In the bitter cold winter, saving electricity might be the last thing on your mind, but in the end it could save you plenty of cash.

Here are a few tips on how to save electricity:

1. Always put a full load of washing in the machine
When you finally decide it’s time to do the washing, ensure that you set aside time to actually do all the aspects of the dry cleaning process. Don’t do the washing when there are only a few items as doing small bundles of clothing wastes time, money and energy. Whenever possible, ditch the tumble dryer and hang out the washing instead.

2. When using a dishwasher, be sure that it’s filled up before switching it on
A dishwasher can save on water and electricity if you use it correctly. Fill up the dishwasher as this gets the bulk of the dishes cleaned in one go. The energy consumption will be reduced if you turn off the dishwasher after the rinse cycle. Short wash cycles or the mid-cycle turn off features was created to save energy so make use of these built in features.

3. Switch off lights when not in use
The most common but still most important rule is to switch off any lights, when there is no need for it. When you leave a room, be sure to switch off the light if you won’t be returning soon. Consider switching to energy saving bulbs. It’s a long term investment and will save you money and time.

4. Shower instead of taking a bath
The drought in Cape Town is making many people across the country more water-conscious. Not only does taking a short shower reduce water usage but it also saves electricity too. Also make sure that your geyser is at 55 degrees Celcuis to 60 degrees Celcuis.

5. Microwave cooking
If possible, cook small meals in the microwave as the microwave consumes less electricity than the stove or oven. When defrosting food rather defrost in the fridge or just on a kitchen counter than using the microwave. Defrosting naturally is an energy saver.

6. Household appliances
Fix all faulty appliances as this can waste a considerable amount of energy. Turn off switches that are not needed. A heater uses quite a bit of electricity so use it sparingly and bundle up in a blanket instead. If you do want a heater then check that you find an energy saving one.

7. Ironing
Iron large batches of clothing in one go, as to not to re-heat the iron on too many occasions. Be careful not to overheat the iron and certain fabrics as this not only scorches clothes but also uses a lot of electricity. To save even more energy and time, as soon as the clothes are dried from the clothing line or tumble dryer, fold them carefully as some garments may not need to be ironed at all.

And now that you know a little bit more of saving electricity, maybe Eskom will give us a break!
Tell us: Do you have any other ideas on how to save electricity?