Simple Tricks to Save Money on Electricity
With the extremely high demand and low supply on Eskom’s power grid, it is wise that we actively take steps to lower our electricity usage. We have taken the time to compile some useful tips that can help in the struggle to save power, and save you some money on your monthly electricity bill too…
Turn Off or Remove any Unnecessary Lights
Carefully go through your house and assess which lights are necessary and which lights aren’t. You can start saving immediately by removing the bulbs from lights you don’t need, and for light and chandeliers with more than one bulb, consider removing some of the extras.
If you find yourself constantly forgetting lights on, you might want to invest in smart timed light switches.
Switch to LED Lightbulbs or Tubes
Now that you have only the essential lights in use, you can save even more by switching to LED light bulbs. A recent article by Energy.gov claims that LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 25 times longer!
Yes, LED’s can be pricey, but it is not necessary to go out and replace every light bulb in your home all at once. To keep costs to a minimum, only replace old bulbs with new LED ones when your existing bulbs need replacing.
Use Natural Light as Much as Possible
You will do well to have curtains and blinds that can open fully and allow as much light in as possible. Keeping your windows clean helps too. Paint the inside of your house with light colors, ideally white, as this will help the light travel more efficiently throughout the house.
If it is in your budget, consider installing some more windows in darker rooms, or sky lights. While it might cost a bit upfront, it will pay for itself in the long run. Be careful not to introduce too much direct light that might require additional usage of air conditioning to counter the heat.
Use Task Lighting
When you find yourself doing some work or reading a book at night, instead of lighting up the entire room, why not use a small desk lamp instead and save a ton of electricity?
Task lighting can also be incorporated in your kitchen!
You will save a substantial amount of electricity in the long run, and on top of that, lower light levels at night before sleep have been proven to increase your quality of sleep!
Take Shorter Showers (or Cold Showers if you are tough enough)
Long showers and baths are glorious, and we all love them, but they are a large contributing factor to that hefty bill at the end of the month. Short showers can reduce the amount of hot water used.
If you think you are tough enough, try having cold showers, especially to kick start your mind and body on those hot summer days! If you can handle it, cold showers have many health benefits!
Ditch the Desktops for Laptops
Laptops are known to use up to 80% less electricity than desktop computers. So for those who work full time on a PC you will do well to take the plunge.
There are other benefits to using a laptop too. You will be able to work from anywhere and they won’t go off on you when that dreaded load shedding strikes!
Use Air Conditioning Only When Necessary
It is not necessary to run your air conditioner all day long at maximum capacity on minimum temperature. Think carefully about when you need the aircon the most.
If you need an air con on when you are working at a desk, try to use the smallest room in the house to do that work and use the air-con in that room only, with the doors and windows closed. Also, play around with the temperature and set at a comfortable level rather than just full blast freezer mode.
Many of us need an air-con to sleep, so do the same thing as above, make sure you aren’t cooling a large area and wasting electricity unnecessarily by closing all doors and windows and setting the air-con to a level that is just comfortable enough.
Braai More Often (or Use the Microwave)
A 1500 watt stove will cost you around R22 to run for 2 hours, about the same price as a half a bag of charcoal [Campmaster 5kg bag of briquettes from Makro- 10 Feb 2020]. How much more fun is a braai than cooking on a stove? Benefits? Brings the family together, better tasting food, fun and you can cook during load shedding!
If you are feeling too lazy to braai or are pressed for time, use the microwave instead of the stove. A Microwave can do in 15 minutes what a stove can do in an hour!
Even if you are only using cold water in your washing machine, try running less loads and fill the machine to its capacity.
If you want to save even more, avoid the tumble dryer and set up a washing line instead. It will help to have a covered washing line so you can still hang up your laundry when it is raining. If you insist on using the tumble dryer, toss a dry towel in before running the machine to speed up the drying time!
To save on ironing costs, remove clothes from the tumble dryer immediately and hang or fold them.
Check your Fridge and Freezer
Make sure your fridge and freezer isn’t colder than it needs to be. The ideal temperature for your fridge is 2 to 3 degrees and your freezer should be around -18 degrees Celsius.
Check that your fridge and freezers seal is intact so that it does not leak that cool air.
Making Tea and Coffee
Only boil the amount of water that you need when you boil that kettle, and use a kettle rather than a stove as a kettle with an element is more energy efficient.
Put your swimming pool pump on a timer
Did you know your pool pump is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to that crazy electricity bill, and it is totally avoidable. Your pump only needs to run a few hours a day.
Turn it on when you get home from work and off before bed. Or automate it with a simple pool pump timer available from most hardware stores. Here’s an example of one from Takealot.com for only R137.00
Saving electricity has such a positive impact on the environment, the economy and more importantly, on your pocket!
We would love to hear from you! Please leave us your feedback below in the comments section and share any tips you may have on how to save electricity.