Also, considering that we had an average increase of 25% in tariffs last year, (and similarly priced increases definitely on the cards for the next two years) to "help finance new power stations / production and thereby avert rolling blackouts" I, personally, am horrified!
Horrified at the cheek of Escom (the South African power provider) at reneging on their reasons for the price increase. No rolling blackouts indeed!!
But, I also question why the homeowner should be penalised for industries demand for, and use of, power - even a 5-year-old could work out that manufacturing plants / factories consume far more power than the simple homeowner.
And, I am extremely grateful for the power saving methods I have introduced in our home in the past 36 months. And for the resultant reduction in power consumption by at least 45% in the past 15 months.
This winter we will not put on heaters / electric blankets (which we don't possess) this winter - extra jerseys / thicker socks - even a beanie or a hoodie - they will all help to keep us warmer. And, if whilst we watch TV in the evening, it is uncomfortably chilly - well, there's nothing like snuggling under a blanket on a comfy chair :-) And what on earth is wrong with a microwaved bean bag or hot water bottle at the foot of the bed, if that is required?
My solar oven use may be limited due to the fact that we don't get much sun in our garden in winter - however, with that said, whenever I do have sun available, the solar oven will be employed to make soups - plain vegetable / bean / dried pea soups - the type of soups that can be cooked at a low heat and which will not promote the growth of salmonella or some other such dreaded bacteria, so nothing with milk, eggs, chicken or meat. I WILL NOT use my electric oven under any circumstances - why should I - I haven't used it for the past 10 months anyway!
|My hot box, made out of RSons' old toy box|
and shredded paper from the office
which didn't land up on the compost heap.
My hot box worked well last year, and I will probably have to use our gas barbecue for baking bread. But I don't mind that, as it's instant heat - I don't have to wait for it for 20 - 30 minutes in order for it to warm up to the required temperature, wasting who knows how much power / electricity whilst it does so! A baking stone on the grill also retains the heat and improves this method for cooking bread. I would obviously try and combine different foods whilst the barbecue is lit, and it is in "oven mode" - bread and roast chicken / bread and a casserole / bread and a quiche... the possibilities are endless.
|Washing drying in our laundry room|
The vacuum cleaner - have you ever tried brushing your carpets with a hand brush or broom? You seriously don't need to go to a gym to get a workout in your own home.
When we boil the kettle, we fill up a thermos flask with the balance of the hot water - it stays more than hot enough for the next cup or two. And most of my kitchen implements for preparing food are manually operated.
|Manual kitchen implements|
ALL our light globes are CFL's - and, at night, we only ever have one on at a time.
Plus, we have our solar light - let the sunlight (what there is of it) charge the internal battery during the day, and use that power at night.
I turn the light to face the wall and the wall bounces back all the illumination we need :-)
My 'puter - can't really cut back on its' use, as I use it for personal pleasure and for our business - so apart from switching off the screen whenever I am not in front of it for a while, I do also have a screen saver function, which puts it "to sleep" after 5 minutes of non-activity.
Our only real problem is going to be our geyser, and, as our purchase of a solar geyser is unlikely this year, I am really tempted to install a Kexin (Dew Hot) LP gas powered geyser, similar to what we use on the farm. It works brilliantly, and most importantly, only uses gas when you switch on the hot tap. An added bonus is that it has adjustable settings, for winter / summer use, and a fire adjuster. And a Kexin (plus installation) will be about 20% the cost of a solar geyser. Our existing geyser is at least 25 years old, and CANNOT be efficient anymore - certainly not as efficient as the newer models.
Other than the changes we have made, I cannot see how we can reduce our electricity consumption further.
I don't fear rolling blackouts, as we do have the wherewith all to be really very comfortable during them. And we have, very happily, experienced life without power on the farm. I just object to their being enforced!
I feel for all the Capetonians who haven't taken steps to simplify their lives or who haven't become less dependent on Escom - the rolling blackouts will hit them pretty hard, I fear.
But, I have to confess, I do love any excuse for candlelight :-) And I'll have a valid reason to just sit and knit some more dishcloths whilst the blackouts are in force. Knitting I can do by candlelight.
I will miss blogging and catching up on blogs if the power is out first thing in the morning... But, Blogger (and the problems I am having with my reading list on my dashboard) permitting, I will catch up sooner or later! :-)
By the way, is no one else interested in a give away? The offer end this evening.