4 ways to cut down on your electricity use – and save some money

Before buying a new household appliance, you should calculate its energy consumption. Photo: Evy Prentice/Unplash

Before buying a new household appliance, you should calculate its energy consumption. Photo: Evy Prentice/Unplash

Published May 13, 2022


Last month, Eskom’s tariffs increased by almost 10%, putting household finances under further pressure.

But if you know how to save energy within your home, you can relieve some of your money stress, and also contribute to the global 2030 target of net-zero carbon emissions.

“The need for energy-efficiency has never been more urgent, and achieving this is something that all South Africans can work towards in their individual capacities”, says Defy South Africa in a statement.

The company offers the following tips to help you save electricity by better managing and understanding your appliances.

1. Check out your fridge – and we don’t mean what is inside it

There are a few ways to optimise the amount of energy your fridge and freezer use, one of which is to check the suction of the door seals on a monthly basis. You should also ensure that food has cooled properly before being placed in the fridge to keep the internal temperature down.

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2. Before buying a new appliance, do some math to work out how much it will cost to use (don’t worry, we give you the formula)

Before buying a new fridge, freezer, or any household appliance, you should calculate its energy usage to determine how much it will cost you to use.

To calculate energy usage all you need to do is:

  • Multiply the kWh figure provided on the label by the cost of electricity in your municipality. For example, a fridge that uses 254 kWh per year at a rate of R2 per kWh, will cost R508 annually.

3. Be smart about laundry days

On average, washing machines use about 60% of their power just to heat up the water. Therefore, to save energy you should wash in cold water. Pre-soaking stained clothing in stain remover could also help to reduce the number of washing cycles needed and save energy in the long term.

To save energy, you should schedule certain days to do washing instead of doing it every day.

4. Study energy-efficiency ratings on new appliances

Whether you are buying a large or small appliance, you need to understand the way that it is rated. The rating system stems from the European standard which grades appliances in classes from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least.

An A-grade appliance is further divided into three categories: A+, A++ and A+++, the latter of which is rated the most energy-efficient.

Using less energy leads to a reduction in the amount you will spend on electricity, as well as a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.