Power outages are something that many African countries are all too familiar with. Both Ghana and Nigeria are plagued by intermittent power supply due to a lack of sufficient generation capacity and it’s the residents and businesses who have suffered the most.
Part 2 of our list of energy saving tips looks at some of the low cost and long term investments you can make to help you reduce your energy consumption.
Install an efficient shower head
If possible you should try and limit shower flow rates to no more than 10 litres per minute. To test this at home, hold a bucket under the showerhead for 12 seconds. Measure the amount of water within the bucket with a measuring jug. If there are more than 2 litres, then your showerhead is inefficient. A good, modern product will save both water and electricity without compromising your shower experience.
Insulate the geyser
A geyser “blanket” maximises heat retention. Check heat loss first using a basic “hand test”. If the geyser is warm, then it’s losing heat and needs better insulation. Appoint a good installer or do a thorough job yourself. Also insulate the water pipes leading from the geyser for the first 3 metres.
Install efficient lighting
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use 75% less power than old incandescent bulbs, and last much longer. New “light-emitting diodes”, or LEDs, are even more efficient than CFLs, and last 130 times longer than CFL bulbs. They save the most, and although they may be currently expensive the cost is coming down as the technology develops. Of course, switching off lights in unoccupied rooms is also an obvious way to save.
Install a solar water heater
This can save the most electricity of all. It typically saves about two thirds of water heating cost, but this varies and it should be installed with a timer for the best possible saving. Install a heat pump as an alternative, if a solar water heater is not possible. Heat pumps can achieve similar savings but they are a new technology for homes, so they are not well tested yet and may require more maintenance than a solar water heater.
Insulate the ceiling/roof
A ceiling and good roof insulation can keep the home 10 degrees (Celsius) cooler in summer. More comfortable indoor temperatures mean less need for electrical cooling, with savings of about 75% for adding both a ceiling and insulation, or 25% for just adding insulation (if there is already a ceiling). Insulating other parts of the house also helps, but the highest savings are from roof insulation.
If you’re looking for an energy efficient home to call your own contact Mobus Property for more information on our developments in Ghana and Nigeria.
–savingelectricity.org.za. (City of Cape Town)