Energy Saving Tips

Saving electricity will not only save you money, but will also help with the rising power cuts (load shedding), as the country needs to cut energy use by 10% for the current system to cope. Saving electricity will also give you a warm fuzzy feeling, as you will be doing your bit to conserve natural resources, i.e. coal, and reducing the impact energy consumption has on the environment, slowing down global warming.

Turn your geyser temperature down to 60 degrees Celsius or less

A geyser uses 39% of all household electricity; switch it off to save electricity and money. Insulate geysers and water pipes as this will help the water to stay hot for longer. Reduce the maximum temperature setting for your geyser/ thermostat, to 60ºC or less and instead of a long bath rather shower, as showers use less water and energy. Energy and water-saving shower heads use less water and electricity.
You could also invest in a solar geyser. Solar geysers are much more affordable than in the past, and they practically pay for themselves in no time with the money you save on electricity.

Switch off when not in use

Turn appliances off at the wall plug, rather than leaving them on standby as this can still draw about 20% or more of normal electricity use. (Examples are TVs, music systems, computers, phone chargers etc.) Remember to turn the geyser off when you go on holiday.
Turn off the lights, fans, computers and other energy-consuming appliances when you leave the room. Insulate the room when you use a heater or air conditioner, i.e. don't leave unnecessary doors and windows open.

Install efficient lighting

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use 75% less power than old incandescent bulbs, and last much longer. Note that CFLs contain small amounts of harmful chemicals, so please dispose of them safely. Best is to take them to safe ‘drop off’ points e.g. at local retailers like Woolworths or Pick n Pay.
New ‘light-emitting diodes’, or LEDs, are even more efficient than CFLs, and last 130 times longer than CFL bulbs. They have limited applications in homes at this stage, but are ideal replacements for halogen down-lighting. They save the most, and although they may be currently expensive the cost is coming down as the technology develops.
Of course, switching off lights in unoccupied rooms is also an obvious way to save.

In the Kitchen

  • Use a kettle to boil water for cooking as it is quicker and uses less energy than a pot on the hob.
  • Always match the size of the pan with the size of the stove plate.
  • Use a microwave to cook as it is quicker and cheaper, 1 oven uses the same power as 18 microwaves.
  • Only fill kettle with the amount of water that you need.
  • Cut food into smaller sections before cooking to help it cook quicker.
  • Make your toast in a toaster, not under the grill.
  • Don’t keep opening the oven door while you are cooking.
  • Always put a full load of washing in the washing machine and if the weather is good dry the clothes on the line outside.
  • If you have a stove with heavy solid plates that retain heat, switch off the plate a few minutes before removing the pot.
  • When you open your fridge door for more than a moment, it loses cold air. Cooling it down again will take a lot of electricity. So be quick and don’t let all that cold air out.
  • Do not place hot food in the refrigerator or the deep freeze, rather allow it to cool outside first.
  • Ensure that the door seals are in good condition and don’t put the refrigerator near the oven.
  • Every time you switch on your dishwasher, it’s the same as switching on 120 CFL energy-saving light bulbs. Wait until the dishwasher is full before you switch it on. Use the economy programme wherever possible.
  • Clothes should never be placed in the tumble dryer while they are still dripping with water, so be sure to remove excess water.

In the Lounge

  • Switch the TV off when not in use, leaving it on standby mode uses up to 50% of the power the TV would use if it was actually on, the same goes for the Hi-Fi’s and computers.
  • Rather use a gas heater or a temperature-controlled oil heater for space heating and switch of the heater if you leave the room.
  • Curtains help to retain the heat, so draw them early in the evening.
  • Turn off the lights that you don’t need on and use lighter lampshades as they wil make the most of the energy.
  • Fit lower wattage bulbs wherever possible and avoid leaving spot lights on for too long, as they use more electricity.
  • Invest in new energy-efficient appliances. As electricity tariffs rise, buying an energy-efficient appliance will pay back in cost savings quicker than before. Look for labelling such as the Energy Star rating and always buy an ‘energy smart’ model. It's important to note that some newer plasma screen TVs tend to use more electricity than older models.

In the Bathroom

  • Shower instead of running a bath, as a shower uses much less water and therefore, less hot water and less electricity.
  • Fit low-flow shower heads, this will not only save water, but electricity too.
  • If the water pressure in your house is low, rather use an aerated showerhead instead of a flow restrictor. The minimum pressure on your geyser should be more than one bar.
  • A geyser blanket will insulate your geyser not allowing the heat to escape. To save even further, insulate the water pipes and turn the geyser’s thermostat down to 60°C.
  • Fix any dripping taps, especially hot water taps.
  • Do not let the hot water run unnecessarily. Use cold water to wash your hands instead of hot water. Use a basin plug when washing.

Hundreds of ways to save electricity

Please Contact Us if you have any questions or have concerns about high electricity (or water) consumption. Our team of technical experts can help you pin-point the problem.