5 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
Nobody looks forward to load shedding – especially now that we’re all on lockdown and have nothing but the internet to keep us company. Until Eskom finds effective solutions to generate a stable supply of electricity, you could find small ways to reduce your electricity consumption, which would take much-needed pressure off the grid to help minimise the occurrence of load shedding.
Trying to reduce our consumption may seem challenging but there are a few simple, energy-saving habits homeowners can try. These may have a minimal effect on an individual level, but if all households practiced these same habits, it would significantly lower the amount of electricity required to keep our nation up and running.
- Lighten the load: A good place to start would be to change all light bulbs from the regular incandescent bulbs to LED lights, as these use between 75% – 90% less electricity. Remember to turn off lights when they are not necessary. If it’s the middle of the day and the room is dark, open the curtains or blinds instead of turning on the lights. This small change of habit could make a big difference when regularly applied to how we consume electricity in general.
- Remember to unplug: Many appliances (including the tv, computer, microwave, printers, and scanners) use standby power which means that even if the appliance is not in use or is turned off, it still consumes electricity. Turning off each switch by the wall will lower electricity consumption. To minimise the hassle of this task, plug nearby appliances into one power strip (i.e. an extension cable with multiple sockets). This way, there’s only one socket you need to turn off at the wall rather than many.
- When you find yourself in hot water: The geyser should be heated ideally between 55°C - 60°C to ensure hot water in the most energy-efficient way. Most people simply leave their geysers on to have access to hot water at any given time of the day. But, a great way to reduce your electricity consumption would be to have a set schedule for the geyser or to set your geyser to an automatic timer. You could also invest in good insulation for your geyser to help maintain the heat during the times that it is switched off.
- Airing your dirty laundry: It’s best to do a full load of washing rather than to wash little bits every day. Where possible, try to do more cold-water washes and use the shortest cycle available and hang laundry out rather than using a tumble dryer, as this will significantly lower electricity consumption. The washing machine itself also influences power usage. The most efficient kind of washing machine is a front loader which will not only save you power but water as well.
- You could lessen your reliance on heating and cooling appliances if you invest in proper roof and ceiling insulation. By insulating the roof and ceiling in your home, you will be able to maintain an extra 5°C in winter and your home will be 10°C cooler in summer.
It’s hard, but it’s worth it!
We all need to come together and make a concerted effort to reduce our electricity usage. Not only will this help minimise load shedding, which would greatly benefit us all, but it will also help us live in a more environmentally responsible way, which is a goal towards which we should all strive.