Have you been wondering why you’re getting fewer units when buying electricity? You’re not the only one feeling the pinch. Botswana electricity tariffs recently hiked up by 22%, ouch! Luckily, we thought up some fun ways to make saving on electricity a family affair.
Try these small changes that will add up to big savings on your electricity bill.
I Spy With My Little Eye
Kids love to play ‘I spy”, here’s how you can add a twist. Rather than spying something that starts with a letter, give them the challenge of spying on appliances that suck up the most energy.
We found these great tips in Consumer Watchdog Botswana.
Switch off every electrical item for a few minutes and then go to your meter. Enter the code 864 and keep pressing “Enter” until you see “A”. The number it shows is the current consumption. If you’ve turned everything off it should read zero. This can be helpful in finding out which appliances use the most power. Also, if you enter the code 813 it shows you how much power you used in total the day before!Richard Harriman
You can have the kids switch off all the appliances in the house. Then switch them on one by one to see which appliances use the most power. They can create a power-saving activity book where they record their findings as there will be some unexpected surprises along the way.
This would be a great way to teach them how to value how much electricity is used up and take them away from the screen at the same time. What a win.
Catch The “Vampires”
“Vampires” don’t only exist in movies. “Vampire” devices are any electronic devices that haven’t been turned off, sapping up energy without you knowing. This is because they keep a little bit of electricity going to respond more quickly to things like being turned back on. Turning off switches that aren’t in use effectively cuts off all electricity to your electronics. If your spouse or kids are big on gaming, some “vampires” that might be sapping energy are the game consoles.
Newer gaming consoles like PS4 and Xbox One come with more smart features, graphics and processing capabilities for a better gaming experience. Add in voice and motion recognition, and you have all these features that keep the gaming consoles in “Rest Mode” for PS4 and “Instant On” for Xbox One. Basically what this means is whoever is playing can continue the game right where they left it and not wait for the console to switch on or wait for those long annoying updates.
But what this does is even when no one is on the gaming consoles, they are still using up electricity. The trick is to disable the features that they don’t really need and use the energy-saving features incorporated in the design of the games.
How To Beat The Tariffs
These tips on how to get more units when buying electricity were a Facebook favourite. Thanks to Masego Manyaapelo for sharing her experience.
A lot of people have been complaining about electricity tariffs, appalled at how little electricity they get when buying units. I have been trying these tricks for about 6 months now and noticed they work.
I had been using about P250- P300 per month. And have gone down to P200.
Here are the tips: Call BPC to find out what your household usage limit is per month. If your household limit is 150-200 units, which might be the standard usage for every household, then anything more than that means you will get fewer units on your purchase.
At the beginning of the month I bought P150 units and got 141 units. Other times I have bought the same amount mid-month and gotten way less about 129 units for the same amount. Which is what has made me believe we are charged based on how much we exceed the monthly threshold. So when these 141 units run out before the new month I will purchase a small amount say P50. Then wait until the next month to purchase a larger quantity.
Keep lights you don’t need off at night. If you are in the living room, switch off all other lights in the house. Have 2-3 lights on the outside. Front and back and gate.
If using an electric stove, always use small pots on a small plate, don’t place a small pot on the large plate.
Switch on geyser at night after peak hours and switch off before peak hours in the morning. For instance, switch on at 11 or 12 midnight and switch it off at 4 am. The water stays hot even in this cold weather.
Limit the use of a clothes dryer. You can dry clothes outside and finish them off in the dryer especially in winter where the sun doesn’t quite do the job.
Switch appliances off when not in use. And even non-connected sockets
When using a heater you don’t have to leave it on the whole day and whole night. Switch it on 30 – 45mins before bedtime close the door. Then when the room is warm switch it off. Some rooms hold the heat. You might have to switch it back on some hours later. Same with AC it doesn’t have to run the whole night. Once the room is warm enough you are good.
These are just the tricks I use to lower my electricity usage. Some might be myths but I use all and so far so good. Hope they help! I still have to calculate how much I would be saving at the end of the year but I believe it would be significant.
More DIY Hacks To Help You Spend Less On Electricity
Ever heard of a geyser blanket? These add an extra layer of insulation around your geyser keeping the water hot for longer. Especially helpful during winter.
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) are your friend. These use up to 75% less energy than your normal light bulbs. The next time you change your light bulb ask the store assistant for the best store brand.
If your fridge is almost empty, store bottles of water inside. The mass of cold items will help the fridge recover more quickly after the door has been opened. Take care not to overfill your fridge though, as it will interfere with the circulation of cold air inside. The simplest solution is to buy the right size fridge to suit your family’s needs.
Last but not least, when using a kettle, boil only the amount you need. And regularly descale by leaving overnight with white vinegar and water (remember to leave a note to let everyone know). Especially in areas where the water has high lime content, causing a thin white later on the base of the kettle. This means it takes longer for water to boil, using more energy.
There are many more hacks out there to spend less on electricity. Leave us a comment below to let us know what works for you and your home. For more tips on how to keep warm this winter, check out this post on affordable ways to keep your family warm.