Ways to cut down electricity usage
AS the winter chill starts to bite, so does the electricity bill. The good news is that there are some smart, cheap ways to keep the lights on and save money in the process.
Besides heaters, the other household appliance that consume a large amount of electricity there is the geyser, and in winter, its ‘appetite’ grows.
You see, as your geyser heats up to the set temperature, the surrounding cold air sucks the heat away. This is a part of the natural law of thermodynamics. This means that your geyser is going to work even harder to keep that water hot. As such, it will come on more often and for longer. This is going to cost you more money at the end of the month.
Craig Berman, MD of Saving Energy, shares some clever energy efficient saving tips that will save you money this winter...
Get a geyser timer fitted This simple device controls when your geyser switches on and off, and more importantly, it’s aligned to your water usage patterns to maximise savings achieved.
For example, many of us shower in the mornings around 7am, and then again at night around 8pm after bathing the kids who also need hot water. If this is the case in your household, your geyser doesn’t need to be running when you’re not home.
By programming the timer to heat the water when you need it, you can save around 15 percent to 18 percent on your monthly electricity costs.
To get the timing right, you’d need to set the timer to come on at 4am and switch off at 6am, for example. Later on, you can have it switch on for one hour from 11am to 12pm, and again from 4pm to 6pm, all while staying off peak demand.
By adding an extra layer of insulation around your geyser, you prevent standing heat loss, which is subsequently redirected into the hot water. A geyser blanket will add about an 8 percent to 10 percent savings on your electricity costs, and this will along with the timer provide the cheapest and most cost effective way to reduce your monthly electricity costs, by as much as 30 percent.
Turn your geyser down Once you have fitted a timer and blanket, ask the installers to turn your thermostat down to around 58 °C or so. Most homeowners have their thermostats set too high — this is an excessive and unnecessary cost.
Add a water and energy sav
ing shower head Adding a high quality energy and water saving shower head will cut your water usage by half.
An average shower uses 20 litres of water per minute. So a 5 minute shower will consume 100 litres of water, of which 40 litres will be hot water. If four people shower, that’s 160 litres of hot water and 240 litres of cold water.
An energy and water saving shower head will cut that water usage to just nine litres per minute, saving you a lot of water and electricity. With a low flow regulator built in to the shower head, you can now have a great shower experience, and save water and electricity at the same time.
Get an energy efficient dryer In winter, especially on those cold and wet days, we tend to turn to our tumble dryers to dry our clothes.
A standard tumble dryer can use around 3 300 watts or 3.3 kwh of power an hour and, if you use it a few times a week, you may need to take out a second mortgage to pay your water and lights bill at the end of the month.
There is a better way to dry your clothes, and that’s with a spindel.
Spinning at more than 2.5 times the rate of a normal washing machine and dryer, the spindel removes most of the moisture in your clothes and only uses a 65th of energy needed for one tumble dryer cycle.
Once you take the clothes out of the spindel, they only need about three minutes in the tumble dryer or half an hour on a washing line in the sun. All of these energy savers will not only keep you warm and cut your electricity costs this winter, but leave you smiling when you get your monthly statement.