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How to save electricity at home this winter

Whether you’re worried about loadshedding, or are simply looking for ways to reduce your tariffs, now is a good time to look into energy-saving measures.

Saving electricity in winter

Article summary

  • Focus on appliances that use the highest proportion of energy, such as the geyser.
  • Insulating your home will reduce the amount of heat required to keep it warm.
  • Simple measures such as drying your clothes on a laundry line rather than using a tumble dryer and using LED lighting can help.

With ESKOM loadshedding being such a major issue over the past few years, South Africans will be wondering what they can do to mitigate the impact during the cold winter months. 

Here we provide some tips so you can keep warm this winter in a way that mitigates electricity costs and reduces some of the stress of power management in an age of loadshedding.

Energy-draining applicances

Before implementing your cost-saving measures, it helps to know which appliances place the highest burden on your grid.

ESKOM themselves have done the calculations in this regard and produced a list of appliances in order of highest electricity usage.

Biggest drainers of electricity in the home:

  • Geyser 39%
  • Space Heating 16%
  • Other 12%
  • Stove & Oven 7%
  • Lights 6%
  • Cold Storage 5%
  • Laundry 3%
  • Pool Pump 11%
  • Other Cooking 1%

The geyser

It should come as no surprise that geysers consume the most electricity. Unfortunately, it’s an appliance that sees significantly increased use during the winter.

Some measures to reduce geyser costs include:

  • Turning off your geyser during set periods of the day costs you nothing, and will reduce your energy usage significantly. Such a simple act can be more effective than any number of costly energy-efficient solutions.
  • But if you don’t trust yourself to remember when to turn the geyser off, there are products that can automate the process for you. 
  • A geyser timer, which can be purchased for around R200 to R500, can activate the geyser during periods of the day when you are most likely to require heated water.
  • A geyser usually takes around 2 to 3 hours to heat water, so take that into account when scheduling the geyser timer.


Space heating is usually the second biggest culprit during winter, and as with the geyser, some relatively simple procedures will help you conserve significant amounts of energy. 

  • Insulating your home will prevent heat from escaping, requiring less energy to keep rooms warm.
  • According to DIY and Industrial Trade News, homeowners can prevent around 20-35% heat loss by insulating their ceilings. This will also benefit you during summer by keeping heat out of the home.
  • Other heat-saving measures include only heating rooms you are currently in, and keeping doors and windows closed when the electrical heater is on.


It may not use a significant proportion of electricity, but every little bit helps, and reducing the cost of lighting is easy enough to make it worth considering.

  • Replace incandescent lights with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • According to Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs will reduce electricity consumption by around 80% to 90%. 

Other household appliances

The geyser, heating and lighting are the three areas that tend to receive the most attention when it comes to energy efficiency, but you can conserve a lot of energy by being more strategic in your use of miscellaneous appliances. For example:

  • Hanging clothes on the line to dry, rather than using a tumble dryer.
  • Cooking on an induction hob rather than a stove.
  • Regulating your refrigerator temperature.
  • Switch off plug points when you’re not using the attached appliances (some appliances use electricity even when they’re in standby mode).

The demand for energy-efficient homes 

Energy efficiency is a buzzword for home buyers, and will only increase in importance as people become more environmentally conscious. 

The long-term benefits make it a factor you should take into account when looking to buy a home.

ooba Home Loans,  South Africa’s leading home loan comparison service, makes the home-buying process easier by submitting your application to multiple banks, allowing you to compare deals and secure the most favourable package.

So, apply through ooba Home Loans to save money on your home loan.

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