Consumers face ever-increasing costs such as electricity and utilities, fuel, transport and food. As a result, it’s a constant challenge to keep daily expenses at manageable levels.
If you plan to renovate your home now, it makes good sense to include as many energy-saving and other eco-friendly features in your plans as much as possible. Renovations can be costly, but if you plan carefully, the long-term savings will help to offset rising utility bills and other household expenses.
Electricity savings should be high on the agenda in the light of Eskom’s annual requested increases that far outstrip inflation.
Many householders are already switching to solar power and heat pumps to heat water since electric geysers account for the most electricity usage in most homes. So even if you don’t have plans for general renovations, it makes financial sense to switch to alternative ways to heat household water.
Other electricity-saving measures could include ensuring electrical appliances like air-conditioners, fans and heaters are working properly, and installing insulation to retain heat indoors during winter and keep it out during summer. Installing roof insulation is a very cost-effective upgrade, and you also need to make sure doors and windows fit snugly.
If new appliances form part of your upgrade, you should choose energy-efficient models that use less electricity than older appliances.
A wide range of energy-saving light bulbs are available, including LED lighting. In addition to using less electricity than traditional light bulbs, they last much longer.
For outdoor areas, solar garden lamps have become more affordable and reliable. In addition to lighting up the garden, they can also double as indoor lamps during load shedding.
Water usage is another area where you can make major savings.
If plumbing forms part of your home upgrade, you should consider installing a greywater system to safely re-use bath and shower water in the garden.
Tanks to catch and store rainwater run-off from roofs for irrigation are an excellent way to cut metered water consumption.
Appliances like dishwashers or washing machines with eco cycles rated for low water and electricity consumption make excellent sense.
Water-saving kitchen and bathroom renovations could include:
- Low-flow aerated taps and showerheads
- Low-flow toilet cisterns
All these measures will enable you to save a little each day, which will add up to a significant amount over several months.
In addition, these revamps will make your property more attractive to cost-conscious buyers when the time comes to sell.