Use electricity smartly as winter sets in

10 April 2019: Eskom is implementing its “Use electricity smartly” campaign this
week, the aim being to reduce electricity usage so that we can all together minimise
the risk of loadshedding.

During the colder months, space heating can be responsible for up to 8% of an average
household’s electricity usage. The current constrained electricity network calls for smart
electricity usage to help keep the warmth inside and the cold outside.

Insulated and draught-proofed rooms require 51% less energy to heat – getting your home in
shape for winter will help to reduce the need for space heating. What can you do?
 Use foam tape to seal windows and doors if they do not close properly – in winter,
draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss.

 Hang curtains to reduce heat transfer.
 Lay “door snakes” to stop cold air from entering – aluminium skirts with rubber seals
on the outside of doors are also highly effective.
 Seal cavities in and between bricks with a polyurethane sealant.
 Seal the chimney if you have one – the best way is to have a damper installed when
the chimney is not in use; if not utilised at all, seal it at the top and bottom.
 Install fire-retardant ceiling insulation – with approximately 40% of heat lost through
the roof, ceiling insulation makes your home up to 5% warmer in winter.
What else can you do to save?
 Delay using your space heater, especially between 5pm and 9pm, the period of peak
demand for electricity in the residential sector – instead, dress warmly, cover yourself
with a thick blanket and snuggle up with a hot water bottle.
Only heat the room you are occupying, and use the correct type of heater when you feel the
need for extra warmth:
 A thermostat-controlled fan heater is ideal to quickly heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5
meters for one hour.
 A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to
heat the same room for three hours.
 A thermostat-controlled heater no bigger than 1 000W (watt) is the most energy
efficient option to heat it for eight hours.
 Most gas heaters generate a great amount of heat and do not require electricity at all
Says Acting Group Executive: Generation, Andrew Etzinger: “Eskom is currently faced with
challenges at its power stations, which has led to the need for loadshedding over the past
few months.

If consumers can assist us by using electricity smartly, it would help to reduce
the need for loadshedding, which is a measure used to balance the supply and demand of
electricity.”