You could be in Durban, Cape Town or Johannesburg. This affects us all. Cut down your electricity consumption or be prepared for black-outs this winter. The warning came from none other than Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. With several of Eskom’s power stations undergoing maintenance and repairs, the power situation is likely to remain grim in the absence of normal output. The planned maintenance is stated to last for 120 days. The electricity tariff has already gone up by 8 percent, which has the potential to disturb energy budgets of many unless the consumption is brought down. Energy production is also likely to take a hit with problems in coal supply.
The minister has called for maximum possible reduction in consumption to beat the possible load shedding this winter. The following are a few tips on how to reduce the consumption and boost the utilization efficiency.
- Almost all homes run geysers during the winter. It accounts of 40 percent of total electricity consumed by household appliances. Install solar geysers wherever possible. Set the geysers at 60°c and heat water only when required. Use insulated blankets to cover the geysers and its pipes. Also cut down the use of hot water. You can save up to 67 percent energy by following this.
- Use energy-saving CFL or LED bulbs. The second one helps save 80 percent on your electricity consumption. Install motion-sensor security lights so that there will be no need to keep light on at night.
- Use washing machines at the full capacity and less frequently. Reduce use of hot water while washing clothes.
- Switch off wall connection of your appliances and never keep appliances on standby. Never use appliances, such as TVs and computers, simultaneously. Use energy efficient appliances. Judiciously use the prewash facility.
- By changing kitchen habits, you can reduce your electricity consumption. Boil the amount of water that you need. Turn off your hot plate 5 minutes before the food is cooked. The utensils retain enough heat to do that. Don’t pack your refrigerator to the brim.
- For room heating purposes, install state-of-the-art heating systems that give 100 percent coverage at 70 percent capacity. Ensure the floor heating systems have built-in thermostats that switch off the equipment after a set heat level. Insulate ceilings to reduce heat loss. Blankets should be used more frequently.
More advice and tips can be found here