If you ever think about embarking on a home renovation project, you might be interested in including some energy saving solutions in your plans. Here are eight tips we’ve found that will lighten your load on the national grid – and the load on your wallet.
1. Do your research.
There are numerous products out there to help you be less reliant on the grid, so get your calculator out and find out which solution is right for you. You may need to invest a little more now to get your energy-friendly systems in place, but you will save in the long run.
2. Get the size right.
If you’re planning to build an extension, don’t build more than you need. The bigger the structure, the more it will cost to run, heat and cool.
3. Go easy on the H2O.
Redoing your bathroom or kitchen? Consider fitting low flow taps, toilets and showerheads to ease water consumption – and save money.
4. Choose smart appliances.
There are many low-energy appliances on the market these days. Also think about switching over to a gas or a half-electric/half-gas stove. It will reduce your power usage and it means you can still cook – even in times of load shedding.
5. Lose the geyser.
Unlike conventional geysers, a tankless water heater only heats the water you need as it passes through an electric coil. The heat is instant, the hot water never runs out and it means you’re no longer paying to keep an entire tank of water constantly hot.
6. Turn to nature.
South Africa has an abundance of sunshine – and in many instances, wind. A ‘hybrid’ home system that combines solar and wind energy is a good idea for anyone considering off-the-grid living.
7. Think insulation.
A well-insulated building goes a long way towards keeping heat in (or out) and thereby reducing your electricity bill. Think walls, windows, roofs and foundations.
8. Put a lid on it.
A sloped roof can make a big difference when it comes to saving water. Install a planet-friendly rainwater harvesting system that will store runoff water for later use.