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Energy saving tips

Currently over 90% of our energy in South Africa comes from non-renewable resources like coal, oil and gas that will eventually run out. The less energy we use, the longer these resources will last and a lower demand for energy will have beneficial effects on the environment.

Discover the TOP 10 best ways to save electricity at home here.

More tips on how to save energy:

    • Buy energy-efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 80% less electricity than ordinary light bulbs and last up to 8 times longer.
    • Use low energy lamps and energy-efficient spotlights for exterior lighting.
    • Buy energy-efficient appliances or gas appliances.
    • Physically turn off appliance switches or at the wall (e.g. a TV or Hi-Fi), instead of leaving them on stand-by (they still use electricity otherwise).
    • Make one-pot meals and keep lids on pots.
    • Bring foods to the boil quickly on the “high” setting, then turn the heat down to “simmer” to finish cooking.
    • Keep the oven door completely closed until food is cooked (use the oven light to check food instead). Every time the door is opened, the oven temperature drops, and the heat must be replaced.
    • Cold water short wash cycles and rinse-only cycles on dishwashers and washing machines are designed for energy and water conservation.
    • Thick frost on chilling panels reduces a fridge and freezer’s cooling ability. If you do not have a frost-free model, defrost your fridge or freezer when frost is between 0.6 cm and 1.3 cm thick.
    • Empty, switch off and clean your fridge before going on a long holiday.
    • Defrost food in the fridge instead of the microwave oven as it is more economical.

For even more tips on how to reduce your electricity account, visit the City's Electricity Services Department website.

 Click here to download the 'ENERGY' section, or full version, of the Smart Living Handbook - a practical sustainability guide for people and households in Cape Town to make their homes safer and to save money and the environment.

Did you know?

  • Leaving a computer monitor on overnight wastes as much energy as making 800 A4 photocopies!
  • Lighting an empty meeting room overnight can waste enough energy to make 1000 cups of tea!
  • TVs, DVDs and video machines left on ‘Stand-By’ continue to use at least half the amount of electricity they use when they are turned on!
  • Overfilling an electric kettle can waste enough energy to run a TV set for 26 hours!
  • Recycling 1 ton of paper (400 reams) saves 15 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4132kWh of electricity, 2.26m3 of landfill space, 31319 gallons of water and prevents 26.8kg of air pollutants from reaching the atmosphere!
  • Making paper from recycled fibres uses 70% less energy than from virgin fibres!

Please consider the environment before printing this web page.

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© City of Cape Town, 2014