There are various frugal power savings tricks that you and your household can incorporate this winter to help lower your electricity usage and make your home energy-efficient. Here are our top energy saving tips and tricks this winter:
- Prepare home-cooked and power-saving meals – Lower your stove or oven usage and prepare a few meals simultaneously. Remember: Keep the lids on your pots while cooking your food, and don’t use a small pot on a large stove plate, for example. And, think power-friendly microwave, pressure cooker or air fryer as energy-saving alternatives.
- Keep yourself warm and snuggly – Layer your outfits and dress for the winter season, keep extra throws or blankets in your living area, drink hot drinks to stay warm and fill a hot water flask to avoid overusing the kettle.
- Don’t overuse energy-hungry appliances – Limit your dishwasher usage per week. Also, ensure you wash a full load of washing when you do your laundry (in cold water) and line-dry your clothes to prevent using a tumble dryer.
- Turn off unused lights – And, since you tend to use a lot more artificial lighting during winter, make use of low-energy light bulbs (LEDs) that use up to 80% less electricity than standard bulbs.
- Switch off all power outlets, and unplug appliances or gadgets when not in use – For example, your computer or laptop. Also, you don’t have to charge your phone or power bank for an entire day.
- Hot water is expensive – Take short showers and turn the water off during the time you shave, brush your teeth and wash your hands.
- Fit a power surge protector to key plug sockets – As electrical surges can damage appliances, install a protector to avoid costly repairs.
An energy-saving trick is one thing, but how do you deal with your winter “party pooper”, load shedding?
- Use a power bank or car charger to ensure your phone’s battery lasts during load-shedding.
- Use rechargeable LED lanterns (that switch on automatically during power failures); they are safer to use than candles and can be charged with 9V solar panels. Or, get yourself a head torch (that works with batteries) to help make your way outside/through the house.
- What about the fridge/ freezer? Find a dry ice provider nearby and leave a few cubes in your fridge or freezer. Or, take out some of your water-filled (frozen) plastic bottles from your deep freeze and put them in your fridge to keep food cold until the power comes back on.
- Solar options: Solar mobile phone chargers, garden lamps, geysers, and (more expensive) inverter systems are available to consider.
- Use a gas stove: Gas stoves have become increasingly popular. Alternatively, invest in a camping gas stove – a viable solution for a tight money situation.
- Get a generator: If you can afford this expensive option, a generator is a good idea (but keep the increasing fuel prices in mind). There are various options to fit your needs (to power your entire house or to only keep the fridge and freezer running, for example).