There are two certainties that come with winter… you going to be pretty cold at some stage, and your electricity bill is probably going to give you a mild heart attack. We’re all feeling the pinch (and the chill), so now’s the time to take action and find out how to save electricity and money this season…
1. Get clever
The obvious money-saver is cutting energy use. Boil enough water only for the number of cups of tea you’re making. Use a hot water bottle rather than an electric blanket. When the heater’s on, switch your ceiling fan to low speed, producing a gentle updraft forcing warm air back into the room, and only heat the room you’re sitting in.
2. Use heat-saving curtains
Heavy curtains can make a huge difference by keeping heat in. Line your existing curtains with block-out lining to keep the heat in, the cold out, and your house nice and cosy. Plus, you’ll be able to sleep in!
Read more: Want to be even more energy efficient? We’ve got loads of tips on cutting your household budget
3. How to save electricity in the long run
If you’re a homeowner and want to cut costs in the long term, consider double glazing for your windows, which reduces the energy spent on regulating the temperature in your home as much as 50%. They may be costly to install, but will regulate thermal loss from the inside, and solar heat gain from the outside, which means your house will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
4. Turn down the geyser
The geyser is responsible for nearly 40% of your total electricity bill, and you can save up to 10% just by lowering the thermostat. Lower the geyser to around 50⁰C to 60⁰C, cover it with a geyser blanket and insulate your water pipes. If you’re really serious about how to save electricity and make an effective change, consider replacing your geyser with a solar geyser or heat pump.
5. Make the heat last
Consider a wall panel heater which heats the whole room, rather than just a small space. They generate heat between the panel and the wall, creating an updraft of heat which circulates through the room. Plus they’re energy efficient.
6. Check your insulation
We all know that warm air rises, so it’s no surprise that a quarter of it goes out through the roof. Current advice is to have 25cm of insulation above the top-floor ceilings, and experts can tell you which material would work best for your situation. The good news is that it remains effective for around 40 years! So you’ll never feel like this again:
7. Avoid estimated bills
It’s better to pay for what you actually use than what your supplier guesses you use. Estimated bills can mean you’re paying for more electricity than you should. It’s pretty easy to submit your own meter reading on Eskom’s customer service website and make sure you’re paying for what you’re actually using.
8. Get a gas heater
A cranky old oil heater will cost more to heat your home than a much more efficient gas heater. They come in a wide price range, so they suit just about any budget. Just remember to keep the gas set low to save on your gas refill spend.
Read more: Check out these fun, budget-friendly ways to stay warm this winter!