- Many families are currently at home all day which means their electricity usage has increased.
- It’s important to be mindful of our electricity usage and save costs where we can.
- Small things like boiling the kettle less or switching to gas could go a long way.
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Many households’ electricity consumption has increased as people around the country are either working from home, learning from home or in quarantine as a result of the lockdown. In May it was widely reported that Eskom had been granted permission to increase electricity tariffs “after lockdown”. This will no doubt add to the financial woes caused by the pandemic.
The government provides a free basic electricity service of 50kWh per household on a monthly basis. They say this amount should be enough to provide basic lighting and water heating, among other small household activities. If this amount runs out, you either need to buy more electricity at your own expense or are charged at the end of the month for the additional usage.
Here are few ways you can try to lower your electricity use during the lockdown:
1. Turn off your geyser
Heating water consumes a lot of energy. Turn off your geyser during the day or at night and only switch it on for the amount of time it will take to heat up the necessary amount of water.
Trick: Wake up an hour early to switch on your geyser before you shower or bath. Switch it off an hour or two later.
2. Invest in alternative sources of energy
Gas is a great alternative. It lasts a bit longer, is cheaper than electricity and creates heat in an instant. Consider using gas for cooking or use a gas heater instead of an electrical heater.
3. Use your appliances less often
Consider other appliances in your home that use a lot of electricity and try to reduce the amount of time you use them.
- If you’re working from home, try to boil the kettle less often as it uses a lot of power. Boil a full kettle and fill up a flask that you can use throughout your day.
- Try to take shorter baths or showers.
- Try to cook in bulk so that you use your stove less frequently.
- Unplug chargers and any other rarely used appliances from their wall sockets and make sure wall sockets are switched off. Powertime advises that this could save you about 6% on your bill.
Read more | Meal planning and ways you can save on food
4. Turn off the lights
This is the oldest trick in the book and the easiest way to save electricity. According to Old Mutual, lighting accounts for about 17% of your electricity bill. It's important to remember to turn off the lights in any room that’s not in use.
These are just a few ways in which we can keep our electricity usage low during lockdown – and even after it.