Switch off

2017-05-31 06:05

AS winter makes its presence felt and the cost of keeping warm certainly does not get any cheaper electricity consumers need to look at ways to save electricity.

First - a description of how the costs are worked;

Electricity is measured in units of power called watts (W)

1000 watts = 1 kilowatt (kW)

1 kilowatt hour (kWh) = 1000W or 1kW working for one hour

Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours, and on your electricity bill each kilowatt hour is shown as one unit.

For example, a 1kW kitchen appliance uses one unit of electricity an hour. A 100 watt light bulb uses one unit of electricity every 10 hours. Usually the rating is shown on the appliance, the higher the rating, the more electricity it will use.

Appliances left on standby mode can use up to the equivalent of leaving a 100W light bulb all year. Appliances which use power, but can be switched off are battery and phone charges, microwaves, computers, TVs, DVD players, decoders, hi-fi’s, game consoles, rechargeable toothbrushes, etc. There are some appliances that do, however, need to be powered all the time such as; home security systems, remote controlled gates and garage doors .

Check the label

Before you buy a new appliance, check the energy efficiency rating, which is rated on a scale from A (most efficient) to G, least efficient). A-rated appliances are better for the environment and cost much less to run.

Tips for reducing energy around the house as follow:

Use a kettle to boil water for cooking as it is quicker and uses less energy than a pot on the hob. Only fill it with the amount needed.

Always match the size of the pan with the size of the stove plate.

Use a microwave to cook, one oven uses the same power as 18 microwaves.

Make your toast in a toaster, not under the grill.

Put a full load of washing in the washing machine.

If you have a stove with solid plates, switch off the plate a few minutes before removing the pot.

When you open your fridge door for more than a moment, it loses cold air.

Do not place hot food in the refrigerator or the deep freeze.

Every time you switch on your dishwasher, it’s the same as switching on 120 CFL energy-saving light bulbs. Wait until the dishwasher is full before you switch it on.

Clothes should never be placed in the tumble dryer while they are still dripping with water.

In most homes, lighting accounts for around 17% – 20% of the electricity bill. A considerable amount of electricity can be saved by replacing your conventional tungsten bulbs with compact-florescent lamps (CFLs).

Turn off the lights that you don’t need.

Fit lower wattage bulbs where possible.

Switch the TV off when not in use the same goes for the hi-fi’s and computers.

Rather use a gas heater or a temperature-controlled oil heater for space heating and switch of the heater if you leave the room.

Shower instead of bathing.

Fit low-flow shower heads, this will not only save water, but electricity too. A geyser blanket will insulate your geyser not allowing the heat to escape. To save even further, insulate the water pipes and turn the geyser’s thermostat down to 60°C. Fix any dripping taps, especially hot water taps.

The swimming pool filter pump is one of the largest consumers of electricity. So try to use the pump only when necessary. There are a number of timers available that can be fitted to the pump.

During winter you can use the pool filter even less, as algae growth is limited, so the cleaning filter can be reduced to once every few days.

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