Save money on prepaid electricity this winter with these practical tips
Winter is here again and with it comes added expenses, the most common of which is electricity. With the economy in the state it’s in, as well as the recent increase in electricity tariffs by Eskom, hardly anyone can afford another season of higher-than-normal electricity bills. There are countless ways for you to reduce your electricity usage, but many of them are impractical or inconvenient. How can you save money on electricity and still maintain your standard of living? There are a few ways, actually:
Use cold instead of hot water for laundry
Warmer water removes stains much faster than cold water does, but it also wears out the colour and integrity of fabrics faster. By switching to cold water for your laundry, you’re not only saving on electricity costs but you’re also prolonging the lifespan of your garments. A lot of typically wintry materials (wool, flannel, fleece etc.) are actually meant to be laundered at lower temperatures according to their wash care labels. If you’re finding it tougher to get stains out using cold water, try soaking the clothes for a few hours (or even overnight) before you wash them. This will also shorten the wash time required if you’re using a machine, thereby reducing your electricity usage even further.
Adjust the temperature on your geyser
One thing that’s almost impossible to live without during the colder months is a hot shower or bath in the morning. But having to get up half an hour earlier just to turn on the geyser is quite an inconvenience and leaving it on 24/7 is a luxury few can afford. Most geysers are set to a default maximum temperature of 70 degrees. Generally, this is too high for a shower or a bath and most people run both sides of the tap until they reach their desired temperature. If you call a plumber to adjust your geyser to a lower maximum temperature setting (a comfortable temperature for a shower or bath is somewhere around 60), your geyser won’t have to heat all the way up to 70 degrees only for you to cool the water down again. This way, the water will only get as hot as is necessary, limiting the amount of electricity needed.
Invest in thermal blankets instead of electric blankets
Electric blankets are meant to provide extra warmth during those cold winter evenings, but it comes at an extra cost. A great alternative is using thermal blankets instead, which can keep you just without using any electricity at all. Thermal blankets use a “greenhouse effect” to trap the heat that your body produces and circulate it under the blanket, keeping you warm. Thermal blankets are much cheaper than electric blankets, they aren’t potential fire hazards if left unchecked and they keep for much longer. You can also use a thermal blanket in the event of a power outage. Thermal blankets are available in a range of materials like cotton and fleece that you can wash and reuse every winter.
Opt for prepaid electricity over post-paid electricity
Prepaid electricity went through an unpopular phase when consumers were prioritising convenience over affordability – some of them still are. However, the benefits of prepaid electricity speak for itself. Prepaid electricity allows you to:
- Monitor your usage. By tracking how much electricity you’re buying, you can pick up spikes and dips in your usage and pinpoint what appliances or household tasks are causing them.
- Budget better. Tracking the amount of prepaid electricity you’re using also gives you insight into how much you need on any given month, so you can budget accurately.
- Avoid reconnection fees. If you miss a payment with post-paid electricity, you get disconnected and you have to pay a reconnection penalty fee. This can very easily be avoided with prepaid electricity since you can tell when your meter is running low and top up.
If you’re a retailer and you would like to maximise on the increased need for electricity during winter, you should consider vending prepaid electricity vouchers to your customers using Kazang. Download our Kazang brochure for more details.