ANOTHER ENERGY ALTERNATIVE: GAS
According to experts, geysers, stoves and fridges use up the most electricity in a household. While solar PV systems and generators are an option, gas may be another alternative you could consider. This will not only help you when there is load-shedding, but also results in less electricity being used when electricity is available.
According to Petrus Shivambu, marketing and CSC manager at Easigas, the most common household appliances people use gas for are gas stoves, geysers, braais and heaters.
Asked how much gas it would take to keep all the above appliances running during load-shedding, he responds: “It ’s fairly difficult to estimate without the exact usage patterns, however, installation of two 48kg gas cylinders for a house is popular and sufficient.”
Depending on where you buy it, this amount of gas could cost you between R2 500 and R3 500 including the gas cylinders. Once the cylinders are empty, most suppliers allow you to return them and get your cylinder deposit back.
While gas i s an option, i t has been reported that there are shortages in gas supply due to constraints at oil refineries.
“Demand for LP [liquefied petroleum] gas increases during winter months, supply get stretched during this period. If we have planned or unplanned refinery shutdowns, shortages in supply is experienced in the industry. However, Easigas imports LP gas in order to meet its customer requirements and cover the supply shortages,” he says.
For safety reasons, it is vital that consumers ensure their gas is installed by the right person. “Buy your gas from an authorised gas dealer – not from ‘rogue gas fillers’ – your gas installation must be done by an authorised gas installer. Get your gas appliances regularly checked for leaks according to the user manual,” Shivambu advises.