Mon. May 20th, 2019

Energy month 2019: How to become more energy efficient

energy monthMay is National Energy Month in South Africa. Do your part by adopting these energy-saving habits.

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Apart from government coming up with solutions to stave off the energy crisis, households can adopt energy-saving habits. You’ll also save on your electricity bill by being more conscious about your energy usage.

Working towards a country that is energy-secure will reduce the impact of load shedding and helps support economic growth. Being energy-efficient means using reducing the amount of electricity we use.

We can achieve this through behaviour change or by installing a solar water heater, heat pumps, solar panels, etc. Let’s look at ways to continue saving.

Save on hot water

Geysers guzzle up energy. Start by turning the temperature down from 70 degrees to 60 or even 55 degrees. This will also reduce your household electricity bill by approximately 5%.

In addition, installing a geyser timer or wrapping the geyser in a specially designed ‘geyser blanket’ you could save even more. Remember to switch the geyser off when you’re away from home for a few days.

When you leave it on, the element will heat up a few times during the day, according to Saving Electricity. Remember that it takes a few hours it heat up if it’s been off for a couple of days.

You can also switch the geyser off during peak hours, and in so doing reduce the demand on the national grid. During winter months, peak times are between 6:00 and 8:00, and again from 17:00 to 21:00.

Use less water by shower instead of bathing. Not only will you save up to 80% in water, but you will use 5 times less electricity when taking a short shower as opposed to a full bath.

Lastly, install a low-flow aerated showerhead to save up to 40% on your water usage. Test your showerhead by holding a bucket under the shower spray. If you collect more than 2 litres in 12 seconds, it’s time to switch.

Save on lights

A few no-cost solutions would be to turn off lights when you leave the room and to maximise sunlight by opening curtains instead.

Utilise desk lamps, under-cabinet lighting and reading lamps to minimise the amount of energy used in a room. Dimmers are also an option, but they are not as energy efficient as one might assume.

Another option would be to ‘de-lamp.’ Simply remove a bulb or two from a multi-bulb fixture.

In addition, consider replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes.) In doing so, you could save up to 80% on your electricity usage.

LEDs are still not the cheapest option. If it’s too pricey to install them throughout your home, consider switching to CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps).

Install solar powered lights in your garden. They are easy to install, and even though they contain small rechargeable batteries, they rely entirely on energy from the sun.

Having an outdoor light on overnight is a safety precaution, however, infrared motion detector light fittings could also get the job done. Criminals are more likely to be surprised by a sudden burst of light, and it uses less electricity.

Save on laundry

Use the cold water setting, or at the very least, the lowest heat setting; and only do the laundry once you have enough for a full load. Automatic washing machines use the same amount of electricity for a full load as for a single item.

But don’t overload it either as it will reduce the cleaning action and hinder water circulation throughout the load.

If the clothes aren’t particularly dirty, skip the pre-wash cycle as it cuts down on hot water usage by up to 20%. By cleaning the lint filter regularly, you could also save on the machine energy’s usage.

Remove excess water before putting clothes in a dryer as it will minimise the drying time. Or better yet, skip using the dryer altogether by doing the laundry on a sunny day and hanging clothes outside to dry.

[H/t: Saving Electricity.]

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