Lowveld A-Z Catalogue – Autumn

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Create an Energy Efficient Home

With winter rapidly approaching and Eskom seemingly no closer to resolving its power supply issues, it’s time to think about living a more economical and energy efficient lifestyle.

Roger Bulgin from Mr. Power gives a 12-month plan to create an energy-efficient home.

GOOD TO KNOW
“Many home-owners feel overwhelmed by the perceived cost of becoming more energy efficient, which is why I suggest taking a methodical step-by-step approach that suits your budget, by tackling the greatest electricity guzzler first,” advises Roger.

HERE’S HOW:
•    Step 1 – define your budget
•    Step 2 – identify what uses the most electricity
•    Step 3 – create a roll-out plan for implementation
•    Step 4 – measure the return on investment
Divide the transformation into a step-by-step process, suggests the Mr. Power team:

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First Quarter: Geyser
The geyser uses up to 60% of the total electricity bill, so it’s best to tackle this first. When choosing a device to manage the geyser, bear in mind that there is a big difference between a controller and a timer. The controller checks for current during the pre-set time period whilst a timer continuously heats and reheats the geyser during the pre-set time period.

Lifestyle Changes:
Set the geyser thermostat at 65 degrees. Switch off lights and plug points. Avoid using the hot water tap wherever possible – for example, wash your hands using cold water.

Second Quarter: Lighting
Calculate the average number of hours the various lighting is on. Begin with the biggest energy-eating lights. Replace all these bulbs with LED lights. LED lighting has a low energy consumption, long life span and provide a variety of lighting ambience. They give a fuller spectrum of light and don’t attract insects.

Lifestyle changes:
Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85% of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
Place a brick in the cistern of your toilet – this reduces the amount of water used for a flush.

Third Quarter: Lighting and Showerhead
Use this quarter to continue the transformation to LED lighting throughout your home.
Install a water-efficient showerhead in your shower.  The average showerhead uses 12 – 14 litres of water per minute.

Lifestyle changes:
Don’t leave the tap running unnecessarily, for example when brushing your teeth. Ensure your oven door seals properly so that the heat doesn’t escape – a seal is inexpensive to replace.

Fourth Quarter: the Final Touches
Appliances and electronics consume approximately 20% of the energy in your home, so when it’s time to replace a tired or damaged appliance, look for a new appliance with good to excellent energy efficiency ratings.
Consider a Pool Pump Controller, which works in a similar way to the Geyser Controller.

Lifestyle changes:
Consider purchasing an energy saving kettle. When leaving to go on holiday, switch your geyser/s off and turn the setting down on your fridge.

Article courtesy of EasyDIY

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