July is Savings Month in South Africa and the bleak reality is that households are only saving 0.2% of their income; research indicates that nearly 70% of South Africans do not save, and those who do unfortunately start too late.When you say ‘yes’ to spending more on electricity and water at home, you’re saying ‘no’ to using that cash for something else like contributing to your savings. Eskom has already increased the electricity price by 9.4% in April, and in 2020 and 2021 the price will increase by 8.1% and 5.22% respectively. And water bills are following suit.
Here are some practical green tips to help you spend less on your utility bill at home:
Don’t let geysers blow your budget.
Geysers can get you into hot water, financially speaking, and are often responsible for 30 – 50% of your household’s energy consumption. Setting the temperature to between 55 – 60˚C will still provide piping hot water and saves considerable electricity.
Shine a little light.
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights which are up to 90% more efficient, and cost 12c per hour to burn instead of 75c. Yes, they are slightly more expensive to buy, but they typically have a lifespan of about 12 years compared to CFL’s four years and incandescents six months, so you won’t have to pay those costs again for a long time.
Future proof your home.
The initial cost of solar power used to be fairly considerable. This price keeps dropping and not using coal-powered electricity or supplementing your household energy intake with solar water heaters or solar electricity generation is a big step towards sustainable living.
Cooking with gas.
When preparing hot meals, cooking with gas is better, as is using an insulation cooker, like the Wonderbag, to keep your hot pots cooking inside after they have been brought to the boil.
Selecting the coolest cycle on your washing machine will use a fraction of the power used by a hot wash. It is better to hang clothes up to dry than to use a tumble dryer and, if you do not have to iron everything, don’t.
Every little helps, right? So these small savings will add up and compound, ensuring that you are able to spend more on things which are slightly more exciting than utility bills.
By understanding how to save, you can still have all the convenience these limited resources – at less cost.
Take the first step towards cultivating a savings culture by making the right, smart changes in your home.
Visit: smarthome.org.za/ and upgrade your life or at the very least, start your savings journey and say yes to operating on a whole new level.