Energy Efficiency Tips

  • Insulate the ceiling.
  • Seal up any cracks e.g. around windows and doors to prevent heat escape. Remember you are paying for it!
  • Use the thermostat and timer on your heaters so that they only come on when you need them and shut off automatically when they reach a certain temperature.
  • Do not use the stove to heat up a room.
  • Turn the geyser thermostat down to a lower temperature. 60 degrees is recommended.
  •  Insulate the geyser and hot water pipes.
  • Uses less hot water all the time e.g. do not let it run when washing plates under a tap.
  • Avoid using warm water if you can e.g. to wash clothes.
  • Use the shower rather than bathtub.
  •  Shorten showers. When you take short showers, you save a considerable number of litres of hot water per day and consequently reduce water heating costs.
  •  Repair leaking taps. The more hot water tap leaks, the more the geyser works!
  • Turn the geyser off for the most part of the day apart from mornings and evening when more hot water is needed. Do not rely on the thermostat as it may be faulty.

 

  • Let the sun shine in. Allow sunlight into your house or office and thereby eliminate the need to switch on the lights during day time.
  • Switch off the lights when no one is in the room. If possible, acquire automatic switching off apparatus.
  • Replace light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s). These energy saving bulbs can last more than three years and use about five times less energy than ordinary bulbs so the initial cost is definitely justifiable.
  • Keep your lights and lampshades clean to get the maximum lighting effect.
  • Install compact fluorescent lights in high use areas – they last longer and use 75% less energy than normal light bulbs.
  • Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection of the walls will give you more light.
  • Paint walls light colours; dark walls need more power for the same amount of light.
  • Switch off security lights early in the morning.
  • Remove unneeded lamps where lighting levels are too high. In four-lamp fluorescent fixtures, you can remove either the two outer-most lamps or the inner pair to reduce energy use and still maintain sufficient lighting in an area. It is important to disconnect the fixtures, ballasts as well because these use electricity even if no lights are installed.

NB: Disconnecting ballasts is extremely dangerous! You should contact a qualified electrician to do this work.

  • Compare cooking times in a micro wave with the stove, oven, steam cooker or even charcoal and choose the most economical source. For example, if you are cooking several items, a microwave might not be economical.
  • If you are using a stove, bring foods to boil on ‘high’, then turn down to simmer until ready.
  • Clean stove reflectors.
  • Match the size of the pot to the size of the hot plate.
  • When cooking Ugali, first boil the water in an electric kettle.
  • Use smaller appliances to cook such as toasters, pressure cookers and electric pots as they cost less to operate.
  • Defrost food without using the microwave oven or any other electrical appliance.
  • Switch off the TV and radio if no one is watching or listening.
  • When boiling water, boil only as much as you need and don’t fill the kettle with unnecessary water or keep the extra boiled water in a flask to use later.
  • Plan meals so that several things can be cooked or baked at the same time in the oven. Avoid opening the door of the oven until the food is done.
  • Clean your oven right after you finish baking as the self-cleaning cycle will be head started in the heated oven, if you leave it unclean.
  • Switch off the pressing iron once it has reached the correct temperature.
  • Switch off the pressing iron if interrupted whilst ironing.
  • Iron clothes in large batches.
  • Iron low temperature fabrics first to reduce warm up times.

 

  • Don’t open the doors unnecessarily and make sure the air tight seals are intact.
  • Let hot foods cool before putting them in the fridge.
  • Unplug spare refrigerators.
  • Defrost your fridge on a regular basis.
  • Place the refrigerator away from the stove, dishwasher, heat vents and direct sunlight.
  • Keep the freezer full. The fuller the freezer, the less cold air you lose when opening the door.
  • Leave enough space behind the refrigerator for ventilation.
  • Set the right temperature.
  • Cover all food stored in the refrigerator
  • Turn off the heaters when you go out of the room.
  • Wear a jersey whenever possible.
  • Cover floors by carpeting as concrete floors absorb a lot of heat.

 

  • Switch off the dishwasher before it gets to the drying cycle and dry the dishes by hand.
  • When using an electrical kettle, store excess hot water in a thermos flask.
  • The kettle element should always be immersed in water.
  • Clean your kettle and washing machine on a regular basis. The limescale coating elements in these appliances may be removed using vinegar
  • Use appliances efficiently e.g. dishwashers and clothes washers. Use the cold water setting on these appliances when you can. Clean up the appliances after use and use the moisture – sensing automatic drying setting on your dryer if you have one.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep. Most computers come with power management features turned off and so these features need to be reset to ‘on’ so that your computer goes to sleep if you are away from your machine for 5 to 15 minutes. When you are done using your computer, turn it off. Do not leave it in ‘sleep’ mode overnight as it is still drawing a small amount of power.
  • Plug ‘leaking energy’ in electronics. Many new TV’s, VCR’s, chargers, computer peripherals and other electronics use electricity even when they are switched “off”. These seemingly small standby losses can add up to a number of watts.
  • Turn off electronics such as computers, monitors, and printers when you are not using them. Computer monitors use well over half the total energy used to run a computer.
  • For computer scanners, printers and other devices that are plugged into an adapter, simply switch off the adapter after shutting down your computers.
  • Use energy efficient appliances such as ‘Energy Star’.
  • Consider buying a laptop instead of a Desktop computer.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of dryers.
  • Install a programmable thermostat on geysers or other heating appliances.
  • Use big appliances in early morning or late at night.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances. Do not use these to scare off thieves.
  • To help prevent outages, minimize running your appliances during peak hours e.g. 06:30 – 10 hours, 12-14 hours and 18-21 hours or when an electricity emergence is declared.
  • Run your dish washer only when it is fully loaded.
  • Purchase energy – saving tools and equipment where possible.
  • Replace air conditioner filters at regular intervals.
  • When using a borehole, pump water during off peak hours.
  • Always unplug your cell phone charger when not in use. You may not realize it, but your charger uses energy even when your phone is not plugged into it!

Source: Energy Regulation Board - Zambia http://www.erb.org.z /content.php?viewpage=etips