Whether you are a true tech geek or a greenie searching for unique ways to save energy, there are a number of gadgets out there that can help to make your life easier and, at the same time, lower your electricity bill.
Here’s a look at the top five you could consider buying this festive season – either for yourself or as a unique present for someone equally special; they can be found at your nearest hardware store, leading electronic outlet or online:
Smartphones get faster every year but battery life doesn’t seem to improve at all. This is so frustrating when you are a busy person on the run from dawn to way-past-tired.
But there’s a solution: Get a power bank if you need to keep your phone or tablet going all day long. They come in all shapes, sizes, weights, capacities and colours, ranging from business card-size devices for a quick boost to keep your tablet going until you get home to the big boys that could charge your phone more than 10 times. Capacity and weight are both important considerations when you go shopping for one this festive season – avoid bulky designs if you plan to carry your power bank every day.
Importantly, there are power banks able to recharge their own batteries using solar power, which means you will never need to charge your devices using electricity again, lowering your energy costs and offering you a solution during power outages.
Smart power strips
This new-age technology is perfect for those of us who are too lazy or forgetful to go around unplugging appliances after a hard day at work.
These clever little strips cut power to anything plugged in standby mode, saving you energy and reducing your electricity bill. Whether in the office or at home, smart power strips are perfect for controlling the energy use of many appliances ranging from computers, laptops and televisions to printers, copiers and coffee machines.
LED night lights
If you prefer a little light at night on your way to the bathroom – or in the opposite direction to the fridge for a midnight snack – don’t leave overhead lights on in your bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen or passages. Instead, invest in plug-n-play light emitting diode (LED) night lights; they are quick and easy to install on any standard outlet without having to do any wiring. LEDs are about 85% more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lamps.
Solar-powered lamps and lanterns
Energy efficient, colourful and cute, there is a vast range of solar-powered lamps and lanterns that you can place throughout your home, hang on balconies, verandas and trees or position decoratively in garden foliage to create the perfect ambience for a festive season party. Available online or at your closest hardware or electronic outlets, these lamps and lanterns allow you to switch off your electric lights and help you to reduce your electricity during the holidays – and at any other time of the year.
Electricity usage monitor
If you really want to save energy you need to know where you are using it. With an electricity usage monitor you will be able to get a clear understanding of where exactly in your home you are running up costs.
These clever devices can break down your usage, and when you switch off unnecessary appliances and lights, the monitor will be able to measure how much less energy you are using.
Get one this festive season; they are fun and easy to use and help you save money on energy.
For more energy efficiency tips visit www.eskom.co.za/idm