The risk of power outages is high and we are asking all South Africans to switch off all non-essential electrical equipment immediately
BY KATHY EAST
Probably one of the most disconcerting messages we wish to read. Yet power outages are a reality, and sadly experienced by every South African at some stage. Whatever our sentiments regarding whether the situation could have been avoided or not, we all need to adhere to this request to save electricity, at home or in the office. It does not matter where we live, our occupation or in what financial situation we are, we must all comply urgently in the most effective way.
Some basic ideas where we could instantly and easily assist the power grid:
- Geyser blankets
- Geyser timers
- Light timers
- Forming a habit to switch lights off as we exit a room
- Only use your tumble dryer if essential
- Use gas appliances where possible
- Solar heating
- Ceiling and other insulation. According to www.cleaningspecialists.co.za they bring to our attention the following regarding insulation:
- Proper insulation will keep a house cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Make sure you find out how the insulation material was manufactured and that it is safe.
- Insulation also helps improve the acoustics of a home.
- Wooden frames in buildings are better insulators than steel ones.
From the Eskom website, regarding solar water heating programme:
The government has set a target for renewable energy to contribute 10 000 giga watt hours (GWh) of final energy. Solar water heating could contribute up to 23% towards this target.
Solar power is one of the most effective renewable energy sources available. By implementing it in water heating, we can target one of the most power-intensive household activities for maximum power saving effect.
To actively encourage and promote the widespread implementation of solar water heating, Eskom has rolled out a large-scale solar water heating programme. This programme will assist you when buying an SABS tested solar water heater to replace your conventional geyser.
In addition to the rebate that you will receive upon installation of solar water heating, many insurance companies are now allowing you to put your claim value towards a solar system or are offering solar water heaters as replacement in the event of a burst geyser.
Managing your energy consumption at home
All electricity consumers play a crucial role in achieving energy efficiency in South Africa.
By looking closely at how you use electricity and taking steps to save power where you can, by controlling the use of your appliances, it is actually quite easy to conserve energy, saving you money at the same time.
- If you’re not using an appliance, switch it off.
- A geyser uses 39% of all household electricity; switch it off to save electricity and money.
- Insulate geysers and water pipes as this will help the water to stay hot for longer. Reduce the maximum temperature setting for your geyser/ thermostat, to 60ºC and instead of a long bath rather shower, as showers use less water and energy. Energy and water-saving shower heads use less water and electricity.
- Use energy saving globes (CFLs) instead of incandescent bulbs.
- Don’t leave TVs, DVD players and other electrical equipment in stand-by mode – rather switch them off completely.
- The same can be said for plug points and adaptors that hold cell phone chargers or bed side bulbs.
- To save money in your kitchen close fridge doors as quickly as possible when taking items out – do not leave the door open for longer than necessary.
- Keep room temperatures between 18ºC and 23ºC and wear warm clothes and use hot water bottles and avoid using heaters.