Save money on electricity this winter

With winter fast approaching, and energy prices increasing, it’s a good idea to think of ways to save electricity. Here are a few tips:

  • If you simply must use an electric blanket, switch it on high to warm the bed then switch it off completely when you get into bed.
  • You probably don’t want to switch off your geyser — but consider reducing the thermostat temperature. Turn it down to about 60°C. Even if your geyser is SABS-approved, don’t assume the insulation is ideal. Does it feel warm to the touch? If so, heat’s being lost, so you may want to install a geyser blanket. Try a hardware store or a specialist supplier such as Geezerduvet or Ileadgeysers. You should pay R300 and upwards for a good blanket, depending on size.
  • Showering uses less water than bathing. According to Eskom, 12cm of hot water in a bath represents half the content of a 3 000W geyser; about 4kW of electricity is needed to heat it, costing about 60c.
  • Before you switch on your heater, try jumping up and down to get your blood pumping, then putting on layers of warm clothing. Still cold? Fill a hot-water bottle. An old-fashioned rug or blanket will also keep you cosy. Best of all, you’re saving money.
  • Insulate your ceiling, since heat generated in your home typically escapes through your ceiling. Older homes and cheaply built newer homes often don’t have insulation in the roof. Ideally, opt for eco-friendly insulation, which is made from recycled materials. A number of ceiling insulation contractors can be found online, but do try to obtain a recommendation, or ensure that your contractor is a member of the Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa (TIASA).

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information.

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