A lot of people seem to be struggling with high ZESA bills, due to high power usage. So I thought I would just share a few helpful tips to cut down energy usage and hopefully save someone a few dollars. Low-density suburbs, in particular, seem to have shockingly high energy consumption compared to the rest of the world e.g. in the UK, the average household electricity usage is 255-300kWh (or “units” as we call them in Zim) per month.
Having lived in the UK, I can see a considerable difference in people’s attitudes and behaviors surrounding electricity usage in Zim, possibly due to our reliance on cheap power for so many years, as opposed to the UK. In the UK 300 units per month would cost around £51GBP/$66USD/$1386ZWL, compared to 300 units in Zim in 2014 at $28.50USD, or even at current prices, 300 units is $25.90USD/$544ZWL. Because of the high cost of electricity in the UK, we learned energy-saving habits as part of everyday life… Anyways, please check the tips below 🙂
- Adjust your day-to-day behaviors
To reduce energy consumption in your home, you do not necessarily need to go out and purchase energy-efficient products. Energy conservation can be as simple as turning off lights or appliances when you do not need them. You can also use energy-intensive appliances less by performing household tasks manually, such as hang-drying your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer, or washing dishes by hand instead of placing them in the washer.
- Replace your light bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy-efficient alternatives. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
- Remove phantom loads
“Phantom loads” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode are a major source of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, or in standby. Turning off electrical items at the wall when not in use eliminates phantom load usage (amazing that something so simple could make your units stretch 4 x further!)
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances
On average, appliances are responsible for roughly 13% of your total household energy use. When purchasing an appliance, you should pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. Although energy-efficient appliances usually have higher purchase prices, their operating costs are 9-25% lower than conventional models (ok so this one is a stretch, who can afford new appliances anyway in Zim right now? but if you need to replace any appliances it’s worth considering)
- Reduce your water heating expenses
Water heating is a major contributor to your total energy consumption. Other than purchasing an energy-efficient water heater, or solar water heater, you can simply turn it off when not in use! (it might be handy to time how long it takes to heat your geyser from cold though, so you know how long before bathing you need to turn it on)
I hope these tips help people stretch their units further in these trying times 🙂 and also into the future for ecological reasons.
Heather is a politically independent and positive thinker that enjoys fact-checking, helping others and learning about different cultures/beliefs. She is married with 2 fur babies and absolutely dislikes negativity, bigotry and dishonesty. She studied Politics, International Legislative Studies, Pschology, Philosophy and Ethics.