How to save on your electricity bill

For most consumers, the monthly electricity bill is a paramount part of their monthly budget. There are many things one could do to lessen the blow and save on your electricity bill, like buying energy efficient devices for your home. Do not buy devices bigger than their intended use. Many forget that even though you have unplugged your cellular phone after charging, that the charger still consumes energy if left in the wall socket, even though the cellphone is unplugged. So switch off all plugs that are not being used to save on your electricity bill.

The biggest contributors to your electricity usage are the following:

Refrigerator (including chest freezers):

Try to place any cooling device in a place as cool as possible, away from any direct sunlight.

Check that the sealing gasket is still sealing properly.

Let food cool down before you place it in the fridge.

Defrost the freezer if there is a layer of ice.

Stove & Oven:

Use the right pots for the right size oven plates.

Where possible, try to use lids on the pots as often as cooking allows, as you will lose about 2/3 of the energy cooking without a lid.

Turn the stove off a few minutes before your reach your cooking time.

Choose a gas stove or induction cooker if you are buying a new stove.

Boil water with the kettle instead of the stove.

Dishwasher / Washing machine & Tumble dryer:

Always make the device as full as possible when using these appliances.

Reduce the temperature on the device and/or change to water saving modes.

Whenever possible, wash with cold water.

Dry your wet clothes on a laundry line instead of the tumble dryer.

Air Conditioner:

You need 3 times more energy per degree to cool a room than to heat a room in the house.

Keep windows and doors closed during the day and ventilate the rooms at night to store coolness for the day.

General Tips:

You can save on your electricity bill by using other energy sources than electricity in your home, like natural gas, propane or heating oil. Though electric heating is more efficient, it is definitely more costly.

Change all your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. They last far longer than regular ones and consume a lot less electricity. They do cost a little more, but given the facts of lasting longer and being more consumer efficient, it will be worth it in the long run. If however you want to keep using the regular bulbs, consider using a lower powered bulb. A 100 watt light bulb used for a quarter of the day, will cost about R230 per year (.12/kWh rate).

Turn off all household appliances like television sets and computers when it is not being used. Most computers can be set to energy saving mode.

Turn off lights when you aren’t in a room.

Remember that larger televisions use more electricity and plasma draws three times as much power as an LCD one.

The continuous rise of electricity prices over the past couple of years has made consumers more aware of energy saving and how to use it most effectively. A lot of wastage goes into what is called ‘phantom’ electricity usage.  Phantom electricity is electricity used by appliances and equipment while they are switched off or not performing their primary function. It is also caused by circuits that continue to be energized even when the device is switched “off”.  While a single appliance device consume very little electricity annually, when multiplied by all the products in your home, the amount turns into a rather significant number. Reduce this by using a switchable power strip to regulate a range of appliances.

The key is that once you know exactly what’s drawing electricity in your home or office, you can start doing something about it and save on your electricity bill.





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