Greening your home

Below are some of the technologies you could use to green your home by making it more energy efficient.

This guide is for your information only. Standard Bank does not approve or recommend any specific product, service or supplier by giving you this information.

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Solar water heaters

Just one electric geyser in your household adds between 30-50% to your monthly electricity bill. By installing a solar water heating system, you can cut out a big part of your electricity cost. Going solar also increases the value of your property.

Planning ahead

You needn’t wait for a geyser to burst before replacing it with a solar water-heating system.
You can even use your home loan to fund a solar geyser.
Note: although you will save money later on, a solar system is more expensive at first, and takes longer to install. Also, be sure to install your solar water heating system in summer, when it’s less important to have hot water readily available.

Choosing the right water heating system

A supplier registered with Eskom is also registered with the Solar Water-Heating Division of the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa. This means they must keep to accepted standards when they install your system.

How we can help

Standard Insurance Limited will pay out the claim amount of your old geyser to use towards a solar water heater system if your geyser bursts or needs to be replaced.

Please contact our policy administration area on 0860 121 141 to find out more about insuring a solar water heating system, or how to claim on an old type of geyser when you want to switch over to a solar water heating system.


Energy efficiency

Below are some more technologies you can use to make your home more energy efficient.

Solar pool heaters for less sunny days

Is your pool too cold to swim for much of the year? You might want to consider investing in solar heating, which can greatly expand the months during which you can (realistically) go for a relaxing dip.

The mechanics of solar pool heating are simple. Pool water is pumped through the filter and a solar collector, which is normally mounted on your roof. The sun heats the water in the solar collector, which is then returned to the pool.

Some systems include sensors and an automatic or manual valve to send water through the collector when the temperature in the collector is higher than the pool temperature. When the collector temperature is the same as the pool temperature, filtered water simply bypasses the collector and returns to the pool.

Heat pumps make sense

A heat pump is another way of using less electricity to heat water. A geyser uses three units of electrical energy to give three units of heat energy. A heat pump uses just one unit of electrical energy to give you three units of heat energy. It does this by using a small amount of energy to move heat from a source with a low temperature to a tap with hot water.

Individual home owners can take part in Eskom's heat pump rebate programme if they add a heat pump to their old geyser or replace it.

Do you already have a geyser with an electrical element that holds between 100 litres and 500 litres? Then you qualify to get a rebate when you buy a heat pump.


Lighting and motion sensors

Energy-efficient lighting

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have a lifetime of up to 50 000 hours, which means they last up to 25 times longer than older incandescent bulbs. That means you save money on electricity as well as on replacing your light bulbs. LEDs come in various shapes and colours.

LED security lights are extremely energy efficient and are just as bright as security lights that use a lot of electricity to work. Your security system will even less energy if you add motion and daylight sensors to your LED security lights.

Motion and daylight sensors

Motion and daylight sensors help you to use less electricity, since the lights only switch on when you need them to.

Going solar

The sun provides 1 000 times more energy than we need. Photovoltaic (or solar) cells are made of materials that can absorb light energy and turn it into free electricity for you to use. PV solutions are also useful in remote areas without an existing electricity source.

Wood fireplaces

You can heat your home without using electricity by burning invasive tree species in a traditional wood fireplace. Don’t burn wood from valuable or endangered indigenous trees.


Start saving electricity now

Install a geyser timer

Geysers keep using electricity throughout the day and night to heat water. By simply installing a timer on your geyser you can stop it from working 24 hours a day. Make sure that your geyser is off during peak periods (06:00–09:00 and 18:00–21:00) to see immediate savings on your electricity bill.

Get a geyser blanket

Geyser water loses about one degree Celsius every hour because of normal heat loss through the geyser’s steel or copper casing. This means the geyser keeps using energy to keep the water at the same temperature. If you cover your geyser with a geyser blanket, the water will stay hotter for longer, saving you electricity.

Put a timer on your pool pump

Put a timer on your swimming pool pump to make it work over shorter periods of time twice a day. The water quality will be just as good, and you will see immediate savings on your electricity bill


In the kitchen

Buy a Wonderbag

Wonderbag is a non-electric heat-retention cooker that keeps food cooking for hours after it has been brought to a boil on a stove. This can save up to 30% of the energy needed for cooking.

Choose energy-efficient appliances

When buying appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and ovens, choose a brand that is energy efficient. Many appliances now come with an energy-efficiency ratings between A and G, where A is the most energy efficient and G the least. Some even have an A+, A++ or A+++ rating.

Tips

  • Dry your clothes on a laundry line rather than putting them in the dryer
  • Fill up your dishwasher and washing machine before switching them on
  • Don't leave appliances in standby mode, which could cost you up to 6% more on electricity
  • Switch off appliances at the plug socket
  • Use the hot plate on your stove that is closest to the size of your pot. An electric stove loses up to 40% of its heat when the pot is too small, wasting electricity
  • Unplug cell phone and other device chargers

Keeping cool

  • When using an air conditioner, first open the windows to let the cool air circulate before switching it on. Keep the temperature setting between 18–22 degrees Celsius
  • Insulate your ceilings to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. You can save up to 16% of the electricity you need every year to heat or cool your home
  • Place lamps and television sets away from air conditioning thermostats – the unit will sense heat from the appliances and run longer than necessary
  • Put on warm clothes in winter instead of switching on a heater. If you still need warmth, use a gas, small-bar or 2kW fan heater to heat the room more efficiently

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