ENERGY SAVING TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR MONTHLY ELECTRICITY BILL
There are a number of ways that you and your family can use electricity more efficiently and less wastefully. These electricity saving tips can lower your electricity consumption thereby reducing your electricity bill. Three of the main consumers of electricity are geysers, stoves and heaters.
1. Geyser Energy Saving Tips
Your Geysers is most probably the largest consumer of electricity in your home.
- Do not set your geyser too high, 55-60 degrees Celsius is recommended.
- Check that hot water taps are not leaking and are closed properly.
- Take a shower instead of a bath. Do not use more hot water than necessary when taking a bath.
- Do not use the hot water tap for small quantities of water.
- Use cold water for cooking purposes. If hot water is required, use a kettle
- Do not wash dishes under running water from the hot water tap. Wash glass and cutlery first and then pots and pans to avoid soiling he water.
- If you are going away for a period longer than two days, switch your geyser off. When you return, switch it back on and allow for a reasonable warm-up time period before requiring hot water.
- Double insulate the geyser and all steel pipes to and from the geyser with fiberglass or carpet underfelt.
- If you are installing a new geyser insist on having it installed as near as possible to the bath.
Sticking contacts on a thermostat will cause the heating element on a geyser to operate continually instead of only when required. To check that the thermostat on the geyser is not sticking in the “on” position, switch off all circuit breakers on the electricity distribution board except the geyser circuit breaker and observe your electricity meter. It should only rotate for about five to six minutes in every hour unless hot water was consumed during the previous two hours.
2. Stove Energy Saving Tips
- Electric frying pans and microwaves use less electricity than a stove.
- Pressure cookers and stackable pots use less electricity than standard pots.
- Match pots to your stove plates. A small pot on a big plate wastes heat and electricity and vice versa. Always use lids on pot where possible.
- Do not use pots with distorted bottoms, they require more heat.
- Turn the heat down as soon as stove plate is hot, as high temperatures is only required at the start of cooking.
- Turn your stove off just before cooking is done.
- Do not use your oven to make toast. A bread toaster uses far less energy.
- Do not use your oven to heat the kitchen.
- Avoid using the oven for a single dish at a time.
- Switch off when not in use.
3. Heaters Energy Saving Tips
- Make sure that all doors and windows are sealed when using heaters. Allow for enough ventilation of rooms.
- Bar heaters use more electricity than oil heater. Use a gas heater instead.
4. Lightning Energy Saving Tips
- Fluorescent lights use less energy and provide more light than ordinary bulbs. One 80 watt fluorescent tube provides the same light as a 150 watt light bulb
- Use a bulb with as low a wattage as possible.
- Switch off lights when not needed. Enquire about having dimmer-type switches fitted in place of normal light switches.
- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) use far less electricity than a normal globe and should be considered for rooms when lights are left on for long periods. The initial capital costs can be recovered over the life of the lamp which is usually 10 times longer than a normal globe.
5. Fridges and Freezes Energy Saving Tips
- Ensure that fridge doors seals are in good condition.
- Do not open the fridge doors unnecessarily or leave it open when not in use.
- Do not put hot food or liquids in the fridge.
- Defrost your fridge regularly as a heavy ice build up increases the running costs.
- Place your refrigerator and/or freezer in the coolest place possible and as far away from any heating elements especially the stove.
- Test for worn seals by placing a piece of paper half in and half out of the door then close the door. If the paper can be withdrawn easily its time to have the seals renewed.
6. Washing Machines and Dishwasher Energy Saving Tips
- You can use your washing machine and dishwasher less frequently if you wash as close to a full load as possible. Avoid using machine for small wash loads.
- If you have an automatic washing machine, do not set a wash program that exceeds your actual washing requirement. Use a shorter wash program.
- Using cold water detergents will also reduce your electricity usage.
- Remember, only exceptionally soiled clothing requires hot water.
7. Pool Filters Energy Saving Tips
- Keep your pool filter clean at all times.
- Ensure that there are not leaks in the filtering system, as this will not only result in the use of more electricity but also damage the filter pump motor.
- Operate filter pumps for minimum periods, 8 hours a day is all that is required in summer. During winter, algae growth is slower and the use of the filter can be limited to once every few days. Pool owners should experiment in this regard.
8. General Energy Saving Tips
- Do not buy larger or more powerful items of electrical apparatus than you really need.
- Do not be tempted to buy an apparently cheaper appliance, but rather buy on the basis of capital cost plus operating costs. A cheap appliance can use a lot more electricity in the long run.
- Buy fabrics and garments which can be washed in cold water, are drip dry and therefore don’t need ironing.
- Use the right appliance for the right job.
- Don’t make toast in the oven.
- Don’t use flat irons (or broken irons) heated up on hotplates.
- Do not leave appliances on when not in use, especially hotplates and electric irons.
Electrical power is measured in units of watts or kilowatts (1 kilowatt equals 1.000 watts)
The power rating of equipment or appliances is normally indicated on the item, for example, a 100 watt light bulb or a 3.000 watt (or 3kw) water geyser.
The higher the power rating of equipment or appliance the more electricity it will consume over a given period.
The diagram below indicates the amount of power that different electrical appliances use:
|Appliance | 10 = 100 Watt||Wattage|
|2 Plate stove and oven together||3000|
|Washing Machine – Heated||2000|
|Kettle (1500 – 3000W)||2000|
|Iron (600 – 2000W)||1500|
|Heater – Ceramic/Capil||1400|
|Heater – Panel||800|
|Lights (Average 10 * 75W)||800|
|Washing Machine – Not Heated||600|
|Hair Drier (400 – 1000W)||600|