Load shedding and higher energy prices are having an impact on many households in the country, thefore means that South African consumers need to do everything in their power to reduce pressure on both the grid and their pockets.
Budget Insurance spokesperson Susan Steward said: “Price hikes and load shedding have had a significant impact on all of us. Through a few relatively simple and practical changes to the way they use electricity, consumers can help to keep the lights on and save a substantial amount of money in the process.”
Here are tips that will take the pressure off the grid and help you save money:
Make the switch
Change to energy-efficient light bulbs. Although they may be more expensive, energy-efficient light bulbs use substantially less electricity and last longer.
Out with the old
Getting rid of large appliances such as a fridge can seem counter-productive if you are trying to save money but newer fridges are more energy efficient which could save you more in the long run.
“Appliances are graded from A to G on their efficiency, with A being the most efficient and G being the least,” Steward said.
Choose low-consumption alternatives
Simple ways that you can save energy and money include taking a shower instead of a bath or making use of the microwave instead of the stove or oven to cook.
Instead of using the air conditioner, people can open their windows or they can keep their windows and doors closed if they want to retain heat instead of using heaters
Get into the habit of saving
Make sure that the members of your household turn off any lights and appliances that are not being used.
Smart plugs can be set to switch off your appliances. Smart plugs generally have a companion app that will allow you to set preferences and time schedules. You can manually switch off these plugs when they are not being used.
Time for timers
According to Steward, timers or smart switches for things like geysers or security lights will help you to only consume electricity at specific times.
Plan for the long-term
Some of the bigger ways to cut down on electricity usage should be considered as part of a longer-term investment and cost-saving exercise.
“This includes putting in solar panels, switching electricity-run stoves and ovens for gas and replacing air conditioning with ceiling fans and fireplaces. A pre-paid electricity meter will also allow people to monitor power consumption,” Steward said.