Finding ways to crack down on your high energy bill shouldn’t be too difficult, the honest truth is that most energy saving techniques are nothing more than being aware and keeping a logical mind.  Let’s help you to save on your energy bill this winter with our 10 tips.


1. Heaters

We South Africans don’t’ make much use of thermostats, but we use heaters all the time. One of the fastest and most cost effective ways to cut down on your energy bill is to turn your thermostats or heaters down by just a nudge and adding a blanket.


2. Fill the Dishwasher

There is a misconception that dishwashers take far more energy and water than washing by hand.  The truth is that dishwashers can actually cost you less and do the job better. Dishwashers tend to work better and more efficiently when filled entirely.  Also go for the easy/quick mode on your machine, they tend to make the water a tad cooler and run a short cycle.


3. Seal the leaks with weather stripping

One of the absolute best ways to save on your energy bill is to seal all the leaks in your home.  Make sure the front and back door is properly sealed  as well as all the windows.  Sealing your home can save you upto 10 % of your energy bill, this is also good for the aircon in summer:)

4. The Geyser

It is noteworthy to be aware that you’re geyser cost is roughly 30% of your entire energy bill, making it an important item to insulate.  Insulating your geyser and hot water pipes with a geyser blanket can reduce your geyser cost up to 35%, making a payback within 6 months. Saving you a another total of 10% all year round.

Did you know?

A recent study has shown that it takes a 3kW (150L) geyser 2 hours to heat water to 60ºC

5. Give into the Energy Star idea

What is meant with Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency

Next time you go to buy a new fridge, washing machine or dishwasher consider the energy cost of the product.  Every brand has an environmentally friendly option. They tend to cost a tad more initially, but in a few years you will have received your payback.


6. Change your light sources

Replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs will also allow you to start saving immediately. Make sure you keep the slip and the small box (fold them up), because they are not as reliable as we might want, they also tend to cost a tad more.  If you are short for cash consider changing the lights that we keep on all night for security reason, like that kitchen back door light.

Did you know

CFL/Fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury, an element that is poisonous to humans.  It is for this reason vital that you dispose of fluorescent light in the correct manner, similar to your ink cartridges/toners and batteries.  Please don’t just chuck them in your garbage bags – recycle them correctly.

7. Wash with cold water

Heating the water for a warm wash takes up a large part of the energy consumption of a washing machine. Washing your clothes in cold water will not only save your energy bill, but it will also save your clothes.

Also try and use the dryer as little as possible. If you  are going to use the dryer then remove your clothes the moment they are dry.  This way they will not wrinkle, allowing you to save on ironing time and cost

8. Insulate your Attic


Attics aren’t super common in South Africa, but the point is we do have them.  We might not use them as the Americans and Europeans do, but they still steal all the hot air in your home.  It is for this reason also vital that you try and insulate your attic as best you can.  Start by adding a simple OSB wooden floor with an Attic Tent over the entrance.

You will not only insulate a big heat-stealer, but you will at the same time add value to your property by having a ready to use storage space.


9. Use Low-Flow Shower heads

Low flow shower heads reduces the pressure, thusly reduces the amount of hot water you use.  These new showerheads can save you upto 10% of every showers heating cost.  A small cost that can add up, considering most households go through 3-5 showers a day.


10. Turn off your modern tech

It seems that all the new tech has this switch off button, that doesn’t really switch off.  The tech stays in an hibernation mode, ready for you but by adding to the energy bill.  Simply pull the tech out by the plug, making sure there are no energy to suck up.

Some of these suggestion are quick fixes that can add significant saving to your energy bill. Changing light bulbs, adding an attic tent and geyser blanket, while being aware of your energy usage will result in some energy savings.

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Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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