Bright ideas for saving electricity.
We do have an electricity supply shortage, especially with the recent strike. But if everyone does their part, we’ll have less load-shedding in the dark of night.
You also really, really want to keep those bills down – for one thing, you’ll have more disposable income to visit our district and spoil yourself at places like Sandton City or Nelson Mandela Square. So, we’re presenting a few tips to help you (and the country) save electricity. You’re helping your country as well as your wallet – you’re a patriot! (Flag not included.)
Let the old geyser rest.
Just like a ‘geezer’, the geyser could use a regular nap. It’s possibly your single biggest expense. The way to do it? Switch it off just before everyone heads out to work or school. Then switch it on again mid-afternoon. Even with these temperatures, the water should still be warm (if not hot) in the geyser itself – and switching it back on again means by evening time, there’s water for showering and bathing again. Over the period of a month, the savings will be astronomical.
Hot tip: keep a magnetic note on the fridge to remind you to switch on the geyser again.
Skip the dishwasher.
Your dishwasher doesn’t just wash. Most have a dry heater function too. You could disable that, and then let your crockery and cutlery air-dry. In Johannesburg, it shouldn’t take long, considering how dry our winter Highveld air. Alternatively, wash dishes yourself – it seems like a chore, but make it a social activity. If you wash, and your partner dries, you have another opportunity to bond. Talk about your day, the latest movies, discuss what to watch on Showmax or Netflix, it will make the “activity” fly by.
That’s a reference to the mythical monsters of old. Eastern European legendary creatures that drained the blood from their victims, and you have some in your home too. They just aren’t into haemoglobins. It’s electricity they’re after. Silently sucking power, cent by cent, Rand by Rand. Who are they? The usual suspects: the terrible TV; the dastardly DVD player; the demented desktop computer; the heinous hi-fi; the venomous video game console. Why? They’re all in stand-by mode, connected to your mains. Because they’re designed for quick convenience when you want them, they’re not truly ‘off’, but in sleep mode. Yes, we know it’s terribly inconvenient to have to unplug them every time you’re done. But the least you can do is switch them off at the mains when you go to bed. You’re not likely to be gaming or listening to music as you get ready for the work day. So, switching the switch on again once a day isn’t so bad.
Lighten your electricity bill with LED.
These days, hardly anyone uses incandescent lighting. Those watts are way too high. For a lifespan that’s way too low. It’s mainly compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, that we light up now.
(Fun fact: CFLs operate using a dangerous chemical, mercury. If you drop and break one, keep the kids and pets well clear, and remember you’re dealing with a highly toxic substance. For instructions on what to do to avoid mercury poisoning of any household members, view this.
There is a much safer and more energy efficient way of lighting the house. It’s the same thing that’s lighting up the computer monitor you’re reading this article with: LED. Light-emitting diode uses less wattage than even CFLs for comparable lumens. (A lumen is a unit used describe quantity of visible light.)
You can save as much as 75% energy usage when switching from incandescent lighting to LED (if you were too concerned about health issues with CFLs). And as much as 5 watts per blub or lamp if moving from CFLs to LEDs. Since LEDs are increasing in their availability, there’s no reason not to.
Spread the love.
Finally, our suggestion for turning off the heater might make you frown. That seems like a non-negotiable, right? Well, the human body generates a lot of heat… So, winter is a great time to make your humans in the house your hot water bottle… especially under a duvet while watching TV. For good measure, get a duvet with goose down inside. Natural insulation plus warm comfort from the ones you love should be enough to get you through the long winter nights. Without the need to turn on the heater.