For many households, winter is usually an expensive time of the year when it comes to electricity costs. Most households tend to spend more on electricity during winter, but there are many cost-free ways to save.
Monitoring monthly energy consumption is one-way customers can save significantly. Whether a credit metering or a prepaid meter is used, know the tariff and keep track of how much electricity is used. It is important to be mindful of seasonal differences too as most homes use more electricity in winter.
Water-wise tips to save electricity
The biggest potential cost saver is the geyser.
Turn it off and only turn it on an hour or two as required per day. Turn the geyser down to 60°C. Turning your geyser down from 70˚C to 60˚C will see a 5% reduction in your hot water electricity bill.
Use less hot water. Tackle excessive use with more efficient habits:
Do not let the hot water run unnecessarily. Use cold water to wash hands instead of hot water. Use a basin plug when washing.
Shower instead of bathing. You will save up to 80% in water and use five times less electricity than heating bathwater if you take a short shower.
Electricity saving tips around the house
- Dry your laundry using sunshine where possible and try not to use the tumble dryer. For rainy days, use drying racks indoors.
- Replace regular bulbs with energy-saving ones, such as LEDs, that use six times less electricity.
- Seal gaps around windows and doors to keep heat from escaping and cold drafts from breezing in.
- When you switch off appliances at the wall, you could save up to 6% more electricity. Pull out the charger from the wall too, this adds to your savings.
Use a stove plate that’s most similar to the size of your pot.
An electric stove uses up to 40% of its heat when the pot is too small, which means you waste electricity. If you own an insulation cooker, bring your food to a boil then place it in there. The retained heat slow-cooks, saving up to 60% on energy.
Use warm water bottles instead of electric blankets to help keep electricity costs down.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti said that reducing a household’s energy does not have to be an expensive endeavour.
It is important to note the City’s new financial year starts on 1 July 2020, with associated small but necessary price increases.
The City will resume residential meter-reading at a lower Covid-19 restriction level. When the actual billing resumes, customers could, however, see an increase in electricity usage, as more people were home during the National Lockdown period. This increase could reflect on municipal bills, but using electricity smarter could help households reduce the impact of higher bills too.
Consider switching to prepaid electricity, as prepaid metering will allow for easier monitoring on a month to month basis. With real-time awareness of electricity usage when using a prepaid meter, customers could see substantial drops in their energy consumption.