Saving Tips - Residential Users
Where to save electricity
- Efficient lighting
- Improved insulation
- Efficient cooking methods
- Choice of efficient appliances
- Improved residential load management
- Geyser and other load control. (Example - swimming pool pump).
- Insulate the geyser
Every household in South Africa can save electricity and money through the efficient use of energy electricity by implementing the following practices in the home:
- Hot water system (geyser)
- Electric stove
- Space heating
- Microwave ovens
- Small appliances
- Automatic washing machine
- Tumble dryers
Did you know?
- It takes a 3kW, 150l hot water cylinder (HWC), or geyser, element to heat the water from 20 ºC to 65 ºC in the order of 2 hours 40 minutes and consumes about 7.838kWh and at an average cost of 35c/kWh which amounts to R 2.74.
- It does not make a difference if the increase of temperature is from 1 ºC to 2 ºC or from 60 ºC to 61 ºC, the necessary energy and the length of time will stay the same.
- To heat 150l of water by 45 ºC (from 20 ºC to 65 ºC) with a 9kW HWC element will cost the same as with a 3kW HWC element. The 9kW element will just take a third of the time the 3kW element would take.
- With a normal HWC and 4 metre of hot water pipe, the losses are R40.12 (at 35c/kWh) per 30-day month. This is the cost to have hot water on standby. Each type of HWC and type of pipe will have different losses. The horizontal HWC has more losses than the same volume vertical HWC.
- The average losses, in the hot water cylinder and 4 metre of hot water pipe, for a thermostat setting of 70°C is 3.821kWh per day and that of a thermostat setting of 60°C is 3.058kWh per day. The homeowner, lowering the thermostat setting, can achieve the difference in losses of 0.763kWh per day, or R8.01 per 30-day month. To put this saving value in perspective, we use a family consuming 1,200 kWh per month. The saving on the monthly account is then only 1.9%. The higher the monthly consumption, the lower the percentage saving will be. On average, the HWC consumes 40% of the total home's consumption. The lowering of the temperature, from 70°C to 60°C reduces the cost of supplying hot water with 4.8%. CAUTION: You may run out of hot water if you lower the temperature, because you will use more water from the HWC to achieve the same task. If you install additional insulation, you will save more AND keep the HWC temperature higher, without experiencing cold water.
- If you install an additional layer of insulation (50mm insulation for example) around the cylinder and pipes, the losses can be reduced by 51.2%, without reducing the thermostat temperature. This is R 18.08, or 4.9%, per month of the sample family's account of 1,200kWh per month. Again, this reduces the cost of supplying hot water (40% of total consumption) to only 12.2%.
- NO gadget, or additional control or anything else can save more than additional insulation. The only exception is if the homeowner pays for electricity on a time of use tariff or if the homeowner installs a solar water heater.
- To reduce hot water consumption one can make use of water conserving showerheads, self-closing hot water taps or mixing valves and flow restrictors and aerators in sink taps.
Solar Water Heating
- install a geyser blanket,
- turn down the thermostat to 60 degrees C,
- insulate at least the first 1,5m of hot water outlet pipes and 1 meter of the cold water pipes,
- use less hot water,
- water heating accounts for 30% - 50% of the electricity consumed by an average household. One option for a household is to install a solar water heater which can reduce that number by at least 70%, depending on the system selected.
Did you know?
Solar water heating also benefits the environment significantly. A 150l solar water heater will replace in the order of 4.5kWh/day of electricity which can save an estimated 2 tons of carbon emissions per year.
- To optimize energy savings and hot water from your solar water heater, install aerated shower heads to minimize hot water consumption.
- Insulation to hot water piping will minimize heat losses and reduce the requirement for electrical back up power.
- Savings can further be maximized by using hot water in the evening rather than the morning as far as possible. This includes showering/bathing at night rather than the morning.
- In general, showering uses far less water than bathing.
- use compact fluorescent lights lamps (CFL) instead of ordinary bulbs,
- switch lights off,
- use low-energy lamps for exterior lighting and
- do not install multiple lights on a single switch
- use a pressure cooker when preparing foods that take a long time to cook,
- buy a stove with a convection oven,
- keep oven doors closed until food is cooked,
- bring foods to the boil on ''high'' setting but turn down to simmer until cooked,
- clean stove plate reflectors and
- make sure that pots and pans completely cover the stove plates
- Don't open the door unnecessarily,
- make sure the seal is intact,
- turn off empty refrigerator when going on holiday,
- let hot food cool down before placing them in the refrigerator,
- defrost your refrigerator regularly,
- store foods apart on refrigerator shelves
- infrared heaters electricity are more efficient,
- An oil filled heater is the safest type of heater,
- use electric blankets, but turn them off when in bed
- use the correct heaters,
- insulate the ceiling and seal air gaps in the home
- fill dishwasher completely before operating,
- turn off before drying cycle and wipe dishes clean with a dry cloth,
- connect dishwasher to cold water supply,
- clean filters
- freezers work harder to remove heat and have to use more power.
- Only one-tenth of a freezer's capacity should be used for freezing.
- Defrost regularly
- defrost food in the refrigerator instead of the microwave oven-it is more economical,
- Use a microwave oven to cook small to medium quantities of food
- To cook larger portions of meat, it is better to use a conventional oven;
- Compare cooking times (keep pressure cooker in mind)
use toasters, electric grills and skillets, slow cookers, electric pots and bottle warmers which usually require less energy than the stove, use an electric kettle to boil water, not a saucepan or microwave oven
11. Automatic washing machine:
- a front loading washing machine uses less water and costs less to operate,
- use the warm water setting to cut down on energy needed to heat the water,
- make sure your load is full before washing
- those with an electronic humidity control are the most efficient.
- They automatically shut off the drying cycle when clothes are dry,
- compact dryers are economical.,
- Use correct temperature settings to minimise the amount of electricity used,
- remove water before putting clothes into the tumble dryer,
- utilise sunny days for drying clothes outside
- Use a thermostatically controlled iron.
- switch the iron off once it has reached the correct temperature and complete the ironing on stored energy,
- use distilled water in steam irons,
- turn the iron off when you are not using it,
- by removing clothing promptly from the dryer and folding them carefully, many items will require no ironing,
- iron low temperature fabrics first to reduce warm-up time
- insulate the ceiling,
- seal air gaps in the home,
- make use of the home's material (such as concrete, brick and tiles) to adjust temperatures instead of using a heater or cooling appliances (for example: a concrete floor absorbs more heat than a floor covered by carpeting).
- make use of thermal insulation, the invisible energy saver.
- Don't fill the kettle
- boil enough according to your need.
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