What do I need





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  1. #1
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    Default What do I need

    I want to start saving money on electricity.
    What do I need to run my house lights and 220v fridges.
    What else /low cost can I utilize to start saving.
    Jacques

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    I want to start saving money on electricity.
    What do I need to run my house lights and 220v fridges.
    What else /low cost can I utilize to start saving.
    Jacques
    Jacques, your first port of call is to see what electricity is used, when, where and why in your house and for what.

    With that exercise done, inevitably resulting in a substantial drop in usage, only then should you consider the next step, if any.

    Because the "sums" are quite simple:
    Lights - so how much do the lights cost you on Eskom? Compare that cost now to the cost of batteries/inverter?
    Fridge/Freezers - same question, more batteries and bigger inverter.
    And are they A+ or A++ rated?

    Saving on Eskom starts when you fully understand your loads ... and switching stuff off that does not need to be on, having energy efficiency drilled into all family members.

    I KNOW this is not the answer you want, or probably expected, but that is where it really starts.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2021/01/14 at 03:38 PM.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: What do I need

    Start with everything that has a heating element in, kettle, washing machine, dish washer, oven, hob, heaters etc.
    Those are the big users, then comes your fridges, and lastly your lights
    Last edited by faniedup; 2021/01/14 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Thumb suck, most probably R250k. Then after 10 years or so you need to replace solar panels and batteries again.... Not an expert but what I have read between the lines.

    My advice is go see one of the quality/professional businesses that deal with off grinding a home.

    You can cut your elect usage down by running lights and TV off solar, inverter and battery. Change to gas stove, geyser go solar or gas. Fridge, microwave etc stay on escom. Non electric Kettle can be boiled on gas stove.
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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    I want to start saving money on electricity.
    I'm not an expert but I will try to answer. The first will be to determine how much electricity (units in kWh) are you consuming in a month. For this you will need a power meter. If you're on prepaid, you can read from the utility meter monthly usage. If you're on postpaid you can check your monthly statement. You also get power meter that can measure power consumption of appliances, this will help you in identifying appliances that consume most electricity. Get energy efficient appliances (A+++ rated) like refrigerators, washing machines and so on. These energy efficient appliances might be expensive but in the long run you will be saving a lot.

    Another big thing that consume lots of electricity is the stove and geyser. Maybe consider using a gas stove and solar/ electric geyser.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    What do I need to run my house lights and 220v fridges.
    I suppose you mean during load shedding? This will depend on how many lights you want to power, so you will have to determine how much power are they consuming and for how long, the same thing for fridges. Then you determine how many hours of backup do you need. Lastly you calculate the size of your batteries and inverter.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    What else /low cost can I utilize to start saving.
    Jacques
    As mentioned above it is best to replace non-efficient appliances with more efficient ones. The other thing is to educate your family to conserve energy (or water) e.g not leaving the geyser on the whole day, switching off lights in unoccupied rooms, switching off unused appliances like TV. That's my 2c input, we'll hear from experienced people.
    Last edited by VVTi; 2021/01/14 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Quotes messing with me

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    Default Re: What do I need

    What are you using to heat water?

    Geaser is the biggest consumer of electricity. Install a evacuated tube solar geaser with large storage. 300lt if you can, or more. I did and cut my electricity bill by more than 50%

    I think my savings were much more pronounced as I already had a gas stove, gas oven, gas kettle before.

    You mention in the OP that you want to save, no go off grid... Lights and fridges use very little, you will spend a fortune on changing appliances or other means to run the existing ones. Lights use little enough. I would not even go there.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Uhm, guys, since when is gas free?

    It is simply a case of transferring the expense from the "Eskom Costs" column to the "Gas Costs" column in the "books".

    Gas is NOT a saver in my books.
    It merely ensures you can make coffee, shower, cook when Eskom is off ... uhm, wait, but I can do all that without Eskom and gas.

    No seriously, saying gas is the answer to save on Eskom costs, are misleading.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2021/01/14 at 04:23 PM.
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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    Uhm, guys, since when is gas free?

    It is simply a case of transferring the expense from the "Eskom Costs" column to the "Gas Costs" column in the "books".

    Gas is NOT a saver in my books.
    It merely ensures you can make coffee, shower, cook when Eskom is off ... uhm, wait, but I can do all that without Eskom and gas.

    No seriously, saying gas is the answer to save on Eskom costs, are misleading.
    No one implied that gas is free. The OP asked how he can save on electricity and gas is one of those ways.

    I have not bothered to do the math, but having lived in a house with 7 people we definitely showed savings when going gas on the kettle and stove/ oven.
    As mentioned, the convenience of being able to boil a kettle or cook up a storm during load-shedding is already worth it...

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    I want to start saving money on electricity.
    What do I need to run my house lights and 220v fridges.
    What else /low cost can I utilize to start saving.
    Jacques
    In short....

    change all your bulbs to LED ...
    Change all electric appliances to Gas, those that can.

    If you convert to Solar, it won't "pay" itself off in your lifetime. Solar is in today's world more convenient, not cost effective.

    When I moved to my current house 3 years ago, I changed all the bulbs to LED, granted there are many lights, I immediately saved R400-500 a month.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Looking at my Eskom and City Power electricity charges consumption is about 50% of the total cost.
    The rest is line fees, admin costs and a few other excuses to charge you.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    An easy way to save on your geyser without spending much is to install a geyserwise geyser controller. Mine paid itself off in 3.5 months.

    Drop the temperature and only heat the water to the temp you need, when you need it. 30% saving for me immediately.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by Morne - Skip View Post
    If you convert to Solar, it won't "pay" itself off in your lifetime. Solar is in today's world more convenient, not cost effective.
    I would disagree.

    My solar story, from partly off-grid to grid tied:
    Started saving on average R1900pm over 12 months period, and that no is on the Eskom prices from 3-4 years ago.

    Having spent +-R115 000 in total for a Hybrid Grid Tied System:
    Recouping over = +-60 months of saving (at old Eskom rates) R1900pm.
    = +-5 years to recoup all the installations costs
    With EASY another 5-10 years on the batteries, being lithium.
    The equipment will also last min another 5 years having had a 5 year warranty to start with, and core parts are repairable to boot, and insured.
    The panels will last +-20-25 years, i.e. their warranty period.

    In summer we are paying +-R100 pm for Eskom.
    Winter maybe sometimes +-R900pm - being in a winter rainfall region, a double whammy.
    And we have NEVER gone over 600 units ever since we went grid tied.
    And that is with no gas and no Ev tubes. Geysers are heating via the grid tied system, on timers, cooking on induction plates, fridge/Freezers are A+ min.

    Note 1: Today, same system is about +-R135 000 if you shop right.
    Note 2: It took a lot of cajoling to entrench lifestyle changes, #DayZero helped a LOT too.

    Titbit: Cheap LED's are horrendously inefficient, and they fail all the time ... buy the good stuff or just stick to CFL's.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2021/01/14 at 05:21 PM.
    Political Correctness
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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by Pietsweis View Post
    I have not bothered to do the math, but having lived in a house with 7 people we definitely showed savings when going gas on the kettle and stove/ oven.
    If you have not bothered, how do you KNOW you are saving?
    That's like a ou saying: Since we went solar we are saving a TON on Eskom AND gas ...
    It is all in the fine print.

    Also, when something changes, new thing like cooking with gas, people become more aware and tend to change habits too.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    If you have not bothered, how do you KNOW you are saving?
    That's like a ou saying: Since we went solar we are saving a TON on Eskom AND gas ...
    It is all in the fine print.

    Also, when something changes, new thing like cooking with gas, people become more aware and tend to change habits too.
    I am spending less on gas and electricity combined. To accurately determine one needs to know what costs what. How much to heat a liter of water for example on gas vs electricity.

    I do agree that habits may change or other changes may play a role. I get that but I just have not been interested enough to do that.

    Different set-ups will also make a difference and it is not an exact science.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Thanks guys for all the helpful info.
    I will start with changing all bulbs and turning down geyser temp.
    Anyone able to tell me what led bulbs cause the cheapies is crap.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    I copied a post from a friend of mine, whom really does his research. It is from 13 Aug 2018:

    I've done the calculations in terms of cost per unit of energy. The calorific content of LPG is 46.1MJ/kg, or 415MJ in a 9kg bottle. That's about 115Kwh. So compare the cost of 115kwh of electricity to the cost of a 9kg refill.

    115kwh costs just over R200, and a bottle of LPG is around R220 right now, so it costs about the same per unit of energy.

    So it comes down to the efficiency of heating. An electrical element inside a volume of water is darn near 100% efficient. The same cannot be said for gas. So electricity has to win this one, though I cannot say by how much.

    Since a heat pump typically has a COP of as much as 3, that means a heat pump remains by far the most efficient, with the possible exception of a solar geyser in the right climate.

    In terms of cooking on a stove, a suitable utensil that makes proper contact with the heating plate can be around 70% efficient (>80% for induction), gas is about half that.

    I think the only place where gas wins is space heating.

    That doesn't mean gas doesn't have a place in your energy plan. Just don't expect to save money.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  23. #17
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    Default Re: What do I need

    Hi Craigm and others,
    I seriously doubt that a geyser controller will save much, provided the geyser isolation is intact.
    It costs energy to heat water, period. The only saving possible by a geyser controller is by reducing radiant losses.
    To get Eksdom-free hot water just string 5 PV panels in series and connect straight to the existing geyser element. (OK, do protect the thermostat from the 200VDC welding it shut with a 30uF or so capacitor, costs about R60.) After about 2 hours sun our thermostat switches off, volts rise and charges the powerwall for the UPS. (Both dirt cheap recycled components) No finnicky expensive charge controller needed if you are handy.

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    Thanks guys for all the helpful info.
    I will start with changing all bulbs and turning down geyser temp.
    Anyone able to tell me what led bulbs cause the cheapies is crap.
    I'm now trying the Opple brand.

    Was suggested and sold to me by a electrical supplier, as he has used them himself for a while, and he was very happy.

    So far I'm really chaffed, and the price is where I'm happy.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by Abe53 View Post
    I seriously doubt that a geyser controller will save much, provided the geyser isolation is intact.
    This is VERY VERY important point to note!

    You now get B+ rated geysers.

    Our 150l is mounted outside the house and in the open.
    On a cold wet Cpt night, and I tested it by hand, the geyser is ice cold on the outside yet the water inside is nice and warm 55+deg.

    We only heat it for max 2 hours per day, takes less than that to heat to 65deg.
    We also have enough hot water over 24h period IF people schedule showers i.e. all shower evening/morning at more or less the same time, otherwise the cold water mixes and geyser cools down faster.

    O, it does have a SWMABO override though.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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    Default Re: What do I need

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    Thanks guys for all the helpful info.
    I will start with changing all bulbs and turning down geyser temp.
    Anyone able to tell me what led bulbs cause the cheapies is crap.
    Buy known brand bulbs from a local, established electrical/lighting goods supplier. They can advise you and you can go back and look them in the eyes when you have problems.
    Usual warning: Make sure your geyser temperature goes above 55 degrees regularly (say, daily) to prevent nasties from growing in the geyser.
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