Reducing your electricity consumption and saving money – tips that actually work!

by | Sep 4, 2022

With a long, cold winter still ahead of us and Eskom’s recent tariff increase, we’ve put together a list of practical, workable tips to help you keep your electricity consumption down and save money in the long run. Even the smallest changes add up – it all starts with adopting an energy-conscious mindset and making the most of every opportunity to lower overall consumption.

For example, if working from home, you’re generally going to be using more electricity. Small things can bring your consumption down:

  • Open the curtains or blinds during the day, instead of switching on a light.
  • If you’re working on a laptop, don’t leave it plugged in – charge it only when the battery is low.

While these behavioural changes might seem tiny and might not result in a massive saving right away, it can help you avoid spending more than you need to, and add up over time.

TOP TIP: Choosing energy-efficient lighting when replacing old fittings can make a huge difference. For example, leaving a 100W traditional light bulb burning for a week, which is 168 hours, will use roughly 17 units of electricity. If a unit costs (hypothetically) R1.50c, then it works out to around R25.50 to keep that one light on per week.

By changing to an 8W LED energy-saving bulb, you’ll use a little more than 1.2 units even if left burning all week, and only spend about R3 – which is a saving of R22.50 per week and over R1100 per year!

Here are some other power saving tips you can try at home:

Hot water:

  • Check your geyser’s thermostat, and set it between 55°C and 60°C – any higher than that is a waste of electricity. Need a hand? Use our app to call an electrician to get the job done for you, or sign up to make your geyser a smart geyser.
  • Insulation is your friend. To retain heat better, make sure the geyser and all hot water steel pipes in the roof are well insulated. A handy trick is to use pool noodles as pipe insulation!
  • A geyser blanket helps to keep your hot water hot for longer when your geyser is switched off.
  • Install water efficient showerheads. Efficient showerheads can reduce hot water use by 25-50% – cutting back on energy *and* water consumption. “Normal” or standard showerheads use 15 litres of water per minute or more, while low flow showerheads use about 8 litres per minute.

TOP TIP: Make your Geyser a Smart geyser! Once installed, our solution lets you control your geyser from anywhere. It gives you hot water when you need it and saves you money and energy when you don’t.

Use up to 30% less energy heating water and track your savings in real-time!

Staying warm in winter:

  • Make smart choices for heating. Gas heaters are most efficient, but if these are not an option, infrared electricity heaters are the most energy-efficient electric heaters available.
  • If using an electric blanket, use it only to warm your bed before getting in. Don’t run it while you sleep at night.
  • Hot water bottles are an excellent way to keep warm when sitting on the couch, or working from home. Much more energy efficient than running a space heater.

Doing dishes:

  • Don’t run your dishwasher until it’s a full load, and use the eco cycle. When buying a new dishwasher, look for energy-saving features like a shorter wash cycle.

Getting your laundry done:

  • When running your tumble dryer, use the correct temperature setting to minimise the amount of electricity used. Ensure that as much water is removed from your washing before it goes into the tumble dryer. The wetter the clothes, the longer it will take to dry.
  • On sunny days, remember that sun power is best (and free!) so dry your washing on the line, instead of in the tumble dryer.
  • A front-loading washing machine uses less water and costs less to operate. Select the shortest possible washing cycle. Using the cold wash setting cuts down on power consumed, as there’s no need to heat water.

DID YOU KNOW?: How and when you use electricity all adds up, with small changes certainly able to make a difference to your overall monthly usage bill.

The most expensive household appliance to run is the tumble dryer. A C rated condenser dryer will use around 585kWh/year or almost 5 kWh per load.

The cheapest household appliance is a mobile phone charger, which uses around 5W per hour.

When cooking:

  • Get creative in the kitchen. Instead of slow-cooking meals on the stove, a pressure cooker can reduce cooking time and energy consumption.
  • Switch off the plates or oven before food is fully cooked. This allows you to finish your cooking without using energy.
  • Make use of the oven’s leftover heat. Heat is retained for 15 to 30 minutes after turned off, so use that to warm up rolls or to keep food warm until everyone is ready to eat.
  • When defrosting food, leave it in the fridge overnight or out on the counter in the sun during the day. This uses less electricity than defrosting food in the microwave, although it requires some planning ahead.

When it comes to keeping things cool:

  • Don’t open the fridge door unnecessarily and make sure the seal is intact. Defrost fridges regularly as a build-up of ice reduces operating efficiency and increases running costs.
  • Defrost your freezer regularly. Only 90% of a freezer’s capacity should be used for freezing, to ensure efficiency.
  • Set the fridge temperature to 5 degrees and the freezer to -16. That’s more than enough to keep things cool.

General energy saving tips:

  • Switch off lights that are not in use. Train yourself to switch off as you walk out of a room.
  • Unplug or switch off appliances at the wall, instead of leaving them in standby mode. This can also help protect your appliances from power surges that can happen before and after loadshedding.
  • Avoid using an electric appliance when a hand-operated one will get the job done. Hand whisking those cupcakes? It’s exercise! Sweeping instead of vacuuming? Exercise!
  • Use the correct appliance for the task at hand. Don’t make toast in the oven, or boil water in the microwave.
  • Operate swimming pool filter pumps for minimum periods. Reduce consumption by up to 10% by setting your pool pump to run for shorter daily periods, particularly during winter. Try reducing run time by an hour and see how your pool responds. If all is well, reduce it by another hour until you know that you’re spending the bare minimum powering your pool pump.
  • If you are still unsure how long your pump should run each day, please use our app to find a pool specialist near you!


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Article by

Vincent Gaemers
Vincent Gaemers is the Growth Lead at Home+. He breathes the Home+ brand and his mission is to deliver the Home+ knowledge to our customers.
Vincent Gaemers
Vincent Gaemers is the Growth Lead at Home+. He breathes the Home+ brand and his mission is to deliver the Home+ knowledge to our customers.

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