Home Energy Audit – 20 Questions Efficiency Quiz!

Answer the 20 Questions Energy Efficiency Quiz and start your DIY Home Energy Audit.  The answers will point you to the actions you need to take to reduce your electricity consumption.

First get a handle on how many kWhs / electricity units you are using each month on average.  This is a valuable exercise in establishing a consumption baseline. It helps to set your home energy efficiency targets and also familiarizes you with the tariff structure which charges more per unit for different consumption levels.

1    Your electricity tariff.

1.1  Which Tariff are you on?     It should be on your account / prepaid receipt. For tariffs in Cape Town go to: http://greenaudScreen bean with energy accountits.co.za/cape-town-domestic-electricity-2016-new-service-fee

1.2  Do you know approximately how many kWhs /units of electricity you buy each month? Start keeping a record.

Recording your electricity purchases each month to helps you understand exactly how much electricity you are using.  It is important to use the kWhs as the standard because the price per unit of electricity goes up depending on which side of a tariff block you are on.  The annual price increase goes up and may mask your energy saving behaviour.

2  What is using Watts in your home? Your energy efficiency checklist.

YES and NO are not right or wrong, but the answers in RED are a signal that these are not energy efficient options.

Lighting

2.1  Have you switched to energy efficient CLF or LED light globes?     YES / NO

2.2  Are security lights on daylight or motion sensors?                             YES / NO

2.3  Do you usually switch off lights when you leave the room?              YES / NO

Water heating

2.4  Have you invested in a solar geyser or heat pump assisted geyser?

 YES /  NO  /   PLANNING TO

2.5   If you have solar!

does the mains backup kick in automatically,            YES / NO

is it on a timer,                                                                   YES / NO

do you manually switch it on                                          YES / NO

If the latter do you often forget it on?                           YES / NO

2.6 If you have an electric geyser, have you done / fitted any of the following:

Reduced the temperature to 55°C                                        YES / NO

Installed a timer on the geyser.                                             YES / NO

Insulated the geyser and the outgoing hot pipes.              YES / NO

Installed low flow shower heads.                                          YES / NO

Take shorter showers – no more than 5min?                      YES / NO

 

Do you have a pool?                                                                                  YES / NO

2.7 Do you hibernate it in winter by reducing pump hrs or cover it?       YES / NO

2.8 Have you optimised the in season running time of the pump?           YES / NO

 

Space heating and cooling

 2.9  Do you have underfloor heating and use it?                                       YES / NO

2.10  Do you have air con and use it?                                                            YES / NO

2.11   Do you have and use electric heaters?                                                 YES / NO

2.12  Do you use a low kWH fan rather than air con for cooling?           YES / NO

2.13  Do you use a hot water bottle or `microwave bean bag’?                YES / NO

 

Cooking

2.14  Do you often cook in a big oven?                                                         YES / NO

2.15  Do you use any of these energy saving cooking appliances:

a pressure cooker                                                                                              YES / NO

a microwave                                                                                                       YES / NO

a Wonderbag or box                                                                                         YES / NO

2.16   Do fill the kettle even if you only need one cup of hot water?      YES / NO

 

General household

2.17  Do you regularly dry clothes with a tumble drier?                                 YES / NO

2.18   Do you use a clothes iron for hours each week?                                     YES / NO

2.19   Do you routinely leave appliances and charges on standby?               YES / NO

2.20   Do you select energy efficient appliances when purchasing new?     YES / NO

What next – from awareness to action!   

My home with wind & solar

My home with wind & solar

See which of the answers in red you can change to green through either a change to energy efficient behaviour or by investing in energy efficient appliances / technology. Start with the low hanging fruit of energy efficient behaviour. The cumulative savings of seemingly small actions such as only boiling what you need for tea, short showers, switching off lights, unplugging/ switching off rather than leaving appliances on standby, etc all  adds up.  Try if and enjoy an easily earned surprise.  Appliance replacement needs money up front but it does result in a return on the investment through money not spent on electricity.  Price alternatives and do the math on kWhs saved.  Low energy lighting, a geyser timer, a wonderbag, a pressure cooker etc offers a return on investment in months, a pool cover a gives a return in a few years and a solar geyser pays for itself in 5 – 7 years. For accredited companies that install solar geysers or heat pumps in Cape Town go to: http://savingelectricity.org.za/pages/water_heaters.php  

Efficiency is not about sacrificing fun or comfort.  It is about inspiring new technologies and ways of living in tune with Nature and which save you money in the long run.   Nature knows no waste and successful species are the ones that understand energy and resource efficiency.  For our long term well being on this life giving planet we need to adopt these practices as well.

Kim Kruyshaar July 2016

 

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2 Responses to Home Energy Audit – 20 Questions Efficiency Quiz!

  1. Mrs.Miller April 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

    Good day,
    In the main house we hav a ccc pre- paid electric meter inside the house
    Also a ccc prepaid electric meter in the separate entrance where a DIFFERENT family lives
    The 2 prepaid meters belong to the one owner of the house
    but two different families each using a different meter

    The Main house spend +- R200 per month on electric (2 people live here)

    The separate entrance family of 3 spends +-R230 per month on electric

    Pls inform me if you rate per OWNER?
    Or. –
    Doyou rate per prepaid electric METER-NUMBER?

    Pls reply

    Thankyou

    • admin April 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi, don’t really understand the question….do you rate per owner or per prepaid meter. (note I am an independent energy auditor – not a City official).
      The City normally levies a tariff per pre-paid meter which is based on consumption levels not on how many meters are on a property. However if the electricity consumer wishes to apply for the subsidized lifeline tariff then other issues such as age (are you a pensioner), combined household income and property value are also criteria. I suggest you phone the City’s customer care number for clarity at 0860 103 089.

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