Energy Conservation is defined as behavioural practices that can save energy or helps us to use less energy. Here are some tips to help with your energy conservation in ultimately reducing your light bill:
- Turn off electrical devices when not in use – Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Do not have the TV or radio running in the background if nobody is watching or listening to it. This also applies to all other electrical devices that you are not using.
- 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 3 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.Although energy efficient bulbs are more expensive off the shelf, their efficient energy use and longer service lives mean that they cost less in the long run. They are the clear winners in terms of their environmental and financial benefits.
- 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 they usually have higher purchase prices, their operating costs are 9-25% lower than conventional models.
- When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard non-energy efficient models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers consume 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional ones, whereas ENERGY STAR refrigerators use only 9% less energy.
- Use smart power strips – “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, which can cost you. Power strips eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use. Smart power strips can be set to turn off at an assigned time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of a “master” device.
- 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.
- Check that your appliances work properly – Appliances that don’t work properly are an energy drain on your home. Part of keeping them in tip top condition involves checking them regularly as well as using them. Be sure to check that all appliances are cleaned, repaired, and working properly on a regular schedule. For many larger appliances, a single annual checkup is all that is needed and though it may cost you money at the time, the amount you’ll save on needless electricity use and problems that could arise if devices go uninspected is more valuable. If you prefer to simply replace your appliances, be sure to do so with Energy Star models that focus on efficiency.
What is electricity theft?
Theft of electricity is the criminal practice of stealing electrical power. It is a crime and is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
What does the law say?
“Any person who dishonestly, fraudulently or by culpable negligence – (a) taps, or otherwise makes or causes to be made any connection with, any electric line or other, works of a public supplier, or otherwise in any other manner abstracts, causes to be wasted or diverted, steals, consumes or otherwise uses, any electricity…
shall be guilty of an offence… of a fine of not less than fifty thousand and /or mandatory imprisonment of not less than six months… (ELECTRICITY SECTOR REFORM ACT CHAPTER 56:01; Act 11 of 1999 Amended by 17 of 2010; Section 60.)
Dangers of stealing electricity
Electricity theft creates situations which can:
- lead to electrical fires
- harm and destroy your appliances and equipment.
- harm anyone who come into contact with them, especially young children.
- lead to death by electrocution.
Suspicious signs of theft
- Is the seal on the meter broken?
- Are there cut wires sticking out of the meter?
- Are there numerous wires and cables coming out of the meter?
- Is the meter missing (but be careful, remember some of us are prepaid customers)?
- Is the meter being accessed by persons other than GPL staff?
Reporting electricity theft
Help us to help make your life safe! Reporting electricity theft can protect you, your family, your neighbors and your property. You can report any suspicion of electricity theft by:
Accessing GPL’s website at gplinc.com
Contacting the nearest police station.