Easy ways to reduce your electricity usage


With families being at home all day during the Covid-19 lockdown, many people are seeing their electricity usage rocket, and are urgently looking for ways to cut down on this expense.

“One of the easiest ways is to eliminate the extra consumption of power by appliances and devices that don’t actually switch off when not in use but remain on standby,” said Berry Everitt, from Chas Everitt.

The worst culprits are appliances with remote controls like TVs, sound systems and garage door openers; devices with a continuous digital display like DSTV decoders, microwaves and clock radios; chargers for cellphones, tablets and laptops and items with external power supplies like printers.

“But the good news is that you can easily do something about it, starting by unplugging any chargers you aren’t using from their wall sockets.

“Second, plug all the components of your computer or home entertainment system into one multiplug so you can turn off the whole lot with one switch.

“And third, don’t forget to unplug your all your electronic devices whenever you leave the house in future or are not using them for any length of time. This will have the added benefit of protecting them from lighting strikes.”

He gave additional advice:

• Turn off your geyser except for the couple of hours a day that it actually takes to heat up the water. And invest in a geyser “blanket” to keep the water hot for longer.

• Air-conditioners consume a lot of electricity too, so don’t use them unless you absolutely must.

• Invest in energy-efficient appliances. Fridges and freezers consume energy non-stop and cooking and washing can also use a lot of electricity, especially if you have a large family. Consider making more use of your microwave or switching to gas, and wash clothes on a cold-water cycle as much as possible.

• Boil the kettle less often by filling a thermos flask with boiling water in the morning and using it to make your tea or coffee during the day.

• Turn off the lights in any room that is not in use.