In the past few years, we have seen the devastating effect that our unsustainable energy habits have had on our economy and our environment. Even though there was no load shedding this past winter, our reserve margin (the difference between supply and demand) is still very, very low, and the danger of blackouts is still with us.
But there is good news, too.
We all have the power to make little changes to cut down on our energy wastage. The following gadgets are all inexpensive ways to dramatically reduce your energy usage.
Visit www.savingenergy.co.za to find suppliers for all of the products below.
Aerated Shower Head
At only R500, the aerated shower head is probably the single smartest investment you can make. By injecting oxygen into each water droplet, you immediately halve your water consumption but retain all of that relaxing water pressure. This device will pay for itself within 3 months, after which you will immediately start saving a huge chunk of your electricity bill. These shower heads also give you a delicious bubble bath sensation, and will make you feel like you are showering in champagne.
Wind-up and Solar Powered Torch
A fun, inexpensive way to ensure that you are never again caught in a blackout without batteries. These are great for campers, too.
This clever kettle helps you to get into the habit of boiling only the amount of water that you need. It consists of two compartments, and with the simple push of a button it decants the amount of water that you need into the bottom one to be boiled.
No, this is not about making sure that your geyser sleeps snugly and has no bad dreams. Geyser blankets insulate the hot water, preventing the heat from dissipating into the air. This will cut down on the work your geyser has to do to reheat the water. Geyser blankets cost about R200 and will save you at least R15 every month (more, if you have a large household).
At about R200-R400 each, these outdoor lights provide stylish ambient or security lighting. Not only will they dress up your garden, but they will also ensure that the outside of your house remains lit during a blackout, minimizing the danger of opportunistic criminals. Because they use high-powered LEDs (Light Emitting Diode bulbs), they charge fully with just a few hours of sunshine, and then burn throughout the night.
Outside Day-Night Light Sensor
Very affordable at only R60 each, these sensors turn your outside lights off for you during the day, and turn them on again at night. Motion-detectors are also available at R200, which turn on the lights whenever movement is detected, excellent for security.
For R200, you can buy a simple time switch that will allow you to set your geyser to only turn on when it will be used. This will allow for significant energy savings, as the geyser will not be working throughout the day to heat up water that will just sit there to cool down again. More sophisticated geyser controllers are available for about R1000, which will monitor your water use and programme themselves to provide you with the most efficient solution.
InEnergy – 011 782 3998 – firstname.lastname@example.org
RST South Africa – 016 982 3320 – email@example.com
Optimum Energy – firstname.lastname@example.org
EFG Trading – 028 312 2812 – email@example.comRST Western Cape – 021 552 1658 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.savingenergy.co.za for more information about suppliers in your area.
Can you think of any more green products/appliances? Share your tips in the box below.