Winter appears to have finally made an appearance here in South Africa. As the colder months roll in, chances are, we will be using a little more electricity than usual. Current electricity prices are high so we look at ways we can keep its usage at a minimum without compromising on warmth this winter.

By putting up curtains, opening them during the day and then closing them when the sun goes down, you will be keeping heat inside the house.

Close off, as much as possible, the areas in which you spend most of your time during the day or evening. By creating smaller spaces, heat will be retained in those areas.

As tempting as a heater can be, try utilizing blankets and wearing warm clothes instead. If you must have a heater on, it’s best to use a gas one and close the doors and windows to ensure no heat is lost. Only heat areas of the house you’re actually in.

As cliché as it sounds, non-essential appliances such as TVs, kettles, and cell phone chargers should all be unpluggedwhen not in use. The can use up to fifty percent of the power they use when working. While you’re at it, you don’t need those bedroom lights on if you’re in the kitchen!

The dishwasher and washing machine should be used only once they are full. By doing so, you’ll be saving both waterand electricity. When washing clothes, try use the cold wash option.

Drying clothes on an inside or outside line is also more efficient than a tumble dryer. If you do use a dryer, however, place a dry towel in with the load as this will reduce the time it takes to dry the clothes.

If you need boiling water with which to cook, it’s best to put the kettle on and use that water once it is freshly boiled. A kettle takes less time to heat up water than a stove does. Only boil the amount of water you need.

 If you need boiling water with which to cook, it’s best to put the kettle on and use that water once it is freshly boiled. A kettle takes less time to heat up water than a stove does. Only boil the amount of water you need.

In order to reduce cooking time, cut vegetables up into smaller pieces before boiling. The water will cook them faster this way.
Leaving the fridge open or putting warm food in the fridge means it has to work harder to cool down, resulting in more electricity being used.
The oven uses great amounts of electricity so it’s worth preparing and cooking, together, a few meals at one time. This way you will be using the same amount of electricity to cook numerous meals as you would, just one meal. Leaving the oven door open after using it will let heat into the kitchen and surrounding areas.
Use a stove plate that matches the size of the pan or pot you need to cook your meal. If you have a big meal to cook, use a big pan on a big stove plate.
If you aren’t using your fireplace this winter, block it up so that warm air doesn’t escape.
Buy a water saving showerhead. This way you will be saving on water and the electricity used to heat the water.
Block the gaps under doors and surrounding windows to prevent warm air from escaping outside.
You can reduce the temperature on your geyser to be less than 60 degrees Celsius, that way you will still have hot water but reduce heating costs.
Use hot water only when necessary. Cold water can be used to rinse dishes and wash clothes that aren’t too dirty. This saves on water heating costs.
If the seals on your fridge aren’t working, the fridge could be losing cold air. Items of food in the fridge shouldn’t be packed in too tightly as space between the items allows the cool air to circulate.
Outdoor sensor lights are more practical than lights left on all night.
By using a lampshade that is lighter in colour, the light will be better distributed and less lights will be required.