You can make the difference !!
Don’t be fooled into believing industry is the only large consumer of electricity.
The mid to high income residential sector is a significant contributor.
In South Africa most of us grew up with “cheap” electricity because coal is abundant.
Look at the per capita CO2 emissions for South Africa bellow:
Roughly 8 tons of CO2 is produced from generating 8000kWh, that is 666kWh per month per person.
If you take your monthly kWh’s and divide by the number of people in your home, how close are you to this figure?
Now consider the middle to high income residence in S.A. bellow:
31% of electricity produced goes to mid-hi income residential!
93.5% of S.A. electricity comes from coal!
I have already shown in my case study that house hold electricity consumption can be reduced by 77% without impacting your life style.
This indicates that total electricity production could be reduced by 22.6% and this in mid-hi income residential only.
Consider Eskom produced 240 Billion kWh in 2010. A saving of 23% on this is 55.2BkWh. Each kWh equates to 1.05kg of CO2.
It’s time to stop thinking government and industry are going to solve this on their own. It’s also time to stop thinking it’s them – it’s us.
There is a general misconception that the bad guys are industry but industry invest money all the time to reduce operating costs. Industry strive to be efficient because it affects profit. Are households run in the same way?
It’s time to change your home.
To change is simple:
- Analyze your usage patterns with a tool like CHtech energy monitor.
- Based on the data start with the highest culprits first.
- Match technology to your usage patterns to ensure short return on investment
- Plan for the future by ensuring your next steps will be compatible.
- Continue to monitor and find improvements.
We are not talking a few CFL’s here.
Remember the goal is to redesign your house to become efficient and to have the shortest payback time. Thereafter the savings are yours.
In my own home, we spent R50 000. The first R30k resulted in the most savings but you need to take a holistic view because the entire investment will be recovered in 2.7 years. Thereafter you will continue to benefit finically and the planet will enjoy the reduction in CO2 emissions.
Technology installed should be rated for 20 years service and will continue to repay it’s initial costs many time over.
If your consumption is reduced to something like 600kWh per month, you can then start considering photovoltaic (PV) solutions to subsidies your home.
A 1kW system can provide 30% of your needs if you are in this category.
Remember PV is expensive and your goal should be efficiency first, then PV.
PV should not be used to fuel inefficiency, it’s a waste of resources (which is the fundamental problem).
There is no reason to wait for government “talks”, you can start making a difference today. Just make a choice, invest wisely and you can make a big difference.
Just remember you must be able to asses changes before and after they are done. You do not want to guess here or you could invest in very expensive technology that will take 20 years to pay for it’s self.
Demand side management (DSM)
Eskom are asking us to reduce consumption by 10%. Given money and time we can do much better than this but in the short term there is a simple solution.
Simply move your loads to an off peak period and ensure they do not overlap.
The following profile is for a house using 1400kWh per month:
Notice the pool pump overlaps with the cooking period. The geyser is also on at the same time as a hair drier.
It’s these peaks that Eskom have difficulty in generating.
Simply moving a load like a pool pump to run between 22:00 and 08:00, will help reducing this peak demand.
Remember Eskom are asking you to save between 08:00 and 22:00 and therefor shifting your loads out of this period is also considered a saving.
The CHTech energy monitor can help by disabling your geyser while other essential loads are on. This does not turn it off permanently but just while other loads are on.
Notice in the above graph, that the hair drier is on at the same time as the geyser resulting in a peak demand of 4.8kW.
There is no reason why the geyser cannot be turned off until the hair drier is finished.
This can be done for you automatically.
Presently the only incentive to do this is knowing you are helping the grid and others.
In the future, Eskom intend charing you more for peak load power, in which case there will be a financial incentive.