Just when we thought the welcome break from load shedding was here to stay, the dreaded two-and-a-half-hour blackout returned – with a relentless frequency.
There is no better time than now to do your part for the planet and become more energy conscious. Take matters into your own hands by exploring energy-efficient solutions such as solar, which is becoming more accessible and could alleviate a lot of the stress associated with load shedding.
According to Evren Albas, CEO of Defy Appliances, not only is load shedding negatively affecting South Africans across the country, but the rising cost of electricity is also a major factor that will have a longer-term impact.
“Solar energy is an ideal solution when it comes to saving on electricity costs, because not only do most areas in the country have an average of more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, but there are now many innovative solar options on the market that are geared to make life with load shedding easier,” he said.
Here are four ideas to get you started on a solar-driven, more energy-efficient lifestyle:
1.Keep the lights on
Investing in a couple of good solar lights is the most energy efficient way to ensure you have light when load shedding strikes after dark. So, which ones do you choose? Well, luckily enough you’re spoilt for choice with a variety of indoor and outdoor options.
Portable solar lamps and lanterns (with their own solar panels) are ideal for use inside the home. Just keep in mind that these must be charged outside during the day and then brought inside at night to be used wherever you need them. When it comes to your garden or patio, a flood or wall light is your best option. These, however, must be placed in a sunny position to ensure that the solar panel soaks up as much light as possible during the day.
2.Forget cold showers
Solar geysers have been around for years already, but adoption has been low due to the high operating costs. However, with another 15% electricity hike on the way, this energy efficient solution is starting to look comparatively more affordable. If your monthly electricity bill comes in at around R2000, you could save up to R600 per month by using a solar powered geyser. Definitely worth that second look, isn’t it?
3.Say yes to a Solar Hybrid fridge
Defy has also made it that much easier to be energy efficient while keeping your food cold and fresh and reducing spoilage. The newly launched Defy Solar Hybrid range, including refrigerator and chest freezer, is not only affordably priced, but it will also reduce your monthly electricity bill by up to 44%.
Despite being solar powered, the Solar Hybrid range operates a little differently from other solar appliances on the market – they run directly off solar panels during the day when the sun is out and revert to the electrical grid at night when it is dark. But rest assured that you’re covered during load shedding (even at night) because the Solar Hybrid range keeps food frozen at optimal levels– using its innovative endura-chill technology – for up to 40 hours when there is no power. And what’s more, they don’t require the use of a bulky battery and inverter.
Nothing is more frustrating in the digital age than having your phone die and not being able to charge it. Whether it is for work, to keep in touch with family and friends, to check social media updates or to use your phone as a flashlight, camera or GPS – it’s critical that its kept charged. One way to do this is with a solar phone charger. It can be used on the dashboard of your car, on a windowsill or anywhere there is sunlight – all you have to do is make sure the battery is fully charged before nightfall, especially if your load shedding slot is after dark.
“These affordable solutions are aimed at making it easier for the average South African to incorporate solar energy into their homes and start living a more energy efficient, sustainable lifestyle, and we at Defy are proud to be a part of the solution,” concludes Albas.