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reducing electricity in the home Archives - EP Home Solutions

Energy efficiency home upgrades to save you money

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

Property24 recently asked Energy Partners Home Solutions’ Head of Marketing and Sales, Cala van der Westhuizen, a few tips on energy efficiency home upgrades.

Energy-efficiency has become a global trend and designers are constantly presenting homeowners with visions of what high-tech, energy-efficient homes should look like.

The good news is that state-of-the-art energy saving solutions are available in South Africa, and in spite of perceptions, creating ultra-modern living spaces is affordable.

Whether designing and building a new house, upgrading a regular home or renovating a ‘fixer upper’, homeowners today have an incredible opportunity to implement great energy saving solutions.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips…

New water heating solutions 

A geyser is responsible for over half of a home’s energy bill and the modern alternative is to install a heat pump, which uses about a third of the total energy.

In conjunction with a highly insulated hot water storage system, this solution cuts the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%.

A complete heating solution costs around R35 000 for the average home. 

 

Rethinking lighting

Highly efficient LED lighting typically requires a tenth of the energy and has a longer lifespan than regular bulbs.

Constructing a new home or making major renovations is also an opportunity to allow more natural light into the building.

The home’s orientation, larger windows, glass doors and skylights all reduce the need for unnecessarily turning lights on throughout the day.  

 

Insulate everything

Insulation is a cost-efficient measure with the biggest impact on reducing energy consumption.

Double-brick walls with insulation in between, and well-insulated ceilings and floors are vital. Double glazing also reduces heat loss through large glass surfaces like windows and sliding doors.  

Door and window frames are often overlooked sources of heat loss, and wooden frames are the most beneficial in terms of reducing heat transfer between the inside and outside of the home.

 

Heating and cooling the home

If you’re looking for a cheap way to heat up your living spaces, modern fireplaces are a great option.

Conventional underfloor heating that uses closed circuit water-based systems and heat pumps is also one of the most efficient ways to heat a well-insulated home. 

For cooling, a new inverter air-conditioner never uses more energy than required to maintain the desired temperature. 

 

Home energy models through software 

Software modelling is commonplace in the commercial sector, and recently it has become more accessible to homeowners. It takes all the energy ins and outs into account, from heat radiating through windows and ceilings to the energy required for air-conditioning and heating water.

One case study in Hermanus saw Greenplan Consultants creating a virtual model of the home incorporating every possible variable, from the benefits of installing louvres, to the amount of heat removed by natural ventilation.

In the end, the consultant was able to increase the cooling efficiency of the home’s natural ventilation by 10%, and reduce the amount of energy needed for heating by a further 10%.

 

Solar panels and architectural considerations 

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a basic grid tied inverter that provides around 30% of an average home’s energy costs upward of R80 000. We often advise architects and developers on the easiest way to ensure that the roof is compliant, even if a system will not be installed from the start.

For a home to be able to accommodate the best possible solar array, the roof should be able to bear an additional load of at least 15kg per square metre.

Choosing the correct service provider is important too. There are many solar companies that do not have the experience, capabilities or intent to deliver a long-term and sustainable partnership to clients.

 

Batteries and home automation 

Finally, adding a hybrid inverter and battery provides the most energy savings. The inverter enables you to integrate power from the solar PV panels, the grid and batteries.


 

Read the article on Property24 by clicking here.

6 Ways To Slash Your Electricity Bill This Winter

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments
Property24 has published these 6 tips, click here to read the original article.

 

Even in a relatively warm country like South Africa, electricity usage skyrockets when winter comes around each year. In addition to this, electricity costs are still on the rise.

Luckily, there are quick, long-term energy saving solutions that homeowners can implement as we go into winter.

Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference this season.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips on how homeowners can save electricity this winter.

 

1  Mind the lights

LED Lights

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.

Learning to better manage lighting can have a measurable effect on a household’s electricity spend. This is especially evident during winter, when the sun rises later and sets earlier.

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.

Secondly, it is important to remember to only keep the lights on in the rooms that you use.

For those who are so inclined, take efficient lighting even further with intelligent circuits that automatically switch off lights in unused rooms.

2  Insulation is key

Double Glazing Windows

For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

Insulation is a low-cost measure with the biggest impact on reducing energy consumption.

Make sure that the home’s ceilings are properly insulated, and seal cracks or gaps in windowsills and door frames. For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

 

3  Heating water

Water heating accounts for over half of the average home’s electricity spend.

During winter, the amount of energy needed to heat water increases since regular geysers are not efficient at keeping heat from escaping.

Insulate exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and turn down the geyser’s maximum temperature to 60 degrees celsius (from 50 degrees celsius in summer). This still provides enough hot water for the home, while using less energy.

You can stretch your savings even further by investing in a heat pump and hot water storage system. The system uses about a third of the total energy that would be used with a conventional geyser, and loses less than 3 degrees celsius during a 24-hour cycle even if placed outside.

The system can cut the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%.

 

4  Heating the home

Heaters account for a substantial portion of the home’s electricity spend. One of the quickest remedies is to replace all conventional heaters with wall heaters.

In a properly insulated home, these use significantly less energy while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Installing a modern fireplace is also one of the best ways to quickly and cheaply heat a home.

 

5  Don’t forget your laundry

Laundry

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

A tumble dryer is often a lifesaver during winter, especially in areas with winter rainfall. However, running a dryer for two hours a day, five days a week adds another R240 to the average Pretoria or Cape Town home’s monthly electricity bill.

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

 

 

 

6  Go all out

ICON

A homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

Finally, a homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

While a complete system could cost upwards of R80 000, there are financing options available to bring these systems within the reach of qualifying homeowners.

With each passing winter becoming more and more expensive, homeowners need to adopt an energy-saving mindset at every available opportunity.

Wimpie from Bok Radio saves with EPHS

By | Energy Partners Home Solutions Stories | No Comments

All across South Africa people rely on electricity every day – from making a morning cup of coffee, to cooking dinner. Therefore, when it comes to the rising cost of electricity year-on-year, the whole country is feeling the heat.

Exorbitant electricity tariffs are especially true for Western Cape Northern Suburbs residents.

 

As part of the City of Cape Town, these residents are paying one of the highest electricity tariffs in the country. When Energy Partners Home Solutions heard Bok Radio DJ, Wimpie van der Sandt, complaining about his hefty electricity bills, we stepped in to help.

Bok Radio Wimpie & Le-Lue

During the month of February 2017, we proved to Wimpie that an affordable, efficient, home energy solution could save him up to 70% on his electricity bill.

First, we sent one of our energy experts to Wimpie’s home to give him a free energy assessment. Everyone’s home and electricity needs are different – making each installation a custom exercise. That is why it was necessary to determine exactly what Wimpie’s requirements were, and pinpoint where the bulk of his electricity usage was coming from.

Basically, anything that warms up when you switch it on, is wasting energy.

 

In regular households with more than two members, the geyser is almost always the main culprit. It will account for more than 50% of the electricity use. This was no exception at Wimpie’s home.

The first thing we did was to replace Wimpie’s electric geyser with an energy-efficient water-heating system – comprising of a heat pump and an integrated water tank.

 

Heat Pump

We have run various trials, and if you take an annual look at efficient water heating, heat pumps make the most sense in the Western Cape if you have the capital available.

Lights are also heavy electricity users. Replacing yours with energy-efficient LEDs is another simple, affordable way to save on your monthly electricity bill. An energy-efficient LED light bulb will cost you less than R100, but could save you ten times that in the long run.

Energy Partners Home Solutions also installed solar PV and our state-of-the-art Icon™ home energy system.

ICON Energy System

Solar PV puts the sun to work and enables Wimpie to generate his own electricity, while the Icon™ inverter and battery combo stores energy for use at night, and on cloudy days.

 

Solar PV Panels

We checked in with Wimpie a month after the installation.

After checking his monitoring app installed on his phone, he was able to confirm that he had already saved R1 600 in the short month of February.

 

Depending on the size of your home and your energy requirements, you don’t need a large, expensive solution to enjoy big electricity savings. You can start small, and add different components as you start saving on your bills. Your solar energy investment will also increasing the value of your property.

To save on your electricity bill like Wimpie, get in touch for a free home energy assessment.

Want to win a cash prize as big as Wimpie’s electricity saving in March 2017?

Stay tuned to Bok Radio and guess how much energy Wimpie is going to save during the month of March 2017. SMS your answer, name and email address to 45989. The first person with the closest correct guess, will walk away with the same amount of cash Wimpie ends up saving on electricity in March. Entries close 31 March 2017 (T’s and C’s apply).

Electricity Fun Facts: How much energy would it take to power yourself?

By | Energy Partners Knowledge Base | No Comments

When looking at the top six power-hungry home appliances in this article, it’s difficult to really understand the kWh unit.

To help understand how much these top 6 offenders actually consume, we’ve compared it to the human body.

So, how hard would you have to work to literally power your home yourself?

1. Geyser

Your geyser accounts for a fat 50% of your electricity bill. 9.25 kWh per hour feeds your geyser.

Cycling vigorously for 3 hours powers your geyser for 1 hour

2. Tumble Dryer

This appliance consumes a massive 3kWh per hour.

Doing laundry for 4 years powers your tumble dryer for 1 hour

3. Oven

Using your oven for an hour eats about 2.3kWh.

Chopping wood for 4 hours powers your oven for 1 hour

4. Air Conditioner

When using your aircon, bear in mind that it costs around 1.8kWh.

Taking a brisk walk around the earth powers your aircon for 1 hour

5. Swimming Pool Pump

Cleaning your pool accounts for 1.5kWh usage per hour.

Swimming 103 olympic pool laps powers your pool pump for 1 hour

6. Portable Heater

Winter is coming! To keep yourself warm with your portable heater, you’ll have to provide it with 1.5kWh every hour.

Shivering for 3 hours and 10 mins powers your portable heater for 1 hour

The next time you flip a switch, think about how much physical energy needs to be exerted to power the heaviest energy consumers in your home. Being more conscious about your energy usage is the easiest way to reduce your electricity bill. Power Yourself!


 

There are a combination of solutions available to power yourself through renewable energy. To discuss these with one of our energy consultants, get in touch! We would love to provide you with a custom cost and energy saving proposal – without a single obligation attached.

(Calculations were all made based on averages.)

Six of the most power-hungry home appliances

By | Energy Partners Knowledge Base | No Comments

Powering your home is as simple as flicking a switch. It requires little to no effort from you to fill the tub with warm water, reheat a meal in the microwave or brew a steaming cup of coffee. But have you thought about how much energy some of the everyday appliances in your home are using?

We’ve identified the biggest villains in your home below:

(If kWh’s make no sense to you: have a look at this follow-up article on how much energy you need to burn to power these appliances listed below.)

1. Geyser

A geyser accounts for a fat 50% of the electricity bill in many households. It consumes about 9.25 kWh, which works out to 300 kW a month!

However, there are ways to ensure your geyser doesn’t chew up a huge chunk of your monthly budget. A solar water geyser or heat pumps are much leaner on energy, which makes them great alternatives to standard geysers. You could also try and use less warm water whenever you can, for example, by taking shorter showers. This means you’ll also be doing your bit for water conservation ?  .

2. Tumble Dryer

While it’s a lifesaver on rainy laundry days, your tumble dryer devours a whopping 3 kWh.

To save on electricity, it’s best to view your tumble dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Only use it when you really have to and turn to the sun to curb its energy appetite: Only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an efficient home solar energy solution.

3. Oven

On average, your oven uses about 2.3 kWh. 

Luckily, in sunny South Africa, we have been born and bred to enjoy cooking meals on fires. You now have an excuse to cook outside more often!

4. Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner works very hard to keep you cool, consuming around 1.8 kWh.

In summer, you should try to acclimatise yourself by using the aircon as little as possible. Studies also show that aircons can make you sick – don’t catch sick building syndrome!

5. Swimming Pool Pump

It takes a lot of time and energy to keep a pool crystal-clear. Take your pool pump: It consumes about 1.5 kWh.

Covering your swimming pool is not only a great way to save water, but it’ll help keep your pool clean and take some of the pressure off your pump.

6. Portable Heater

In winter, temperature control proves to be equally costly, with standard portable heaters consuming as much as 1.5 kWh. 

Snuggle up with a blanket instead. Cups of hot chocolate will also assist in building up a fat reserve to get you through the coldest nights!

Another all-round great electricity-saving alternative is to install a state-of-the-art home solar energy solution. That could amount to a saving of up to 70% on your monthly electricity bill.

Want to know how hard you’d have to work to power each of the appliances above? Read our follow up article!

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