With most of South Africa experiencing load-shedding, it’s important to consider how much energy your household needs and how much electricity it could actually be saving.
Reducing the impact that energy consumption has on the environment is also a good reason to play your part in conserving electricity. And not to mention it’s important for every person in the country to curb their usage in order to ensure there is a fair amount of power available for all. Regardless of whether you live in a city or out in a rural area.
A good place to start is to analyse which appliances and activities are hungry guzzlers of electricity. This will help you make a conscious effort to reduce this load in your home. Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours, you’ll notice on your electricity bill that each kilowatt hour is reflected as a unit. We’ve compiled a list of which elements in your home are eating away at your kilowatt hours. For example, a 100 watt light bulb usually uses around one unit of electricity every ten hours.
Knowing Your Hungry Appliances
Our homes are filled with appliances that use power all of the time. This is true even when we’re not there. Optimise your energy consumption by allocating which appliances can be plugged in intermittently and which will require power all of the time (i.e. security systems or remote-controlled gates etc.). In South African households, the hungriest elements on your electricity bill are the below:
- Geysers (24%)
- Space heating and cooling (18%)
- Lighting (17%)
- Consumer electronics on standby mode (15%)
- Cooking (11%)
There are numerous ways to save power and funds when it comes to energy consumption in your home. For example, you can check all new appliances that you buy for energy efficiency. In the kitchen, there are plenty of tips and tricks for saving electricity too. Like using a kettle to boil water for cooking, instead of using a pot on the hob. Or ensuring that your pots and pans are the same size as the hob you’re using in order to optimise heat distribution while you’re cooking delicious food.
When you’re doing washing, try to always collect a full load before you do. Also, in good weather, always opt for drying clothes outside on the line rather than in a tumble dryer. When it comes to managing your refrigerator or deep freeze, ensure that all door seals are in good condition to reduce extra electricity being used for cooling.
Something that a lot of people overlook is the amount of energy being consumed by lighting in a home or business. Firstly, switching to energy-saving light bulbs will make a huge difference. Secondly, turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Many folks leave multiple lights on in several rooms at once. This is wasteful and costs money at the end of the day. Also, curtains tend to help a home retain heat in winter or on colder summer nights. Remember to draw them early in the evening to keep the warmth inside.
You need to become adept at tracking your power usage. Electricity monitors are a good way of gaining a more comprehensive idea of how much exactly you’re spending, and on what. These monitors can provide this information in real time so that you can even curb your usage as you notice it escalating. This is a great tool for ensuring you stay within your planned budget from month to month!