There are many things you can do to reduce your energy usage and save money.
With ongoing talks of coal shortages, electricity price hikes and load shedding, many South Africans are considering more affordable energy solutions and relooking their electricity usage habits.
- Audit your energy use
Your geyser, lights, heaters and appliances are the main culprits that waste energy and money. Determine how often you use these appliances per week and roughly how much energy they use. This will give you a good starting point to reduce your energy usage.
- Prevent geyser guzzle
You can save up to 10% on your electricity bill by setting your geyser thermostat to 50°C in summer and 60°C in winter. You can also wrap insulating geyser blankets around your geyser to reduce the rate at which the water cools down and cut your energy use. Installing a heat pump can reduce your energy usage by as much as 75% and is four times more efficient than a geyser.
- Go solar
You can cut costs drastically by tapping the sun’s free energy to heat your water, power your appliances and light your home. All it takes is a few solar panels on your roof and a solar battery to convert and store this natural source of energy for later use. Battery Centre offers a wide range of solar batteries to suit your needs.
- Smart lighting
Get in the habit of switching off the lights when you leave a room. You can save energy by using fewer light bulbs of higher wattage or by using Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), which use about 70% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional globes.
- Smart laundering
Give the tumble dryer a rest on sunny days and only iron your washing if you really need to. Remember to shake out your laundry before hanging it and fold the dry items along the seams to reduce creases.
- Use appliances wisely
Get to know the functions of your appliances and how to avoid wasting energy unnecessarily:
- Fridge: Keep the temperature constant by reducing the amount of times you open the door and checking that the door seals are in good condition. You can also wait for food to cool down before placing it in the fridge.
- Stove: Choose a pot or pan that fits the stove plate you’re using. If possible, finish cooking at a lower heat or with the plate switched off. It is also more energy efficient to rather use the microwave for small to medium quantities of food.
- Kettle: Only boil the amount of water you really need.
- Washing machine and dishwasher: Only use these appliances when you have a full load or use the half-load facility. Skip the pre-wash cycle and use the cold water setting when you can.
- Heating: Use an electric blanket instead of a heater and remember to switch the blanket off when you get into bed.
- Cut back on “phantom load”
Appliances like TVs, laptops and radios continue to use energy when they are turned off but still plugged into an outlet. This is called phantom load. Unplug as many of your appliances and electronic equipment as possible when not in use.
- Insulate your home
You can install ceiling insulation to reduce heating losses in winter and air-conditioning costs in summer. Also, before it gets too cold, repair any gaps or cracks around windows and doors. Close your curtains before it gets dark to keep the heat in during the winter.
- Opt for renewable energy sources
Instead of cranking up the heaters, let the sunlight in to help heat an indoor area. You can also use solar lights in your garden instead of electrical lights. These solar-powered lights can also come in handy indoors during load shedding.
- Eco-friendly purchases
Many major retail stores now supply products that minimise environmental damage so when you buy new appliances, look for options that offer energy savings.
Extra tip: Recycle
While not a direct energy saver at home, recycling does reduce the need to use energy to produce new products from scratch. Lead-acid batteries, such as your car battery, can be recycled into a brand new one many times over. The components of these batteries are almost 100% recyclable and more than 90% of all scrap batteries in South Africa are recycled.
Recycling is an extremely important consideration for Battery Centre, not only for the recovery of valuable materials, but also for the on-going protection of the environment. To recycle your old batteries, visit a Battery Centre near you or call us toll free on 0800 112 600.