Identifying energy vampires

Eliminate Energy Vampires: 5 Simple Ways to Save Electricity

If you’re the one footing the electricity bill in your home or a company you own, ways to save electricity matter to you. First, you need to ensure that the appliances you’re supplying are not behind-the-scenes energy vampires? Get ready to do an electricity audit on your home and your office.

It is estimated that home and office appliances continue to use a stupendous 75% of their energy consumption when switched off! But don’t panic yet. Saving electricity in your home does not mean doing without your time-saving appliances. 

When you have your electricity vampire story straight, you will have it in the power of your hands to use certain appliances with more circumspection. It also means you can pass on accurate information to your family and your staff. Make it fun and teach them which appliances earn the ‘vampire’ label for sucking the most electricity and pumping up your Eskom bill. 

#Newsflash: Saving just one kWh ( kilowatt-hour) of energy usage translates into one less kg of measurable carbon dioxide that you’re demanding from the power station. 

Let’s run that appliance audit then shall we? Let's explore the dark world of energy vampires in your home and office.

Your Top Appliance Vampire List

Before you decide that the small percentages don’t count remember how much electricity is being used even when certain appliances are not running. (Even your microwave is one of them!)

  • Cooling and heating: 47% of energy use.
  • Geyser: 14% of energy use.
  • Washer and dryer: 13% of energy use.
  • Refrigerator: 4% of energy use.
  • Electric oven: 3-4% of energy use.
  • Dishwasher: 2% of energy use.

save electricity with energy efficient dishwashers

Top Five Ways To Save Electricity 

It is possible for anyone to reduce energy consumption in five simple ways. Hidden energy drainers and off-mode energy vampires need to be exposed so that everyone at the office and at home is on the same page.

Heating and Cooling

We’re talking geysers, heaters, and air conditioning here. 

  • If you have a geyser, set it to 55-60 degrees C. Wrap it in a thermo-blanket and insulate the pipes. 
  • Only use heaters with thermostat controls (oil-filled varieties are considered the safest). Switch your electric blanket off once in bed. 
  • When using your air conditioner, set the thermostat to a comfortable 19 °C
  • Keep the house cool by closing curtains to block the full sun. 
  • Desk and standing fans can gently circulate the air on minimal electricity.
  • Portable air conditioners can be used to cool only where essential.

Laundry and Cleaning

Dishwashers, clothes washing and drying machines should - ideally -  be smart energy-saving appliances.

  • Make sure the filters are clean in your dishwasher and don't run it until it's full. 
  • Front-loading washing machines use less energy, use cold water only, and wash full loads.
  • When the sun cannot be used to dry your laundry, use tumble dryers with humidity controls that turn off when your clothes are dry.

Fridges and Freezers

Only buy refrigerators and freezers with an excellent energy star rating. Replace old models as soon as possible.

  • Fridges should be set between 1.7 to 3.3°C. Be warned that automatic ice-makers increase electricity usage by 14- 20 % (rather switch it off). Keep the fridge full so less air needs cooling, open the door sparingly, and don’t pack anything on top - that way the hot air escapes without the compressor having to work as hard.
  • Set freezers to -18°C (1°C colder increases your electricity consumption by 5 to 10%). Don’t overfill, open as seldom as possible, and cool food fully before freezing. Defrost annually - 2mm of ice will cause your freezer to use 10% more electricity than needed.

Stoves and Ovens

Energy starred options will save electricity without a doubt. For many people, it is a great option to choose stoves with gas tops and electric ovens.

Make sure the seal on your oven is in good condition. When cooking, don't keep opening the door of your oven

Remember, thermo-fan settings use less heat and offer a brilliant result.

Defy thermofan oven

Handy calculation formula to monitor electricity

Appliance electrical rating in kW x Hours per day x Days per month x Cost per kWh. Obviously, the cost per kWh varies depending upon the tariff charged by the energy provider (Eskom or municipality in your area). Look for the kW rating marked on your appliance. (Source)

Common Sense Electricity Saving Measures

What is niggling you most is the statement that energy vampires are draining your electricity when you’re not using them right? We weren’t going to leave you without a solution. Practically speaking, you can’t ask your family or employees to run around unplugging stuff. Most of the time the plugs are on the wall behind something pretty impossible to move.

Here’s what you do. Electric plug racks a.k.a. energy strips are now ‘smart’. They detect when an appliance is in ‘off-mode or on standby and cut the electricity to the appliance accordingly. That means you could plug a few of your small appliances into one such power strip to control power usage for you. 

Boil only the amount of water you need in the kettle rather than fill it up each time. Use thermostatically controlled irons or better still, hang your clothes so that they dry straight and fold them neatly and you won’t need to iron anyway. Perhaps that’s the best household tip to save electricity in a home. 

Further, you can beat your electricity vampires with state-of-the-art solar-operated appliances that switch between using electricity and sunshine whenever possible.

Reasons To Replace The Old With The New & Save Electricity 

Even with the best practice and habits in place, keeping in step with technologies and innovations in appliances is what will reduce your Eskom bill the most. Smart, A+ rated  energy saver appliances will soon be the only kind of appliance available on the market. 

The fact is that your electricity is being needlessly drained by old appliances that were manufactured before energy conservation became a thing. Getting rid of those energy vampires by replacing them with modern appliances will reflect well on a lower electricity bill. 

Shannon Baker-Branstetter, the senior energy and environment policy counsel at Consumer Report makes it crystal clear: 

“Households are saving hundreds of dollars annually as a result of increasing appliance efficiency standards.”

In the end, your energy-efficient appliances form a significant part of your contribution to helping the environment. That starts the domino effect toward sustainability and pollution control. Energy-efficient household and office appliances are said to save up to 30% on your electricity bill.

But energy-efficient appliances need to be operated properly. Your daily behaviour and how you use your new appliances are part of the story too. For example, your star-rated washing machine will have a warm cycle but not using it is what will save you money. 

Plan to Save Electricity

Reducing your environmental carbon footprint in a focused ‘let’s save electricity’ drive at home or at the office is doing your part in retarding global warming. Now that you know which appliances are notorious energy vampires, you can start to make better choices both in new purchases and in replacing old appliances. 

Plan ahead to replace your older electrical appliances. You can be one hundred percent sure they are among your worst secret energy vampires. Win the war to save electricity in your home and office, battle by battle, starting with your appliance audit.

Defy are proud of their range of energy-efficient home appliances. Visit the website and explore your options. Start a savings fund and feel the ROI as your Eskom bill comes down every time you invest in a new energy-smart appliance.