Eskom have increased our electricity bills by 14% in April earlier this year, and it won’t stop there. Eskom have announced that they’re planning to increase costs by 22.7% by 2022. Wow!
South Africans have a tough time with Eskom, especially over the past few years, and things aren’t looking any better.
So, what are our options?
We save as much as possible. The only way we can do that is by getting into habits that help us save.
The higher the electricity prices get, the less we’ll have to spend on the things that matter most to us.
Here are 4 habits you should get into, so that you can start saving on your monthly electricity bills.
1. Be smart with your geyser
Our geysers are responsible for the largest chunk of our electricity bill. Our geysers make up about 39% of our total electric usage. Cutting on geyser usage has become very important.
Finding the best way to save on your geysers is tricky. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, leaving everyone confused.
Should we switch off our geysers during the day and only turn it back on when we need hot water? But don’t geysers use a lot electricity to heat up again?
Or, should we keep it on all day and simply use our water sparingly? Will that really make a difference?
Luckily for us, Stellenbosch University (SU) conducted a study that answers this age of question.
Find the Stellenbosch University (SU) study here: Saving on household electric water heating: What works best and by how much?
According to the study, we should schedule our geysers to our bath and shower times. Heating the water for two hours and switching it off just before taking a bath or shower, is a winning recipe.
You can reduce your geyser usage by 18% if you use your geyser as little as possible. That means scheduling your geyser correctly and only taking one shower or bath per day. This typically goes for households with 1 or 2 people.
If your household requires a larger usage, you could save on average up to 12% on your next electric bill. That goes for households who follow a geyser schedule and have 2 showers and 2 baths per day.
Insulating the pipes and the geyser is the second biggest cost saver. Covering pipes and the geyser with thermal blankets will save you between 5% to 12% more.
The insulation blankets help the geyser and pipes stay warmer for longer, using less energy when it heats back up.
The study showed that households that have a low-volume usage, could save up to 12%. And households that have a higher geyser usage could save up to 9%, by simply insulating their geyser and pipes.
Although timing is important when saving on electricity bills, reducing the heat on the geyser is still a great idea.
Reducing the temperature of the geyser from 65°C to 60°C will reduce the total hot water consumption by 20%. Which will reduce your overall electricity usage.
Implementing these hacks correctly will save you, on average, 25% on your monthly geyser usage and ultimately save you on your next electricity bill.
2. Be light efficient
Hopefully, everyone follows the golden rule when it comes to lights. Switch them off when you’re not using them.
If you haven’t yet, start using Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). These CFL bulbs have more benefits than the traditional light bulb.
The CFL bulbs are not only energy efficient, but they also produce more light. You could replace a 100Watt incandescent bulb with a 22Watt CFL bulb and have the same amount of light.
Although the CFL bulbs are more expensive to start off with, they last 10 times longer. Making them less expensive in the long run.
Another lighting hack would be to install LED lights or energy-efficient downlights. These lights would last you 8 times longer than traditional bulbs.
You could potentially save up to 80% of your lighting costs, by simply installing the right lights.
3. Use appliances economically
If you can, replace any high energy appliances with low energy appliances.
Using your washing machine economically will take you a long way.
Use cold water when doing laundry. Using hot water is not always necessary and it uses a lot more electricity.
As far as tumble driers go, do you reeeeally need one?
Hanging up your clothes might take longer, but at least it’s free.
A tumble drier is more convenient, but at what cost?
4. Get warm and cosy
Staying warm in winter is always a challenge. If it’s not Eskom charging us an arm and a leg, it’s loadshedding getting in the way.
How do we stay warm in winter and save money at the same time?
For starters, whip out your best blanket and get real cosy on those cold winter nights. If you haven’t noticed yet, the aim of the game here is to stay away from using electricity.
If you really have to use a heater, rather use a gas heater instead.
When you do have a heater sizzling up your house, only use it in the room that you’re using the most. You don’t need to heat up the whole house when you’re mostly in one room.
Electrical blankets might be light on electricity but using old school technology is even better. Put those cosy blankets to use as much as possible.
It’s a once off investment that doesn’t cost a thing later on.
Winter is coming
With winter just around the corner, there’s no better time to start saving.
We can expect electricity prices to keep increasing and our wallets won’t support that extra load, unless we adapt.
The sooner we start getting in the habit of reducing our electricity usage, the better we’ll become at saving on our monthly bills.
Challenge yourself and see how low you can get your electricity bill.
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