Energy Efficiency Tips
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Becoming energy-efficient means using electricity more efficiently or in lower amounts – doing the same with less – either through behavioural change or using more energy-efficient devices and appliances, or a combination of both. Being more energy-efficient will allow you to save money on your electricity bill and reduce your carbon emissions by using less electricity.
Watch the video below to see how energy efficiency works:
As everyone’s energy use is different, an energy audit involves analysing your home or businesses’ energy use to determine what activities, devices and equipment are using the most energy. Following this, solutions that will have the biggest potential for reducing energy use can be identified.
These can be behavioural changes, like switching the lights off when you’re not in a room, or technological changes like switching from incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs to LED’s, or a combination of both.
While it can be quite easy to do a basic analysis and make some energy-saving changes yourself, energy efficiency companies can do a detailed energy audit and offer you solutions that can result in much lower energy use and much higher savings.
Below are some practical examples of what you can do to be energy efficient in your households and potential cost savings. Some of these examples apply to business and commercial users as well.
By developing the following smart energy habits in your household or business:
- Turning down the temperature of the geyser to 60º C can reduce a household electricity bill by 5%,
- Regularly turning off the lights in rooms that are not being used, turning off appliances and devices when not in use instead of using “sleep” or “stand-by” mode.
- Showering instead of bathing,
- Reducing your swimming pool pumping times
Start saving up to 30% or more on your electricity bill (low investment):
By taking the measures mentioned above as well as installing the following low-cost items (usually for less than R1 000):
- installing a geyser timer,
- insulating water pipes,
- wrapping the geyser in a geyser blanket,
- investing in LED light bulbs to replace fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.
Saving 50% or more on your energy bill would require investing in (a) installing energy-efficient appliances and equipment, for example, a solar water heater and / or heat pump, efficient heating, ventilation and cooling equipment, efficient washing machines, fridges etc. and/ or (b) making building alterations like installing additional insulation in the ceiling, installing roof awnings or overhangs to shade windows and / or (c) upgrading to a Solar PV system and taking other measures that in total will add up to substantial savings on your monthly electricity bill.
Heating water is often a large user of electricity in a building, and in residential buildings it can often be the largest user. You can get significant electricity savings from switching to a solar water heat and / or heat pump. Modern heat pumps can also be integrated with Heating, Ventilation and Cooling Systems to make them more energy-efficient.
It is common that once people have reduced their electricity use as much as possible through energy efficiency measures, they consider upgrading to a Solar PV system to generate much of the remaining electricity demand themselves.
If you’re renovating or building a home from scratch it is quite easy to incorporate green energy efficient measures to ensure you’ll save electricity and money.
Link to Green Building Council: https://gbcsa.org.za/
Each energy efficiency project will be different and requires a different combination of these solutions unique to that property and the nature of its use e.g. a residence or business. Energy efficiency and renewable energy companies can assist you in determining the optimal mix of solutions right for you.
For more handy tips, visit www.savingelectricity.org.za.
16 Ways to Save Electricity Infographic
Need more help?
All businesses can take a look at the Market Intelligence Reports (MIRs) developed in partnership with Greencape here.