With families being at home all day now during the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are seeing their electricity usage rocket, and are urgently looking for ways to cut down on this expense.
And one of the easiest is to eliminate the “stealth” consumption of power by appliances and devices that don’t actually switch off when not in use but remain on standby, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“The worst culprits are appliances with remote controls like TVs, sound systems and garage door openers; devices with a continuous digital display like DSTV decoders, microwaves, and clock radios; chargers for cellphones, tablets and laptops and items with external power supplies like printers.”
In fact, energy experts have calculated that the “phantom loads” of power that are invisibly consumed by these devices can account for as much as 15% of your household electricity usage, costing you thousands of rands a year for no direct benefit, he notes.
“But the good news is that you can easily do something about it, starting by unplugging any chargers you aren’t using - and any seldom-used appliance - from their wall sockets.
“Second, plug all the components of your computer or home entertainment system into one multiplug (obtainable from most supermarkets and hardware shops) so you can turn off the whole lot with one switch.
“And third, don’t forget to unplug all your electronic devices whenever you leave the house in the future or are not using them for any length of time. This will have the added benefit of protecting them from lightning strikes.”
Everitt says additional simple tips for saving energy at home and cutting your electricity bill include the following: