Earlier this month, Eskom increased electricity tariffs by an average of 8%.
The high costs of electricity in South Africa were possibly already putting financial strain on your household. So these tariff hikes most likely came as an unpleasant announcement.
Unfortunately the way things are looking, we can all expect more electricity price increases in coming years.
This is why it’s important to know how to effectively reduce both your energy usage and electricity bill.
To assist you, our friends at Powertime, the energy consumption specialists, have provided some great tips and advice to help you better manage your consumption and save more money every month.
Understand your bill.
In order to cut back on your usage and save money in the process it’s vital that you have a basic understanding of how Eskom actually bills you for the electricity you use.
When it comes to residential electricity consumers, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) introduced a few years back the inclining block tariff (IBT).
This essentially means that those who consume more electricity will pay higher tariffs. So if you use less electricity, you pay less.
moneysmart tip: When buying prepaid electricity it’s better to buy enough to cover you for one month’s usage as opposed to buying a large amount to last a couple of months.
Upgrade your power-consuming devices.
Provided that your budget allows for it, replace old electronic appliances and light bulbs with newer, more energy-efficient ones.
moneysmart tip: Switching your old incandescent bulbs to newer LED varieties can help you cut down on the power you use to light your home tenfold.
Where possible, go green.
Solar power technology has caused its fare share of debate in recent years.
Many proclaim solar power to be the answer to the world’s energy concerns, whereas others downplay its efficacy based on the high initial costs of installation.
The fact of the matter is that in the long run solar power is more affordable and worth the expense.
Take your geyser, which is the biggest user of power in your home, sapping on average 30-40% of your overall energy costs.
By replacing your geyser with a solar-powered one, you can save up to 50% of your heating costs and benefit from Eskom’s rebates.
Considering that a solar geyser will cost you about R8 000 – R15 000, which is admittedly a sizeable amount of money to lay out, with the amount of money you’d save in 2 years, your geyser would’ve paid for itself.
Monitor your usage.
Possibly the most fundamental way to lower your energy consumption and save money on electricity is by monitoring how much electricity you use every month.
The Powertime website and mobile app enable you to track your usage and see exactly how much electricity you’re using.
The statistics and charts provided by Powertime help you to identify trends in your electricity usage, helping you manage your consumption and costs better.
The Powertime mobile app is available for all major devices (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia) and enables you to buy prepaid electricity and airtime whenever and wherever you may need it.
moneysmart tip: To further help you track your energy consumption invest in an energy monitor, which is a device that connects to your electricity metre and clearly displays your current, weekly and monthly usage as well as costs. You can even get a individual appliance monitor that tracks how much energy a specific appliance uses.
You can purchase these monitors from Powertime’s online store.
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