Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Monday, October 15, 2007

Efficient electricity use in the home

As part of Blog Action Day I was hoping to post something bemoaning Eskom's blocking of alternative home energy generation solutions-but I haven't been able to find a reference proving that this is the case do for now it's just hearsay. Instead I decided to look at some basic tips for efficient energy use in the home, which is particularly relevant considering our country's current dodgy electricity situation. Most of the following is from

Use flourescent bulbs
Right next to your every day 100 watt bulbs in your local Pick 'n Pay are funny looking bulbs that look like twisted tubes. These are compact flourescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are available in just about every size and shape you need and typically use around 70% less energy than their traditional counterpart while providing the same light!

Use natural light
Think skylights. Many reasonable natural light systems exist that will not only  bring light into your house but will often improve air circulation as well (without making your house look like a moon base).

Ghost loads
I was surprised to discover how much extra electricity 'standby' devices like TVs, DVD players, PC's etc consume over time. New to me was the fact that chargers and other AC/DC adapters chew juice even when they're plugged in but the device they charge isn't. For a household like mine (and probably that of any other gadget whore) that means at any given time ther are probably about a dozen devices and chargers happily sucking up power while doing absolutely nothing useful.

Upgrade your stuff
Sometimes the good old fashioned way isn't the best way of doing things. Newer devices often do as good a job at the same (or lower price) than their old-fashioned equivalents. A good example of this is in-line water heaters which use less electricity than an always-on always-heating geyser.

Gas up
Gas cooking is no longer limited to the skottel-braai you haul out on summer days. When upgrading your kitchen it's possible these days to get an really nice and shiny gas equivalent to that boring old electric plate system you were considering-and you'll still be able to eat hot meals when Eskom decides it's your turn to be load-shedded. Gas based heating and lighting options abound as well, though without a gas utility system they're unfortunately not as practical locally.

First prize
Of course if you want to go all the way (I know I want to when I move into my new place), you can always consider renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. I still haven't been able to confirm if it's possible (ie legal) to augment your Eskom supply with alternate sources in SA, but at the very least your outside lights can be powered by solar charged reserves,  water for certain purposes can be heated by rooftop heating tubes and those outside plugs are good candidates for a separate 'off grid' power source. I'll probably blog more on the specifics of this when I start doing it in my new place :)



Copyright 2007 All Right Reserved. shine-on design by Nurudin Jauhari. and Published on Free Templates