, cold air will escape and this will cause the unit to be in a constant state of energy consumption. Cooling your household should also be an energy conscience effort. If you use an air-conditioning unit make sure that the temperature is set between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius, this is the world standard known as the “golden zone”. Keep all windows and doors closed if you are using an air-conditioner. If you are feeling slightly cold rather use warm clothing or a blanket than set the air-conditioning unit to a higher temperature.
Other small changes that can be made to reduce costs are; closing your curtains at night to keep the heat in, using gas heaters instead of conventional electric heaters as well as using hot water bottles during the cold winter months. You can also use draft excluders on doors which have small gaps underneath to keep the warmth in and the cold out. Calculating your energy costs is not just a single person effort. You will need to sit down with your entire family and assess where each family can reduce their costs. Together you can calculate your monthly energy consumption of your home and weigh it against the total that you pay each month. The average home uses about 1100kWh per month. Switching the TV and other appliances off at the plug when they are not in use can reduce this cost drastically. We hope these tips will help you achieve a reduced energy bill.
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