Switch off electrical equipment before you go on holiday
You’re off on holiday soon after another frenetic year.
You’ve saved hard to pay for a week or two of relaxation away from home but at the same time you want to make sure you keep your household consumable expenses under control.
Switching off your electric geyser before you leave home is a no-brainer but many householders either forget to shift the geyser trip switch on the DB board to the OFF position, or buy into the perception that switching off the geyser will somehow damage the product.
Gauteng-based Kwikot, market leaders in domestic and industrial hot water storage systems, advise that switching a geyser on and off will not harm the unit.
Although the company does not address the issue of savings accrued by switching off one’s geyser for an extended period, Kiwkot says by switching off “over peak electricity demand times (mornings and early evenings), you are assisting Eskom by load shifting” but saving little monetary wise.
“The only real way to reduce electric consumption on a geyser, which will be of financial benefit, is to reduce the amount of water that is heated and drawn off i.e. reduce your hot water consumption, and reduce the temperature setting of the water on the thermostat. Ideal setting is 50 to 55 degrees in summer and 60 to 65 degrees in winter.
“The maximum allowable heat loss for a 150lt capacity geyser (most common geyser size) is 2.6kW per 24 hours at a stored water temperature setting at 65 degrees C and no water is drawn off during the 24 hour period. This translates to a temperature loss of between 10 to 12 degrees C over the 24 hour period. A 150lt size geyser will take close on to 3 hours to heat from completely cold water (15 degrees C) to 65 degrees C, which equates to the usage of 8.72kW of electricity with a 3kW element and will cost approximately R3.92. However, one must remember that a geyser is seldom heated from completely cold as not all the hot water is drawn off at once.
“Let’s say the water in a 150lt size geyser has reached the temperature setting of 65 degrees C and the geyser is then switched off for 12 hours and no water is drawn off. This will equate to a approximate saving of 1.3kW @ R0.45c per kW, thus a saving R0.585c per day and if this practice is carried out every day over a month (30 days), the monthly saving will be 39.0kW or R17.55 per month, not the high savings some may think they would make,” Kiwkot says.
Clr Xanthea Limberg, Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, supports the idea of switching off one’s geyser before you and your family leave on holiday “so that you do not waste electricity heating water that isn’t required.
“Turning off the (electric) geyser when residents are on holiday will save electricity, which not only supports the broader call for all residents to reduce consumption especially now in the context of Eskom’s implementation of load shedding, but also translates to a lower electricity bill.”
Clr Limberg also recommends switching off all appliances that are in standby mode (such as TVs and entertainment systems) at the wall as they use power even when they are not on.
Words: Blake Wilkins