Keep the lights on - and your bills down
Eskom has already advised users that with winter and heavy electricity usage on the way, it cannot guarantee that there will be no load shedding in the coming few months.

And even without that warning, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, homeowners have an incentive to try to reduce electricity consumption, in the form of a further 25% tariff increase this year that will mean higher power bills for most users from July.

“However, Eskom has already cut its subsidies for the installation of power-saving solar geysers by between 10 and 25% - and will completely stop its geyser discount programme for the year as soon as the money budgeted for it has been exhausted.”

Consequently, he says, it is time to reconsider some other important energy-saving measures, the first and most effective being to ensure that your ceilings are properly insulated with thermal batts or blankets made from fibreglass, rockwool or paper that prevent heat loss.

Writing in the latest Property Signposts newsletter, Everitt also says that rather than using electric heaters this winter, homeowners might consider installing a fireplace, “the most energy efficient being those that burn pellets or ‘bricks’ made from sawdust, wood waste, the husks of rice or other cereals, or recycled waste paper.

“These burn very efficiently and powerfully and provide a lot of heat for a relatively small amount of fuel.”

It also helps, he says, to turn geysers off during the day, and to use energy-munching appliances such as stoves and washing machines as sparingly as possible.

“Little savings also add up – like not leaving your electronic devices on standby, and putting an extra blanket or duvet on your bed instead of leaving the electric blanket on all night.”

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