Checkers - Better and Better | Managing Electricity Consumption
Manage your electricity consumption and save

Getting ready for winter doesn't have to mean driving up your energy use. Instead, it can mean adopting a few simple habits and taking a few easy steps to prevent a large increase in your electricity bill.

Heating water in the home accounts for 50% of your monthly electricity costs - use hot water wisely:

In the kitchen
Much water is wasted in the kitchen without us even realising it.  Because the geyser starts working every time you use hot water, for example just opening the tap to fill a kettle or rinse vegetables.  Therefore, only open the hot water tap when you specifically need hot water.

Some simple ways to reduce hot water consumption:

Dishwashers
    ⁃    Fill the dishwasher completely before using it.
    ⁃    Turn off the dishwasher after the final rinse but before the drying cycle and then dry the dishes with a cloth.
    ⁃    Use short-wash cycles, rinse-only cycles and mid-cycle turn-off - they are convenient options and help conserve energy as well.
    ⁃    Connect your dishwasher to the COLD water supply. Only the final wash and rinse cycles require hot water, which is provided by a heated element inside the dishwasher anyway.

Washing machines
    ⁃    A front-loading washing machine uses less water and costs less to operate than a top loader. Don't forget to get one that has a variety of water temperature settings.
    ⁃    Take adVantage of special features on your washing machine. For example, soak cycles remove stubborn stains in a single wash cycle, using less electricity and saving you time and money.
    ⁃    Like dishwashers, automatic washing machines use the same amount of electricity for a full load as they use for a single item.

Kettles
    ⁃    Use a kettle rather than boiling water on a stove.
    ⁃    Only boll as much water as you need.

In the bathroom
    ⁃    Shower instead of bathing.
    ⁃    Fix dripping taps, especially hot water taps.
Moreover, make the following interventions as far as your geyser is concerned:
    ⁃    Lower the thermostat to 60°C:
    ⁃    Cover your geyser with a geyser blanket; and
    ⁃    Insulate the hot water pipes leading from the geyser.

Insulation

During winter, when the outside temperature is lower than the inside, heat transfer takes place from the inside to the outside, resulting in interiors becoming uncomfortably cold.
Below are energy efficiency measures specifically aimed at preventing heat transfer, and helping to keep home interiors warm and comfortable.

What can you do?

Five easy steps:
    1.    Seal gaps around windows.
    2.    Draught-proof wall cavities throughout your home and, if you have one, your chimney- caulking and weather-stripping are best for sealing cracks and holes.
    3.    Also draught-proof your doors, and make sure all door sweeps are in a good condition.
    4.    Install window blinds or hang curtains - it improves thermal insulation by preventing heat from escaping your home.
    5.    Most importantly, install fire-retardant ceiling insulation; it is one of the most effective measures to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Approximately 40% of heat is lost through the roof if your home is not insulated:

    •    Insulation makes a home up to 5% warmer in winter;
    •    Insulation reduces and postpones the need to switch on space heaters and air conditioners; and
    •    Insulation contributes to lowering your electricity costs - an insulated and draught-proofed room requires 51% less energy to heat up.

Important note: When considering insulating your home, talk to a specialist vendor; it is critical to choose the correct combination of materials and techniques to suit the location, positioning and design of your home.


Space heating
Being smart about your space heater can keep both you and your bank balance comfortable this winter.

First of all, make sure the space heater you use is thermostat­ controlled, a built-in device or a device you can set to switch the heater on and off at a pre-selected temperature. Equally importantly, carefully decide the level of warmth you wish to experience at any given time.
If you want to quickly improve your level of warmth over a period of 1hour in an average room of 3x3x2.5 meter, a fan heater controlled via a thermostat is the smartest choice.
It spreads heat evenly and the thermostat switches it off when
the room is cosy. Gas heaters are also quick, but special care should be taken around the exposed flames - ventilation requirements should be adhered to.

    •    For heating a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 meter over a period of 3 hours, an oil heater with a thermostat and an output no bigger than 2000W (watt) is your best option; it heats slowly and steadily and doesn't cause a spike in your monthly energy costs.
    •    And for eight hours or more in the same room? A heater with a thermostat and an output no bigger than 1000W (watt)will be the most energy efficient and cost affective option; it gradually raises the temperature and reaches the optimal level of thermal comfort over time without causing a huge Increase In your electricity bill.

Only heat the room you are occupying. Heating unoccupied rooms - together with inappropriate heating choices - use unnecessary energy and cost you money without providing you with the warmth you need.

Importantly, delay switching on your electric space heater as long as possible by dressing warmly, wrapping yourself in a blanket, putting a hot water bottle on your knees, and drinking your favourite hot drink when you watch television.

Information supplied by Eskom. For more information visit: www.eskom.co.za/idm