Benoît Le Roy
*This article first appeared in the Energy Issue of our Simply Green digital magazine
The first step towards boosting South Africa’s energy security is to reduce our national demand, and with households directly consuming around 25% of the electricity generated by Eskom, it is important to do our bit in our homes.
Here are 10 tips to get you started
1 Ensure that your electricity meter is functional. Note the meter reading and then switch off all the circuit breakers on your distribution board. If the counter increases, then you have a leak and need to call out an electrician to assess.
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2 Record your electricity meter totaliser weekly, at more or less at the same time, to track your consumption. Maintain the required vigilance.
3 As they fail, replace all your light bulbs with LEDs.
4 Your geyser can use up to 50% of your electricity. By installing timers, similar to pool-pump timers, you can reduce your electricity consumption considerably.
5 When replacing an old geyser, spend a little more and install a solar-heated geyser.
6 Showering for two minutes with a water-saving nozzle is a game changer – although it might not be as relaxing as a bath.
7 If you have a swimming pool, and can afford a cover, buy one. This will save significant amounts of electricity as you can reduce the amount of hours the pump is running. Reduce it by one hour at a time until the water clarity is affected. A rule of thumb – without a cover – is eight hours a day, at least, in summer and six hours a day in winter.
8 Another large electricity user is the hob and oven. If possible, replace either or both with an induction hob or gas hob and oven.
9 If you have the funds, invest in solar PV panels once you have reduced your electrical load as much as possible as described above.
10 Recent-model appliances, such as fridges, dishwashers and washing machines, are energyeconomy rated and are generally very efficient. Check the energy rating and consider the best rating when replacing an appliance.