Save up to 10% on your electricity bill without really spending a cent
We all know life is tough and survival is not for the fainthearted. Being dismayed about the financial challenges we face is not going to help – we all need to take the bull by the horns if we are going to live a successful life. Eskom’s electricity tariff hike is just another obstacle to overcome in the bigger scheme of things. Having a “saving” mindset will make a positive difference.
Less is more … using less energy in your home means a lower electricity bill and more money in your pocket at month end.
According to www.homemakersonline.co.za, South African households, on average, use electricity in the following ways:
- Geysers: 24%
- Space heating and cooling: 18%
- Lighting: 17%
- Consumer electronics on standby mode: 15%
- Cooking: 11%
- Fridges and freezers: 8%
- Consumer electronics: 5%
- Miscellaneous: 2%
You could save up to 10% on your electricity bill without really spending a cent, by implementing the following checklist:
- Hot water:
- Turn down the thermostat on your electrical element geyser to 60°C.
- Don’t use hot water for tasks you can accomplish with cold water, such as rinsing dishes and vegetables.
- Only use hot water for cleaning tasks that really need it, like washing your hands.
- Shower quickly instead of running a bath, as a shower uses much less water and therefore less hot water and less electricity.
- Fix any dripping taps, especially hot water taps.
- Fridge freezer:
- Set your fridge to 3°C – any lower and it will use more electricity than necessary.
- Make sure the seals of your fridge and freezer doors are intact.
- Don’t open the fridge door unnecessarily. When you open your it 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 freezer – rather allow it to cool outside first.
- Place your fridge somewhere cool – away from sun-facing walls and windows, and as far as possible from the stove.
- Defrost your chest freezer twice a year; upright freezers should be defrosted three times a year.
- Don’t overfill your fridge or freezer – only use 90% of its capacity.
- Stove and oven:
- When you cook in the oven keep the oven door closed until the food is done; opening the door unnecessarily causes heat loss and the oven has to use more energy to maintain the selected temperature.
- When cooking on your stove, match the pot with the size of the stove plate.
- If you have a stove with heavy solid plates that retain heat, switch off the plate a few minutes before removing the pot.
- Never use your stove for small tasks like boiling water for tea and coffee.
- Use your microwave for small and medium amounts of food. Using a microwave is quicker and cheaper than using an oven – one oven uses the same power as 18 microwaves.
- Place frozen food in the fridge to defrost – avoid defrosting food in the microwave.
- Use your pressure cooker or slow cooker to prepare meals that have to cook for a long time, such as stews and casseroles.
- Cut food into smaller pieces before cooking to help it cook faster.
- Small appliances:
- Use specialised appliances for specialised tasks, for instance, always make toast in a toaster and never in the oven.
- Only boil the amount of water in your kettle that you need for the number of cups of tea or coffee you are making.
- Dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer:
- Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. Use the economy programme wherever possible.
- Connect your dishwasher and washing machine to a cold tap.
- Avoid using your tumble dryer; when the weather is fine, hang washing on the line to dry.
- If you need to use the tumble dryer: clothes should never be placed in the tumble dryer while they are still dripping with water, so be sure to remove excess water first.
- Living rooms and bedrooms:
- Always switch off lights in unoccupied rooms. Use lighter lampshades as they will make the most of the energy.
- A considerable amount of electricity can be saved by replacing your conventional tungsten bulbs with compact-florescent lamps (CFLs). They are more expensive, but CFLs last eight times longer.
- Fit lower wattage bulbs wherever possible and avoid leaving spot lights on for too long, as they use more electricity.
- Unplug all appliances you are not using. Don’t leave computers, TVs, DVD players, ipads and cell phones on standby – if you do, these appliances use up to 50% of the power they normally use if they were actually on.
- Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to optimise natural light and postpone switching on artificial lighting until it gets dark.
- In summer:
- Open windows and doors to allow cool breezes to circulate through the house; delay switching on your air-conditioner.
- If you have to switch on the air-conditioner, keep it at a comfortable 23?C; ideally, the difference between inside and outside temperatures should not be more than 10?C.
- In winter:
- Delay switching on your space heater by dressing warmly, wearing a beanie and gloves, wrapping yourself in a blanket, putting a hot water bottle on your lap, and drinking your favourite hot drinks.
- When you do switch it on, make sure your space heater is controlled by a thermostat; this is a built-in device you can set to switch the space heater on and off at a predetermined temperature.
- Only use your space heaters in the rooms you and your family occupy – it costs you money to heat up an empty room.
- Curtains help to retain the heat, so draw them early in the evening.
- The swimming pool:
- If you have a swimming pool note that the pool filter pump is one of the largest consumers of electricity. So try to use the pump only when necessary. There are a number of timers available that can be fitted to the pump.
- During winter you can use the pool filter even less, as algae growth is limited, so the cleaning filter can be reduced to once every few days.
Saving on your electricity bill will surely help you cope with the extra financial pressure from higher electricity tariffs.
If you feel that you are drowning in your debt and cannot pay your monthly bills, speak to Debt Rescue today. We can help you.