With the recent rainfall and the sudden cold spell that followed, South Africans were once again confronted with those dreaded two words:
Load Shedding –
And it’s not even winter yet.

In South Africa a staggering 90% of our electricity supply is being produced by coal-fired power stations.  Because of our rich mineral reserves, coal-fired electricity is, for now, a cheap way for us to produce electricity. Furthermore, coal mining creates a large number of jobs and contributes greatly to our country’s economy.  So what is wrong with that?

Firstly, coal is a non-renewable energy source, so we have to consider a possible day in future that we will run out of our precious black gold.

Secondly, coal burning produces carbon-dioxide that contributes to the green house effect, a possible contributor to recent changes in weather patterns.

Looking at ways to save electricity, something interesting occurred to me. The majority of tips on how to save electricity really only requires a once-off effort.  Yes, you might need to get into the roof, or get a plumber/electrician out, but once it’s done, you can sit back and enjoy the savings.

So here are a few low impact things that you can do (once-off) and it will keep on saving you money and saving the environment:

  1. Set the geyser thermostat to a lower temperature to reduce heating costs; reducing your geyser’s thermostat from 70°C to 60°C can reduce your cost to heat the geyser by 14%. Remember, do not set the geyser below 55°C to avoid conditions conducive to bacterial growth;
  2. Cover your geyser with an insulation blanket.  Hot water will stay hot longer, reducing the amount of electricity needed to re-heat water;
  3. Set the pool pump to run for a shorter time per day. Also, set the pump to run at non-peak times to reduce the load on the electricity network at peak times.

Check in soon for more energy saving tips.  Have any tips to share with us?  Share it in the comments section.