Switch and Save Staff Competition
We should all be playing our part in reducing our province’s water and electricity usage. There are lots of ways to save water, electricity and money! To find out how our staff are saving water and electricity every day, the Energy Security Game Changer team ran the ‘Switch and Save’ competition.
Staff were encouraged to share their water and energy savings tips and stood a chance to win awesome resource efficient devices for their homes. The competition ran for six weeks with winners being announced on a weekly basis.
From the entries we received, it is encouraging to see the behavioural changes and investments staff have made to reduce their consumption of water and electricity. Below are a few of the winning entries.
To reduce his environmental footprint, Stephanus Serfontein has gone way beyond simply showering for 2 minutes and collecting the run-off water. In addition to his GeyserWise water controller (which controls temperature and heating time), he also installed solar panels to heat water, which has reduced his electricity usage. He can also wash his car, water the garden and flush toilets guilt-free because of the water tanks he has installed that have a total capacity of 8000l. The tanks have been filled despite the poor rainfall. To reduce the amount of water his garden needs, Stephanus has planted 90% indigenous drought-resistant plants and reduced the amount of grass on his property. The result is an impressive household water usage of only 1000l per month (34l per day).
Victoria Tully is water savvy with her portable and easy-to-use water activated shower timer. With a 7-year battery life, Victoria’s favourite device uses a traffic light system to time her family’s showers. According to Victoria, they love the 2-minute shower challenge with her 10-year-old racing to finish his shower before the amber traffic light comes on. Imagine how many 2-minute showers you can fit into 7 years?
Chris Maud has retrofitted his entire home. Monthly, he saves 90kWh of energy and 2kl of water using a pool cover, which also offers the benefit of heating the pool nicely in summer months. He also uses varied sizes of plastic bins able to catch up to 355l of rainwater which he reuses. After realising water catchment benefits, he installed a slimline Jojo tank which fills up after a day of rain, which can refill the pool. Three months after installing a geyser timer, he saved money on his electricity bill to re-pocket the purchase price and now saves up to 100kWh of energy monthly. Toilets are flushed using washing machine greywater, saving 30l a day and the washing machine is set to a 40l economic setting. Low-flow shower heads, LED and CFL light bulbs, and extra guttering add to his household saving! Chris’s total daily consumption includes 48l of water per adult (2 adults) and an electricity bill metered at 17 kWh
Estelle Lawrence and her partner, self-proclaimed ECO-warriors, do everything possible to save water. They take short showers over a bucket and use the water to flush the toilet, catch run off water with a pot in the sink to water plants, only use the dishwasher when its full, reduce their laundry loads and follow the popular “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” philosophy! Committed to reusing and recycling, Estelle has a solar bedside lamp, uses a wonderbag to cook, unplugs appliances when not in use, and times the geyser. As a team, they avoid using paper and plastic where possible, and compost their organic waste for their garden.
Thank you to all Western Cape Government staff for the effort put into saving resources.
If you have an innovative and inspiring tip to reduce water and electricity consumption at home or the office, share it with us via our Facebook page.