Power price rise is a cue to start budgeting

From July, South African consumers will pay an average of 31.3% more for their electricity. For most South African consumers, already hard hit by the global economic slowdown and the country’s first recession in 17 years, this is quite a blow and it just serves to drive up their cost of living even further.
Budget Insurance Broker’s general manager, Melody Redman, says the tariff increase is undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow for most South Africans, particularly those who are already struggling to keep their heads above water. However, she believes that consumers can, to some extent, offset the increase they are now paying to power their homes, by being more conscious about energy consumption.
“Yes, the tariff increase is unwelcome but hopefully consumers will see the tariff increase as an incentive to take action against rising electricity costs by cutting back on the amount of electricity they use in their homes.
“Despite the financial incentive to save, we all have an obligation to conserve electricity. The threatening electricity shortage is a worldwide issue and we could all be doing more to save energy,” she says.
Redman believes that saving electricity should form part of every South African’s social responsibility.
“You can make a difference by being conscious about how and when you use electricity and by not wasting it. Every little bit helps and if we all play our part the collaborative impact will be significant,” she adds.
It is possible to cutback on electricity consumption and costs by making a conscious effort to save, rather than waste electricity in your home.
Budget offers the following electricity-saving tips (sourced from www.Eskom.co.za):
Water heating accounts for a significant portion of your monthly electricity costs. Use hot water conservatively because every time you turn on a hot water tap, the geyser kicks in.
Set the thermostat on your geyser at 60°C.
Switch off your geyser during peak periods and when you go away on holiday.
Shower instead of bathing as this uses less hot water.
Use an aerated shower head in your shower.
Don’t set the temperature on your refrigerator lower than is necessary. The lower the temperature setting, the more electricity your fridge uses.
Connect your washing machine to the cold water supply.
Use compact fluorescent lights lamps instead of ordinary bulbs.
Switch off lights in rooms not being used.
Switch off and unplug non-essential appliances when they are not in use.
Don’t leave appliances on standby because they still draw electricity even if they aren’t being used. Rather switch them off at the power button.
Switch off heaters and air conditioners when there’s no one in the room.
Don’t use large appliances to do little jobs ie. boil water in a kettle rather than on the stove-top.
Only use your microwave to cook small to medium portions of food. Cook larger portions in a conventional oven.
When cooking on your stove, match the size of the pot with the size of the stove plate.
Only boil the amount of water in your kettle that you need for the number of cups of tea or coffee you are making.
Use motion sensor lamps for security lighting rather than leaving conventional lights burning.
Only set your pool pump to run as long as necessary to keep the pool clean.