How to save on energy costs

Saving Energy and Electricity

How to save on energy costs

Energy / Electricity costs keep on going up and are a large chunk of a family’s income. By using energy wisely money and the environment can be saved.

Reduce your hot water energy costs

With a few simple steps you can reduce your energy consumption for your bath/shower and even coffee or tea.

  • Lower the temperature to between 55 ° C to 60 ° C.
  • Make sure all hot water pipes are insulated to reduce heat loss.
  • Get solar heating or a heatpump.
  • Only boil enough water for the amount of tea or coffee.
  • Washing your hands with cold water and soap is as effective as using hot water.
  • Wash your clothes at a lower temperature.

Many people wast unnecessary energy and with that money on lights, while with a little investment and behavior change a lot of energy can be saved.

  • If you are not in a room, switch of the lights.
  • Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or Led lights instead of ordinary bulbs. In many countries incandescent or ordinary bulbs are now outlawed.
  • In the colder winter months heating cost increase, but with a few simple steps one can minimize energy consumption.

    • Use the correct heater for the requirements. For example infrared heaters don’t heat up the room, but transfer heat directly to a person body. They are ideal to use in for example a bathroom.
    • Choose a heater with a thermostat , so the heater switches of when the desired temperature is reached.
    • Dress warmly.
    • Insulate your house and seal gaps, to stop heat loss.

    Dishwashers and Washing machines are more efficient and save energy compared to washing by hand.

    • Fill the dishwasher completely, it will use the same amount of water and electricity as a half full dishwasher.
    • Use a lower temperature, in most cases your dishes will come out as clean.
    • When buying a new dishwasher or washing machine check for the energy rating and buy the appliance with the highest energy rating.
    • A front loader washing machine is more energy efficient then a top loader.
    • Make sure you have a full load before washing.
    • Try washing with a shorter cycle.

    Now with all the money saved, why not invest it in Renewable Energy for your home and save even more in the future.

Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

As the world consumes and produces more energy we must cut back our us fossil fuels, and begin using alternative energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels

Currently we have 4 sources of renewable and alternative energy that we are able to produce: wind generation, solar energy, hydro power, and geothermal energy. Here we will discuss the most common two.

Wind Power

Wind as a source of power has been around for ages. Previous generations used wind in many different ways like, pump water, sailing ships, flour mils, saw mills and more. but at the start of the industrial and economic revolution, wind mills have improved and wind turbines were developed to supply electricity.

Lots of us learned about the old windmills in The Netherlands which were used to pump water or mill grain. The technology has improved developed hugely since the past decade. In this day and age wind turbines manage to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and once used on small scale projects, wind generation to create power will substitute standard energy sources, contributing to many households to get off the grid.

Solar Energy

Solar is the one of the most abundant form of energy available, we really should harness this great energy resource. We can use it on a large scale or a small scale. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more affordable. Households have many choices in regards Solar Energy. It can generate electricity, heat, be used for cooking etc.

Both electricity and heating systems powered by the sun are cost-effective, great for the environment and planet. Solar Installations require hardly any maintenance and after the initial investment have no running cost saving you on bills. Solar cookers are a great way of cooking food. They are affordable, portable and easy to use. It is a great solution used in many African countries where one has no power available.

Countries close to achieving 100% renewable energy

With advances and investments in renewable energy made every day, some countries have become almost non reliant on fossil fuels (except cars, planes etc).

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said that around 98.1 per cent of the country’s electricity came from green sources. consisting of a combination of geothermal, hydro electric, wind turbines, solar panels and biomass.

Iceland

Due to Iceland’s geology they can cover most if not all their energy needs from Renewable Sources. Almost 100 percent of electricity production is covered by Renewable Energy, with about 75 percent coming from hydro power and 25 percent from geothermal power. Geothermal power is also used for heating homes and buildings

Bonaire

Bonaire is a small country of the Venezuelan coast. It used to rely on diesel generators to provide electricity to its population and tourist. That all changed in 2004 when their main diesel generator burned down. The country now is now almost achieving 100% renewable energy. In peak times wind energy can provide 90% of the electricity needs of the small Island, they are backed up by Biodiesel Generators. The biodiesel. They plan to produce biodiesel from the abundance of algae.

Lesotho

The small mountainous country which is enclosed by South Africa achieves close to 100% of their electricity requirements through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This project was established to provide water to South Africa, with the added benefit to cover almost all of Lesotho’s electricity needs.

Paraguay

Paraquay has one of the world’s largest dams (Itaipu dam), Which provides almost 90% of Paraguay’s electricity and about 20% of Brazil’s electricity requirements.

With future developments and decreasing prices, we will see more countries improving their percentage of renewable energy. Countries like Germany, Denmark and Spain are investing heavily in Renewable Energy

Recycle and Save Energy

I recently got asked does recycling save energy? After researching the subject I came to the conclusion that recycling can substantial reduce the amount of energy we use amongst other benefits.

Why does recycling save energy?

Extracting and Refining Natural resources like Iron ore, Bauxite etc is labour intensive and requires lots of energy in the form of extracting, transporting and refining. Through the use of recycled material, many of the processes can be eliminated and gives a jump start in the production of the same or similar products.

Aluminium is a good example, the extraction of aluminium from bauxite has huge energy requirements. Aluminium can’s don’t have to go through the same process.

How much energy can be saved through recycling?

How much energy can be saved through recycling depends on the material being recycled, and how often it can be recycled. Certain materials like aluminium, glass and iron can be recycled over and over again. Plastics normally have been downgraded to lower quality plastic products as they degraded every time they got recycled, but technical improvements now enables manufacturers to create new high quality plastic products.

Aluminium

Recycling aluminium is the best example of saving energy. With the amount of energy used to make one aluminium can from scratch (starting with the mining of bauxite) 20 recycled aluminum can’s can be produced. So next time when you toss that aluminium can think twice and recycle.

Glass

Recycling glass does save substantial amounts of energy. If you want to find out more use the calculator found on the website of The Glass Recycling Company.

If you recycle 5 glass containers a week, you can power for example a computer for over 3 days. Now imagine this saving if everyone recycles there glass containers/bottles.

More energy can be saved by reusing bottles through a deposit system. Initially they will be more expensive to produce (they tend to be thicker and heavier so they will require more glass and higher transport cost, but in the long run they should save energy.

Paper

Creating new paper from recycled paper can save up to 60% percent of energy. Although through contamination (ink etc) it is difficult or impossible to make high quality bright white paper. Often recycles paper is downgraded to carton or newspapers.

Other benefits of recycling.

Besides the saving of energy, recycling has other benefits as well. We need less natural resources, produce less pollution and the recycled product will be cheaper.

Cutting Down On Energy Usage

Cutting down on energy usage is one of the best and economical action we can take. You can cut down on energy through insulating your home or purchasing energy efficiency appliances. decreasing our energy needs, not only saves costs, but minimizes the environmental impact.

Although the usage and generation of cleaner and renewable energy is growing, reducing power usage is still the first en most economical choice.

By saving energy, we are not only saving money, but we also reduce our dependence on fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal. The reduction of fossil fuels means lesser emissions greenhouse gasses, one of the major factors of global warming.

Energy saving ideas at home

Energy saving should start at home, one of the benefits is lower utility bills. Making your house more energy efficient not only saves money, but can improve the comfort of your living environment as well.

Some ways to reduce energy requirements are, insulation of your roof, walls and geyser can drastically reduce the energy consumption of heating and cooling your home.

Also consider replacing your old inefficient appliances for appliances with an A or B rating according to the South African Rating Standard. The South African Energy efficiency rating is measured from A to G with A being the most energy efficient.

Money saved due to energy saving can be utilized by investing in renewable energy sources.

Need finance for green energy solutions ?

Not many South Africans have the cash available to invest in green and renewable energy. The fact is a considerable outlay can be required depending on the solution. It can be difficult to obtain finance through normal channels.

Here is where comes into play. GreenFin provides alternative payment solutions to those individuals who realise the need to change to green energy sooner rather than later. GreenFin assists you with the finance and expertise through our trusted partners to switch over to green and renewable energy solutions now. The sooner one invests in green or renewable energy solutions, the sooner one starts to reap the benefits. Because Greenfin has partnered with trusted and experienced suppliers and installers you will be certain to know that you invest in a quality solution.

With GreenFin´s quick and easy finance application process, you could have your energy solution installed in no time with no down payment required. GreenFin offers an simple application process, flexible repayment terms and very competitive interest rates.

Greenfin can structure your monthly installment to be the same or even less than your current electricity bill!. Don’t delay and contact now.

Heatwave and cooling down.

South Africa is currently in the grip of a heatwave & drought with temperatures well above average. During this heatwave many people are looking to cool down. There are many options and some more affordable / permanent options. Air conditioners are an effective way to cool down you living environment, but they are costly to run consuming electricity. If your house is powered by renewable energy you might not even have enough generating capacity.

Lucky there are more energy efficient solutions to cool down your house and person.

Some tips to survive the heatwave.

Some investments you can make which are cost effective and long term.

  • Insulation, not only will this keep your house cooler in summer but keep you warmer in winter as well.
  • Start growing some trees which will shade parts of your roof.
  • If your roof is of a dark color, consider painting it in a lighter color. The darker the color the more heat is retained. Some newly developed paints have insulating factors as well.
  • A lot of heat gets in through windows, why not install a tint, many cars have this which keeps them cooler and it is a safety feature as well.

Some tips which will help cooling you down right now cost effectively

  • Open windows/doors early in the mornings to let cool air in. Leave them open during the day to generate a draft, to avoid heat build up.
  • Invest in some fans to create a breeze, this will help cool you down as well. Some of them even operate with water/ice to create evaporation cooling. The added advantage is that it will humidify your living environment as well.
  • Stay out of the sun and look for shady areas
  • And last but not least. If you have a pool why not take a swim so once in a while. It will refresh you nicely.

This current heatwave is partly caused by El Niño a weather pattern associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. It affects the climate worldwide. One other reason is global warming triggered by the burning of fossil fuels. Conserving energy and making use of Renewable Energy will help to keep our earth cooler and more comfortable to live in.

Hope some of these tips will help you survive the heatwave. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as it is easy to become dehydrated.

Solar Heating For Pools

If you have a heat exchange heated pool, you know that this heated pool is a sizable amount on your electricity bill. Maybe it is time to consider solar heating. Solar heating will have a positive effect on you bank account.

Solar heating systems for pools.

When most people think of solar energy, they normally associate this with large photo voltaic structures that convert sun rays into electricity. However, the sun can also be used for heating pools and geysers. By using solar heating to heat your swimming pool, you can be sure that your morning swim will be comfortable and easy on the pocket.

How to make solar heating for your pool more effective

In most areas the temperature at night will cool down, thereby cooling the pool slightly. A good investment will be a pool cover, this will retain your heat and keeps your pool cleaner. (More time for you to enjoy your heated pool.)

Pool solar panels are normally installed on the roof to capture the most of the sun. The black solar panels consist of tiny tubes. The pool water while pumped through these panels will collect heat which is transfer ed to the pool water.

The use of solar heating heating pools is a time tested technology. You will probably know many pool owners who use the sun to heat their pool. The initial investment has a fast payback time due to saving in electricity use.

So in short, a solar heated pool is a great economical and eco-friendly investment, you will be the envy of your friends with your heated pools.

Renewable Energy benefits seen at R4bn in 2015

South Africa saved R4 billion ($310 million) in fuel and by avoiding blackouts in the first half of 2015 due to renewable-energy projects, according to a study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
From January to June, 800 megawatts of wind and 1 gigawatt of solar photovoltaic power-generation saved about R3.6 billion in diesel and coal-fuel costs, according to the Pretoria-based center. During 15 days in the period, renewables either prevented or limited rolling blackouts, the study showed.

South Africa’s state-owned power company Eskom has imposed rolling blackouts almost every other day this year as it struggles to meet demand. The government’s five-round program of clean-energy tenders has awarded more than 5 000 megawatts of projects since 2011.

Source: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/renewable-benefits-seen-at-r4bn-in-2015/

How to save energy

Saving energy and reducing fuel consumption has many benefits. Not only does reduced energy and fuel consumption save you money, it also saves valuable resources which can be depleted. Another advantage of saving energy is less impact on the environment and preserving valuable resources.

Reduce electricity consumption with these easy tips

  • Buy Energy Star qualified appliances, or A or B rated appliances and lights. These are the low energy using appliances.
  • Improve the insulation of your property, to make it cooler in summer and keep it warmer in winter. Les heating and cooling will be required which saves electricity
  • Turn off appliances and gadgets that are in stand by state.
  • Set air conditioner’s at a slightly higher temperature in summer and during the winter slightly lower. It will make a difference to your electricity bill
  • Use air conditioner only in the rooms occupied.
  • Use a fan instead of air conditioner, they sometimes give effective cooling for a lower electricity consumption.
  • Avoid opening the fridge door as much as possible
  • Turn off the light when you leave the room.
  • Decrease washing machine water temperature and use a shorter cycle, for most laundry it will still come out clean and fresh
  • Fill the washing machine / dryer / dishwasher before operation. Avoid small loads
  • Use energy saving features in the computer’s operating system control panel.
  • Hang the laundry to dry instead of using the dryer. In most places the laundry will dry quickly.
  • Install solar water heater system.
  • Reduce the water temperature of your geyser

Reduce fuel consumption with these easy tips.

  • When buying another car consider a smaller car with low fuel consumption
  • Avoid high acceleration / deceleration driving.
  • Avoid driving with high motor RPM. Switch gears to a higher one asap.
  • Don’t drive with unnecessary luggage or other items to reduce weight.
  • Close the windows to reduce drag
  • Avoid driving during traffic jams.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips. Rather wal or take public transport.
  • Keep tires with optimal air pressure. This will save energy as well as extending the life of your tires.
  • Keep your car well maintained.
  • Plan your trips so you can minimize the distance or avoid driving through cities with lost of stop starts. Maintaining a steady speed on a highway is normally low on fuel consumption.
  • Don’t be in a rush, a lower speed will make sure you arrive alive, but at a lower fuel consumption. Rather leave earlier.
  • Even if one implements a couple of these you will notice the difference. Just changing your habits can save a lot of money.

How to save energy

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