Alternate Energy Saving Solutions and Systems
Heat loss and air conditioning losses can be highly significant. Roof insulation in homes makes a considerable difference in winter, avoiding heat loss and can contribute to keeping homes cooler in summer. Relatively cheap to install with a reasonable payback time on expenditure, it is one area of energy efficiency that should be a priority in saving energy and money. A number of different materials are available, including fibreglass matting, spun mica and wool.
Double-glazing of windows makes a significant difference to both noise pollution and heat loss. Extremely popular in colder climates, in South Africa the payback time on expenditure will be longer, and extensive research needs to be undertaken to find the right solution for your home.
2. Gas installations and conversions
The rapidly increasing cost of electricity has resulted in a growth in popularity among many South African home-owners to utilise gas installations in their homes to save on energy bills.
All gas installations must have a Certificate of Conformity according to the Pressure Equipment Regulations that have been promulgated under the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993).
LPGAS provides the following useful tips regarding gas safety:
Always use a registered installer
Always use a qualified gas dealer
Always use a verified and tested gas product
Always check the seal on a cylinder matches the brand of the cylinder
Always check gas appliances before use
3. Mini Water Turbines
Even a small stream can generate consistent, clean, dam free, renewable electricity at a price per Watt lower than solar or wind. A single PowerSpout at a site good enough to generate 1kW can produce enough electricity for a typical house for a year (>8,000 kWh/yr). The small (18 inches wide), all-weather PowerSpout PLT is one of the most reliable, cost-effective generators around because we have spent a decade making micro-hydro efficient and affordable.
4. Electrical inspections and maintenance
Maintenance and servicing is vital to ensure your home or workplace is safe and operating efficiently. We can provide a Preventative Maintenance Schedule to reduce the expensive costs of repairs or replacements in the future.
Sometimes unforeseen breakdowns do occur, and we will be here when you need us most. Every job is important to us and we will respond promptly to any callout, big or small. Whether your switchboard has blown or you just need a light fitting changed, we can assist and thus ensuring your home or business is running as an optimal energy saving unit.
We aim to minimise your stress by providing highly qualified electricians who show up on time, are well presented, professional and carry out any job with great care and skill.
5. Wind turbines
Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. This wind flow, or motion energy, when "harvested" by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
This form of electicity generation can be integrated with solar and is known as a hybrid system, which allows your home or business to generate energy even when the sun is not shining at night, if the wind is blowing.
It is not uncommon to see windmills being used by local farmers to pump water for their farms, and now through the use of wind turbines they are now being used to generate electricity.
These systems can be fitted to your home or business.
6. Electrical appliances
Modern day appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and freezers are all considerably more efficient than only a few years ago. Swimming pool pumps have also improved performance and energy efficiency. An ‘energy rating’ label should be shown on the product.
As a general rule, the more expensive and the higher the quality of the product, the greater the energy efficiency will be. In respect of cooking, gas hobs are more efficient than electric, providing more heat output and arguably more control than electric or induction hobs. Most consumers prefer electric ovens to gas, and these are energy hungry. As a rule of thumb, the better quality ovens are usually more efficient than cheaper models.
As with all energy saving, the comparison between the financial saving needs to be compared with the cost of the appliance.