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Energy efficient ways to beat the winter blues

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Last month, Eskom’s direct customers started paying 2.2 percent more for electricity. 


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File photo: Only wash full loads. A washing machine and dishwasher use a lot of electricity. Picture: AP

In July, Municipal customers will also have to take this hike into account. With budgets already stretched to capacity, consumers have to be much smarter about how they use electricity in the home.


According to Susan Steward, spokesperson for Budget Insurance: “With it being Energy Month in South Africa – a month dedicated to promoting energy saving tips – and with winter soon approaching, we have put together a helpful list of tips on how to keep your home as warm as possible, while at the same time, cutting down on the amount of electricity used in doing so.”


Cutting down on the amount of electricity used per month does not mean turning your home into a freezer. Consider implementing the following helpful hints to help reduce your electricity costs:


  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. Seal off unused rooms and open north-facing curtains and blinds during the day. Close these at night to keep the heat in.
  • Check all exterior doors for air leaks.
  • Dry laundry outside instead of in a tumble dryer. Much of SA is blessed with beautiful winter sun, so take advantage of this natural dryer, thereby reducing the electricity costs associated with tumble driers.
  • Only wash full loads. A washing machine and dishwasher use a lot of electricity, so ensure that you wash only full loads to minimise this cost.
  • Pile on the blankets. An extra blanket on your bed in the winter months is often all it takes to beat the winter blues.
  • Use a microwave instead of the oven because microwaves use less electricity.
  • When using an oven, switch it off a few minutes before the food is ready, and allow the built-up heat to finish the cooking.
  • Use insulating paint on both the inside and outside of your home to ensure that heat does not escape in winter.
  • Have a hot shower. Not only will this warm you up quickly, but the steam from the hot water will raise moisture levels in the house, helping the ambient temperature feel quite a bit warmer.
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