How can I conserve energy?

At the Office

The basic guideline for saving electricity is: Switch if off if you are not using it! This is applicable to your computer, your cell phone charger, heater, or any other appliance.

  • Dress according to the weather. Your body will feel comfortable much easier and quicker if you have not become icy cold or sopping wet. If you have to use a heater, use the lowest setting. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent warm air from escaping. Never leave the heater on if you leave the room. Besides wasting electricity, it could also be dangerous.
  • Open the curtains to allow the sun to warm your room/office during the day. Then close the curtains, doors and windows to keep the warmth inside.
  • Make sure that the power-saving devices on your computer are set up so that the computer and monitor will “sleep” if they are not used for more than a quarter of an hour.
  • Do not set the air-conditioning colder than is needed – this causes the compressor to work longer and can cause the cooling coil to ice up and consequently become less effective.
  • Switch off your computer at night and over weekends.
  • Make sure that your office lights/building lights are switched off when you go home.

At Home/In Your Residence

Once again the guideline for saving electricity is: Switch it off! This is applicable to your stove, heater, lights, the TV, oven or any other appliance in your home.

  • Shower rather than bath. If you already shower, do so for a shorter time – even if only for a minute! Use less than the maximum water flow when showering. You will save water and electricity! Some showerheads are designed with a stronger spray that uses less water.
  • If you bathe, use less water – try to reduce the water depth by 2 cm, for example. Don’t lie in the bath for a long time so that you need to keep on running hot water. Rather get out and dry yourself quickly. Remember, you will be saving electricity and water.
  • Don’t boil more water in the kettle than you need for your specific purpose. You could also invest in a good thermos flask that can keep your water hot for a long time!
  • Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which save energy, for your study lamp. These use only about 11 W in comparison with the 60 W of a standard light bulb.
  • If you need to defrost something, place it in the fridge overnight instead of defrosting it in the microwave oven.
  • Broken rubber seals in fridges and freezers cause considerable energy losses in these appliances. Replace them. Do not leave the door of the fridge/freezer open. Allow warm items to cool down before placing them in the fridge or freezer.
  • Never leave a stove plate on if it does not have a pot on it. Only use pots with flat bases. The base of the pot should not be smaller than the plate. Only use the high heat setting to heat the plate. Once the food is boiling, lower the heat so that it simmers. Remember to use lids on pots and pans – they seal the heat in and save electricity, and the food will be done sooner.
  • Switch off the iron if you are not using it. Only use irons with thermostatic control. If clothes are removed from tumble-driers and folded immediately, only a minimum amount of ironing will be necessary.

Everywhere

  • Cultivate an economy-minded attitude – energy will become a scarcer and more expensive commodity in the future. For every kWh (or unit) of electricity that is saved, 1 kg less carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) will be released into the atmosphere by power stations and about 6 liters of water will be saved.
  • Remember, switch off!