Conserving energy can help prevent power failures

Hot water cylinder

  1. Educate all household members in the economical use of hot water.

  2. When bathing, use as little water as possible, or better still have a shower.

  3. Do not wash one cup at a time under the hot tap but rather stack the dirty dishes and wash them together in the sink at the same time.

  4. Do not allow hot water taps to drip.

There are ways to conserve electricity at home and at the office.  By doing your part to conserve electricity, you can help prevent power outages.

  1. Have the hot water cylinder’s thermostat set as low as the household's hot water demand will permit. Recommended temperature setting is at 55°C.

  2. Switch off the cylinder when not in use, for example at night, or should the family go out to work during the day, the cylinder could be switched off in the morning.  More importantly, switch off the cylinder when away for relatively long periods, such as when on holiday.


  1. When boiling water, turn the heat down as low as possible so that the water just boils. It is, however, cheaper to heat water in a kettle than to heat it in a pot on the stove.

  2. Do not cook food with the controls set higher than absolutely necessary and do not cook food for longer than necessary.

  3. Make sure that the bottom of the pots are flat so that good contact can be obtained between the stove plates and the bottom of the pots.

  1. For stoves with the heavy solid plates, which retain their heat, switch off the plate a few minutes before removing the pot.

  2. Small pots should be heated on the stove's small plates to avoid unnecessary heat loss.

  3. A microwave oven is cheaper to operate than a stove.

Refrigerators and deep freezers

  1. Open the refrigerator or deep freeze door as little and for as short a period of time as possible.

  2. Do not place hot food in the refrigerator or deep freeze. Allow it to cool externally first.

  3. Ensure that door seals are in good condition.

Space heaters and air conditioners

  1. Sit as close as practically possible to a heater to avoid the need to have more than one element switched on.

  2. Switch off the heater when leaving the room for any length of time.

  3. When using heaters or air conditioners, limit or restrict the opening of windows.

  4. Curtains help to retain the heat in a room.  Draw the curtains early in the evening especially during cold weather.

  5. It is cheaper to use an electric blanket than to heat the bedroom with a heater.

Other electrical appliances and lights

  1. When using a kettle, do not fill it right to the top if you only intend making one cup of tea.

  2. Store excess hot water from the kettle in a vacuum flask for the odd cup of coffee or for washing up later.

  3. Dishwashers and washing machines should only be used when one has a full load to wash and not just a few items.

  4. Do not leave lights burning unnecessarily.

  5. Survey your incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with compact fluorescent lights. These new lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescent lights and have a much longer operating life.


  1. Operate the filter pump for minimum periods.

  2. During winter algae growth is restricted and the use of the filter cleaning system can be limited to once every few days.

At work

  1. Turn off the photocopier when you leave – a photocopier left on overnight wastes enough energy to make about 1 600 copies.

  2. Turn off your computer monitor – a monitor left on overnight wastes enough energy to laser-print about 800 A4 pages. By turning off your monitor energy consumption can be reduced by 50%.

  3. Leaving the lights on in an empty office overnight wastes enough energy to make about 100 cups of coffee.

  4. Save 10% of an air conditioner electricity bill by turning the thermostat down 1º in winter and up 1º in summer.