11 smart ways to save electricity (and money) in the winter months

May 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Eskom has issued steps consumers can take to save electricity as the colder weather grips South Africa.

A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres for three hours.

“During the colder months, space heating can be responsible for up to 8% of an average household’s electricity usage. The current constrained electricity network calls for smart electricity usage to help keep the warmth inside and the cold outside,” said the power utility last Wednesday.

Last week the power utility started implementing its ‘Use electricity smartly’ campaign, which aims to reduce electricity the shortage so as to minimise the risk of load shedding.

The power utility said insulated and draught-proofed rooms require 51% less energy to heat.

Eskom has the following tips for the winter period:

1. Use foam tape to seal windows and doors if they do not close properly - in winter, draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss.

2. Hang curtains to reduce heat transfer.

3. Lay 'door snakes' to stop cold air from entering - aluminium skirts with rubber seals on the outside of doors are also highly effective.

4. Seal cavities in and between bricks with a polyurethane sealant.

5. Seal the chimney if you have one – the best way is to have a damper installed when the chimney is not in use; if not utilised at all, seal it at the top and bottom.

6. Install fire-retardant ceiling insulation – with approximately 40% of heat lost through the roof, ceiling insulation makes your home up to 5% warmer in winter.

7. Only heat the room you are occupying, and use the correct type of heater when you feel the need for extra warmth.

8. A thermostat-controlled fan heater is ideal to quickly heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres for one hour.

9. A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to heat the same room for three hours.

10. A thermostat-controlled heater no bigger than 1 000W (watt) is the most energy efficient option to heat it for eight hours.

11. Most gas heaters generate a great amount of heat and do not require electricity at all.

Use 'door snakes' to stop cold air from entering.

The power utility has in recent weeks implemented load shedding as a result of generation capacity.

“Eskom is currently faced with challenges at its power stations, which has led to the need for load shedding over the past few months.

“If consumers can assist us by using electricity smartly, it would help to reduce the need for load shedding, which is a measure used to balance the supply and demand of electricity,” says Eskom acting Group Executive for generation, Andrew Etzinger. – SAnews.gov.za


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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Advice, Electricity Tariffs, Winter Blues, Harcourts Real Estate

Green buildings catching on in South Africa

Aug 11, 2016 12:07:53 AM Share this:

South Africans are increasingly opting for green property solutions in both their residential and commercial investments. This is excellent news for property values in the future, and is increasingly setting the standard for planning and construction.

According to a recent study of industry stakeholders by US-based construction think-tank Dodge Data and Analytics, “green building” – that is, designing buildings to limit their environmental impact – is making strong headway in South Africa. It estimated that around 41% of the country’s construction activity in 2015 was green. This was the highest of the 13 countries surveyed.

The countries surveyed include both mature markets for green solutions (such as Germany and the UK), and emerging markets (such as India and Colombia). The average level of green construction activity across all 13 was 24%.

Moreover, South African firms report high expectations of green work in future. Some 61% expect green building to account for more than 60% of their operations by 2018.

Green buildings are rapidly becoming the big story of the real estate industry.

Conventional buildings make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and consume large volumes of water.
From the perspective of environmental protection, green buildings make sense. It’s particularly encouraging to note that the Dodge study found that going green in South Africa was driven by a sense of it being ‘the right thing to do’, and by the requirements of clients. This shows that environmental concerns are increasingly integrated into the property market.

For South African property owners, the experience of power outages and escalating electricity tariffs make green solutions such as solar power a practical consideration.

Although greening a building – whether building new or retrofitting – can be expensive, the savings in future operational costs invariably make the initial investment worthwhile.

Green buildings are about comfortable and productive living that takes into account the realities of our environmental stresses. They are also an excellent investment: green features can add to the value of a property and make it vastly more attractive to buyers. And they are also the future: what is considered distinctly green today, will be standard in years to come.

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Topics: Enviromental Concerns, Green Buildings, Electricity Tariffs, Greening A Building, Power Outages, Solar Power