Eskom has issued steps consumers can take to save electricity as the colder weather grips South Africa.
“During the colder months, space heating can be responsible for up to 8% of an average household’s electricity usage. The current constrained electricity network calls for smart electricity usage to help keep the warmth inside and the cold outside,” said the power utility on Wednesday.
This week the power utility is implementing its Use electricity smartly campaign which aims to reduce electricity shortage so as to minimise the risk of load shedding.
The power utility said insulated and draught – proofed rooms require 51% less energy to heat.
Eskom had the following tips for the winter period:
· Use foam tape to seal windows and doors if they do not close properly – in winter, draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss.
· Hang curtains to reduce heat transfer.
· Lay “door snakes” to stop cold air from entering – aluminium skirts with rubber seals on the outside of doors are also highly effective.
· Seal cavities in and between bricks with a polyurethane sealant.
· Seal the chimney if you have one – the best way is to have a damper installed when the chimney is not in use; if not utilised at all, seal it at the top and bottom.
· Install fire-retardant ceiling insulation – with approximately 40% of heat lost through the roof, ceiling insulation makes your home up to 5% warmer in winter.
· Only heat the room you are occupying, and use the correct type of heater when you feel the need for extra warmth.
· A thermostat-controlled fan heater is ideal to quickly heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 meters for one hour.
· A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to heat the same room for three hours.
· A thermostat-controlled heater no bigger than 1 000W (watt) is the most energy efficient option to heat it for eight hours.
· Most gas heaters generate a great amount of heat and do not require electricity at all.
The power utility has in recent weeks implemented load shedding as a result of generation capacity.
“Eskom is currently faced with challenges at its power stations, which has led to the need for load shedding over the past few months.
“If consumers can assist us by using electricity smartly, it would help to reduce the need for load shedding, which is a measure used to balance the supply and demand of electricity,” says Eskom acting Group Executive for generation, Andrew Etzinger