Taking simple steps to reduce your use of electricity can have a major effect on your electricity bill. It’s good for the planet too.
Here are the things you can do right now to reduce your consumption of electricity, without sitting in the dark, giving up your hot water or shivering in the cold.
Switching appliances such as TVs, decoders and DVD players off at the plug point can equal significant savings.
Nearly all devices use some power even when they’re switched off – sometimes as much as 5 or even 10% of the power they use when they’re on. Appliances that have a standby mode, such as game consoles and computers, may use even more.
Timers are simple and inexpensive to install. Using a timer, you can set your geyser to switch on automatically so you don’t need to worry about waking up to a cold shower, but also don’t waste huge amounts of electricity keeping water hot when you don’t need it.
Alternatively, you can simply switch your geyser on and off at the distribution board for your house.
Most washing machines have a shorter cycle of about 30 minutes that heats the water to only 30° C, instead of the usual 40° C or higher. Using this cycle saves a lot of electricity and a significant amount of water.
With office jobs and driving to work, most people’s clothes don’t get dirty enough to warrant a long, hot washing cycle.
You can download various apps to help you monitor and decrease your use of electricity.
For example, you can use the Energy Cost Calculator app (free on iTunes) to calculate the energy usage of various appliances and the Energy Consumption Analyzer (free on Google Play) to monitor household electricity use.
It’s unnecessary for your fridge to be colder than 4° C. Fridges operate best at this temperature. Just one or two degrees colder can add a lot to your electricity bill.
Unlike a freezer, it’s not good to overfill your fridge. This can cause the temperature to drop too low because the items in the fridge retain the cold.
Don’t let ice build up on the interior of your freezer. This reduces efficiency and causes the freezer to use more power.
Under-filling your freezer can also add to your electricity bill because it takes more power to keep an empty freezer cold.
These solutions may cost you money to implement, but they can lead to huge savings on electricity in the long run.
Instant hot water heaters are extremely energy efficient because they heat cold water as it’s used – meaning they heat only the water you need. Kettles tend to be overfilled and end up boiling more water than required.
Solar power has come a long way in a short time. Not only are solar geysers very efficient, they also cost a lot less than they used to.
Unfortunately, the Eskom rebate programme is no longer applicable. However, a 150-litre solar geyser, including installation, can easily cost well under R10,000. You should be able to recover that amount through electricity savings within three years.
A 9-kilogram bottle of gas for a gas stove costs around R300, and will last a small family for approximately three months. Refilling the gas cylinder costs under R200.
By comparison, an electric stove of equivalent size will consume roughly 150 KWhs per month, costing you R700 to R800 for the same three-month period.
The majority of decent appliances you can buy today come with an energy rating of A+, with some imported products even boasting an A++ or even A+++ rating.
If an appliance doesn’t have a sticker telling you its rating, there’s a good chance it falls lower down the scale. Always research an appliance you plan to buy online to confirm its energy rating.
The initial outlay for this can be costly, with LED bulbs costing as much as R100 each. However, these bulbs use 75% less power than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or incandescent bulbs, and
last up to 25 times as long. They also emit very little heat – unlike CFLs and incandescent bulbs, which lose up to 90% of their energy through heat.
Everyday savings are great, but sometimes a large unexpected expense comes along – and it’s not fun trying to get a family through winter when funds run out or you hit a cash flow problem.
At lamna, we offer same-day cash loans against the value of a wide range of personal assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or artwork. Our interest rates are competitive, and we’re fully compliant with the National Credit Act.
Source: Funding Lamma
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