Reducing demand has a number of benefits:
- Reduces your electricity cost (Saves Money)
- Reduces load on Eskom
- Reduces the size of the back-up system required
Reduce timer settings:
The pool pump can probably be cut by an hour or two a day without the pool going green.
Any motion sensing lights “on time” should be reduced to a minute or two instead of the typical five minutes.
Automatic irrigation timers can probably be reduced a little.
Limit standby use:
Most of our entertainment devices TV’s, Decoders, DVD player, Music systems, etc. are left running in standby for 24hrs a day.
In standby mode they can use almost as much power as when they are running.
Just by fitting a timer plug to these devices they can be off during the night, while we are at work and draw no power at all. Probably as much as 18 hours of energy saving opportunity. This may also make these devices less vulnerable to lightning strikes.
Put the computer and the printer to sleep.
I used to leave my machine on 24 hrs a day. But changing the power settings you can have it go into sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity. In sleep mode it will wake up again in seconds but it will draw less than 1w when you’re not using it as opposed to as much as 200W when you are.
Install Solar Water Heating:
Install a good quality vacuum tube based solar water heater.
Sky Power SWH systems guaranteed to deliver more than 80% of geyser energy requirement from Solar.
Change lighting to LEDs wherever possible.
Most SA homes are currently using 50w down-lighter globes. These are very power hungry. Many room have 6 – 8 down-lighters. This equates to 300 -400w per room.By changing to LEDs you can reduce this to just 30-40w per room, making a 90% saving on lighting costs.Where LEDs are not possible use CFL’s
Change to a Gas Hob.
Cooking on gas is much easier than on electric and means you will always have the ability to cook and boil water regardless of the state of the power supply. A 9kg Bottle typically lasts a whole year.
Install Gas heating or a Wood burning stove.
These are more efficient and less costly than electrical heating. In many cases they are aesthetically more pleasing. You also pay for your fuel on a pay as you go basis so don’t get
Upgrade to more efficient appliances
Modern appliances are invariably more efficient than the old ones. Fridges and Freezers in particular have become less expensive to run. So whilst that 20 year old fridge is still working in the garage it may not be practical to keep it running when you are generating your own power.
All of the above will reduce you need and the level of demand for electrical power and make the option of going off grid less expensive. Further it lowers your carbon footprint and benefits the environment.