Lightening the Load: How to keep load shedding levels low
The reduction in load shedding of late has left South Africans unsure about how to feel. Eskom has attributed the drop to Stages 3 and 4 to citizens heeding the call to use electricity sparingly. “And while it might not seem like it is our responsibility to reduce consumption, we must if load shedding is to remain at its current level or, dare I say it, get lower,” says Dr Andrew Dickson, Engineering Executive at CBI-electric: low voltage.
He explains that the residential sector is responsible for 20% of the country’s electricity consumption, making them crucial in the quest to keep load shedding levels down. “With some experts still expecting Stage 8 to make an appearance this winter, we all need to be playing our part to prevent this.”
“Additionally, South Africans not only need to consider how their electricity consumption impacts load shedding but climate change too,” points out Dr Dickson. “To illustrate, the average household uses over 30 kWh of electricity per day, generating around 7kg of carbon emissions. These emissions trap the sun's heat which then raises the earth’s temperature, leading to global warming and climate change. This is already having a massive effect on the country, with droughts, floods and heatwaves increasing over the last decade. But unless we are aware of and understand the impact that we each have, taking meaningful action is almost impossible.”
“Knowing which appliances use the most electricity, and using them in a considered way, can help you to save energy, reduce your environmental impact, and ultimately save you money,” he shares.
Air conditioners, heaters, geysers, pool pumps, ovens and fridges are all notorious energy vampires lurking in our homes. Some ways to drive a stake through their hearts and save energy could include:
- Turn down for watt: Changing the setting on your air conditioner by just one degree
- Beat the heat: Running a heater for one hour or less per day in winter using an ASP
- A matter of time: Scheduling a geyser or pool pump to only operate at specific times using an ASC or ASI
- Out with the old: Switching out old appliances for newer, eco-friendly models if possible. By changing their appliances, consumers could save R1,000 annually because they won’t be consuming as much electricity.
To help South Africans manage their consumption, CBI-electric: low-voltage has launched a carbon calculator to give insight into the relative amount of carbon dioxide being produced and released into the atmosphere when running their homes. “By understanding our impact and the changes that we can make, it is possible for each person to live more responsibly. South Africans produce 7.34 tons of carbon dioxide per person. If everyone could reduce their carbon footprint by even 10%, it would make a massive difference.”
“Much to the dismay of South Africans, pundits are predicting that load shedding could be with us at least until 2025. We all need to be doing what we can to end these disruptive outages sooner,” concludes Dr Dickson.