Energy audit

The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use in the first place! Cheryl Crow.

Increasing energy costs both for transport and electricity are focussing attention on how and where we use energy. An Energy Audit is a formal process of measuring the energy use of appliances and transport to get a clear understanding of who uses, what, where, how and how much.

A formal record or energy audit gives a clear understanding of:

1 Your total electricity (and energy) consumption and an understanding of the tariff payment structure you are on.  For City of Cape Town Residential Electricity Tariff structure effective from 1 July 2013, click here.  

2 Where to focus your energy efficiency measures to save both energy and money and reduce your Carbon Footprint. Saving carbon for a sustainable future is really Cool.

3 As an accurate visible record of electricity use, an energy audit is a good tool to help motivate family and staff to make behaviour changes and / or for investing in energy efficient technology . In many cases  the energy savings result in a good return on investment.  The energy use of lights and geysers is well known but do you know how much electricity your air conditioning or fridge and freezer uses?  More than you would expect. Once you have measured appliances consumption, it is easier to decide and follow through with an appropriate change.  Email GAIA  to hire or to find out where to buy an energy monitor.

4 Which appliances and fittings are inefficient and should be considered for replacement?

Email GAIA for info or an appointment to do an energy audit for your home or business.  

How to Motivate people to change to energy efficient behaviour?

Do not underestimate the value of behavioural changes as a way of saving energy / electricity. They are the – low hanging fruit – which do not cost money, but will require commitment from family and staff to implement. Note that even small daily savings do add up especially if they keep your bill on a lower tariff structure or in the case of businesses lower your peak demand. If you are battling to get support for energy efficient behaviour set a target with family / staff and offer an incentive for reduced consumption at least initially to get the behaviour entrenched. The incentive would be paid for by the electricity savings and would vary according to the situation e.g. pizzas, a movie night, a lucky draw bonus. An incentive rewards the effort required initially to make the efficiency changes and demonstrates the value of the savings to the participants.

Eskom is still subsidizing retrofits for energy efficient technology.

Eskom is currently offering rebates on the replacement of electricity hungry technology with energy efficient technology. Replacing traditional geysers with solar geysers or heat pumps and old incandescent, halogen or fluorescent lights with energy efficient ones are good examples. The rebate coupled with lower electricity bills typically results in a good return on investment.  So if you know your electricity bill is too high don’t wait – get an audit done.

KimK  May 2013