According to data published by the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) loadshedding has increased by 40 percent this year. We have also seen the bump up to level 4 and 6 which means more frequent and longer periods of loadshedding.
Most analysts advise that load shedding is here to stay, at least for the next foreseeable years. According to the Seeff Property Group, households should start adapting and taking measures to ensure they are able to continue functioning during power outages.
Switching to solar power is one way in which you can escape the load shedding blues. Although this is a more lasting and sustainable solution, it is also quite costly for most households. There are, however, more affordable, yet still sustainable ways to make your home more comfortable during loadshedding.
Seeff provides six tips to adapt your home to make it more convenient for loadshedding. These improvements will also add value to your property as load shed-ready homes are in demand.
Tip 1 – Install a battery-driven inverter system. A basic inverter with two 12-volt deep cycle batteries could provide power for up to four hours for a television, internet and laptop. Wire these to the appliances so they remain on, but never boil a kettle or add a heater to an inverter system.
Tip 2- Install a petrol generator as an alternative to an inverter. A minimum of 6.5kVA could provide power for basics such as a television, lights, internet and a laptop, your fridge and other appliances. Generators can power a kettle, microwave and a small heater, but it is best to limit these.
Tip 3 – Fit your lights with rechargeable globes. This could ensure that you have lights during a power outage. Be sure to also fit exterior lights or install solar or battery powered lights to keep your property lit for security purposes.
Tip 4 – Install a battery back-up for your security systems. Power outages are the perfect cover for criminals. It is therefore vital to ensure your gate, garage doors and security system remain functioning during a power outage.
Tip 5 – Switch to gas for cooking. Now is probably the ideal time to convert to gas for your cooking needs. That way mealtimes need not be interrupted. A stove top kettle means you can still enjoy your morning coffee even during a power outage.
Tip 6 – Install a solar geyser. Replacing your geyser with a solar powered geyser is relatively easy. One thing that SA has plenty of is sunshine to power solar systems and this way you can ensure there is always hot water, even during a prolonged power outage.
It is probably also advisable to consider a wood-burning fireplace rather than an electric heater, or alternatively consider gas. Remember to also protect appliances which remain plugged in such as a fridge and microwave against power surges by fitting them with surge protectors.