Compiled by South Africa’s Unlimited Energy

Here are three easy steps to help you achieve up to a 40% reduction in your electricity:

Step 1:

Change your habits. Become energy wise. This won’t cost you a cent and will make a big difference

  • Switch off all non-essential lights – especially when you leave a room
  • Defrost your freezer on a regular basis
  • Turn off and unplug all appliances that are not in use. Do not use the ‘standby’ modes on appliances
  • Air dry your clothes
  • Don’t waste water, hot or cold by needlessly letting taps run
  • Kettles use less energy than stoves to heat water. Always boil the exact amount of water required
  • Recycle your rubbish. Indirect electricity saving
  • Maximise the use of natural light. Open curtains and blinds to let the sun in and close them again at night to keep the heat in
  • Use the microwave instead of the oven when possible

Step 2:

The following won’t cost a lot but will save you plenty in electricity

  • Put a timer on your geyser
  • When you next buy a heater, choose gas over electric. Gas heaters are environmentally friendlier option and are as cost effective as electrical heaters. Remember to restrict the opening of windows and doors as much as possible when using heaters. It is also best to draw the curtains in order to better insulate the room
  • For the bedrooms use an electric blanket instead of a heater
  • Convert to aerated shower heads. They will reduce your water consumption and water heating by up to 40%.
  • Convert all your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs or LED’s. Remember to dispose of them in a responsible manner as they contain mercury.

Step 3:

Alternate sources of energy that will make your house energy secure and save you money

  • Solar Water Heaters. This can reduce your monthly bill by as much as 30%. From an environment perspective a SWH saves 2 tons of CO2 per annum. This amounts to over 40 tons over the expected lifespan of the device.
  • Buy energy efficient appliances. Note: A++ is the most efficient and not A
  • If you are planning to install a fireplace go for a closed wood burning system. It uses a one third of the wood that an open system does
  • Cook with gas.
  • Install a ceiling fan rather than an air conditioner
  • Insulate your home

Remember that a generator is a last resort and a battery back up is often a better solution to tide you over during blackouts.