Run your Household Efficiently to Save Money
As South African consumers grapple with an increased cost of living due to a higher VAT rate and hiking petrol prices, there is another cost that has left many finding it more difficult to save or make ends meet each month.
Have you recently opened up your electricity bill only to find that it is much more than you expected? If so, this is because new electricity tariff hikes have recently come into effect after the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), granted Eskom a tariff increase of 5.2 % for 2018-19.
This increase, although much lower than the amount Eskom initially applied for, still weighs heavy on the wallets of many South Africans. Fortunately, unlike VAT and petrol costs, electricity costs can be significantly reduced if you follow certain procedures in your home that have the potential to save you several hundreds every month.
The Optimum Temperature
Did you know that your geyser is the most energy-consuming appliance in your home? On average, it takes-up between 25% - 40% of the total amount on an electricity bill. In order to reduce this, you will need to lower its thermostat temperature so it consumes less energy. Usually, the temperature on a geyser will be set at around 70°C, however, it is recommended that you adjust it between 55°C and 65°C. Even a small change of 10°C less can reduce your electricity bill by 5%. Once you start using your geyser efficiently you can generate small savings which will make a huge difference in the long-term. Using the same concept, you can also adjust the energy consumption in your fridge to ensure that it doesn't consume too much energy. The recommended temperature is 3°C; any lower will consume more electricity.
Energy Efficient Labels
The Department of Energy has taken steps to help you purchase more energy efficient appliances. According to the Appliance Standards and Labeling Regulations, a number of appliances have to be labeled with a South African Energy Efficiency Label. This is designed to provide accurate and comparable details of the energy efficiency of household appliances. With this information, you can now purchase appliances that will use less energy, and therefore, reduce your electricity bill. For example, in the case of an oven, the most efficient models are labeled as A+++ (green) and the least efficient ones are labeled as D (red).
The Right Balance
Fridge and freezers can be packed in a certain way to ensure that energy is used wisely. Respectively, these appliances work best when it is at least two-thirds and three-quarters full. The science behind this is simple. If your fridge or freezer is relatively empty, this will allow a lot of chilled air to escape when it is opened. Once this happens, warm air enters and this means that more energy will be used to convert the warm air into cold air. If it is not feasible or practical to utilise empty spaces with food items, you can instead use airtight bottles filled with water. On the other hand, you cannot overfill these appliances either as this also increases energy demand due to a restrain in air circulation. The key is to pack your fridge and freezer as recommended.
Small everyday changes you make around your home can result in big savings. Ensure that you switch off any unused appliances, lights or technological devices when they are not in use. This can save you up to 15 percent or more on your electricity bill. If you use an air conditioner regularly, it is advised that you keep it at 23˚C, or alternatively, if it is a breezy day, you can use it less by opening your windows and doors to allow cool air to circulate throughout you home.
With the cost of living increasing, it is vital to save where you can by altering the way you run your household. Taking the first steps to use energy wisely will gradually become a habit and this can bring about modest savings each month, and even bigger savings over the years.
Author: Dormehl Phalane Property Group