Harare residents have for many years have been faced with electricity shortages.
This, coupled with the introduction of pre-paid meters to many urban households, makes it common sense for everyone to want to save as much power as they can, both for the ‘national good’ and to save the few bond-coins they have.
Saving power and money means looking at how we can help conserve energy for our own good, however insignificant such actions might appear. To that end, here are a few tips on how to save electricity in your home.
Stoves: A conventional oven uses the same power as 18 microwave ovens. So if you can, rather use your microwave to cook. It is much quicker and cheaper. Do not defrost food in the microwave oven. Rather, take it out of the refrigerator to defrost. When you use your stove, match your pot to the size of the stove plate and keep a lid on the pot to conserve heat. If you have a stove with heavy, solid plates that retain heat, switch off the plate a few minutes before removing the pot. Also remeber that every time the oven door is opened, the temperature drops and the heat must be replaced.
Electric Kettle: Boiling one cup of cold water in the kettle for one cup of tea will save time and money. Boiling water in a kettle is much easier and more economical than using the stove.
Refrigerators and freezers: When you open your fridge door for more than a moment, it loses cold air. Cooling it down again will take a lot of electricity. So be quick and don’t let all that cold air out. Do not place hot food in the refrigerator or the deep freeze; allow it to cool outside first. Do not overload your refrigerator or freezer. Ensure that the door seals are in good condition. Do not put the refrigerator near the oven.
Television: If you leave your television on in standby mode, the standby light alone uses up to 50% of the power the TV would use if it was actually on. So switch the television off when nobody is watching. You will be amazed at how much electricity you will save.
Lights: Try and replace as many of your light bulbs as possible with energy-saving bulbs. They last eight times longer and use 80% less electricity. Do not leave lights on unnecessarily.
Heaters: Rather use a temperature-controlled oil heater or a gas heater for space heating. Sit as near to the heater as possible in order to avoid the need to have both elements on. Switch off the heater when leaving the room for any length of time. Curtains help to retain the heat in a room. Draw the curtains early in the evening.
Computers: Always use the power button to switch your computer off. If you leave it on standby or in ‘sleep mode’ it uses up to 50% of the power it would use if it was actually on. Any other office equipment such as printers should also be switched off when not in use. By leaving it on you are wasting electricity and putting the machine under unnecessary strain.
Bathroom: Shower instead of running a bath. When you shower, you use less water. This means that your geyser will need less electricity to heat the water. You can save quite a lot of money this way.
Geyser: Keep it off. Switch on your geyser when you get home after work, and switch it off when you go to bed. Then you can shower or bath in the morning when the water is still hot. You’ll save a small fortune this way. Do not allow hot water taps to drip – you’re literally pouring money down the drain.
And that’s it! This list is not meant to be authoritative or exhaustive – there are many more ways we can save ourselves money (and power units). Please feel free to WhatsApp or email us your own tried and tested power-saving tips.