A Case Study:
In 2012 my electricity consumption was 26 units (kWh) per day or about 780 kWh per month. I decided to embark on a journey to reduce my consumption. Eskom were offering subsidies on solar geysers at the time, so I took the plunge and had one installed. This worked well – reducing my consumption by about 7 units (kWh) per day. Over the next year I replaced all of my halogen and fluorescent lighting with low power LED bulbs. These did not provide a huge reduction, only about 0,2 units per day, but every bit helps. The next major power consumer I tackled was my pool pump – this consumes about 6 units per day, every day. I replaced my old pump with a Grundfos pump that works off solar panels – my monthly consumption was now down to 384 kWh – over 50% less than when I started the exercise 3 years before!
It was getting harder and harder to reduce my consumption further and load shedding was becoming a concern, so I installed a small battery backup system, this didn’t reduce my bill, but it kept the lights and WiFi working when Eskom went dark.
I then discovered a company called Xtend that makes efficient geyser elements – these use PTC ceramics and promise to reduce your water heating bill by 25% at a reasonable cost of less than R2000 – I was sold. Installing this was easy, it simply replaces your existing element and uses less power (2kW for a 150l geyser vs 3kW). Amazingly enough, the Xtend element reduced my usage by a further 1 unit per day. I was now down to 11,8 kWh per day.
During this time we started Newfield Alternative Energy as we could see the potential for improving people’s lives with this technology – both from a financial and lifestyle point of view, plus it is good for the environment. Recently I installed a complete solar PV system system that is sufficient to owner everything in my house except for the stove, oven, air fryer and laundry. So far after 2 months it has reduced my electricity consumption by an average of 7 units per day, leaving my monthly consumption from Eskom at about 144 kWh – a massive 81% reduction over my original un-assisted consumption!
At today’s rates, my original consumption of 780kWh would cost me R2036 per month, whereas my actual, reduced consumption costs me R393 per month – 80% less! This is a R19,700 savings per year – more than enough to finance my solar solution over 5 years.
The good news is that you don’t have to take a 5 year journey to achieve similar savings. We have developed a solar package that includes everything you need to start saving immediately. Our solution includes solar panels, inverter, battery backup and an Xtend geyser element to reduce your consumption and provide backup during load shedding from day one! See our Solar Essentials and Solar Essentials + Packages Here.
– Dean van Vuuren: Co-founder, Newfield Alternative Energy