Water and Electricity Bills are important to keep track of. if you are looking for ways to save in this area, this article will give you some ideas on how to get your utility bills under control.
Water and Electricity Bills
Are you having difficulty paying your electricity or water bills, or worried about being disconnected?
Consider these 19 easy but effective tips to save on your water and electricity bill:
- Lower the thermostat on your geyser to 60 ºC and cover it with a geyser blanket and insulate the water pipes. The most energy-hungry appliance, the geyser is responsible for up to 39% of monthly electricity bills. Consider replacing your old geyser with an energy-efficient alternative.
- When washing up, fill the sink with warm soapy water instead of letting the hot water run while washing items individually.
- Use less hot water. Tackle excessive use with more efficient habits. Do not let the hot water run unnecessarily. Use cold water to wash your hands instead of hot water. Use a basin plug when washing.
- Shower instead of bathing. You will save up to 80% in water and use 5 times less electricity than heating bath water if you take a short shower.
- Switch off your geyser when you go away for a few days or more. The element heats up a few times daily if you leave it on. When you get back, give the geyser a couple of hours to heat up again.
- Switch your geyser off during peak hours. Less demand on the national electrical grid helps reduce the risk of load-shedding. In the winter months peak demand comes in the morning from 6-8 am and evening from 5-9pm. In the summer months, demand stays high all day long between those peaks (mostly from air conditioning).
- Save up to 16% on your bill by insulating your home properly.
- Install a timer that switches the geyser on and off according to the times you specify, which prevents heating water when not necessary. It is not true that regularly switching a geyser on and off damages the thermostat, nor that more electricity is used if a geyser is switched on and off.
- A microwave oven is cheaper to operate than a stove. Also, defrost food in the fridge instead of defrosting in a microwave oven.
- It is cheaper, and more energy-efficient, to use an electric blanket on your bed instead of heating the room by means of a heater.
- Only do washing when you have a full load. If you are shopping for a new washing machine, choose a water-efficient model – front loaders, for instance, are more water-wise than top loaders.
- Choose water-wise indigenous plants where possible. Ask a plant expert at your local garden center for advice.
- Attach a water tank to your drain pipe to collect rainwater. Many versions are available these days, starting from R1 999: horizontal, vertical, slimline and even submerged, so there really is no excuse to!
- If a tap is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you could be wasting up to 10 220 liters per year! Repair dripping taps by replacing the washer.
- Switch off your computer if you’re not going to use it for the next two hours.
- Replace your old bulbs with LED equivalents. They use 90% less electricity and last up to 20 years.
- Don’t set your fridge temperature colder than necessary: set your refrigerator to between 2 °C and 5 °C and your freezer to between -20 °C and – 22 °C.
- Install an energy-saving showerhead: they are designed to use up to 40% less hot water.
- Replace aging appliances with new ones after 10-15 years. Replacing them with modern, energy-efficient ones will pay off as much as 60% in energy savings.
Water is a precious commodity in South Africa and, along with electricity, is a big expense for many homeowners. Being power-wise and water-wise means thinking about every milliliter you use – every leak, every running tap, every bowl or bucket of water that you throw away – as well as every time you switch on a light or appliance.
Also, note that your utility provider (Eskom, Municipality, or private service provider) can be very helpful if you get in touch with them – remember that they’re legally required to assist you. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can find a solution.
More Municipal Tips
Speak to one of our debt counsellors.
- Don’t use your credit card to pay your bills – this will only add to your debt
- Don’t be tempted to go to a payday (fast loan) lender. You could end up further in debt and in even more financial difficulty. Instead, speak to your creditor to ask for hardship.