Below are useful resources on a variety of energy efficiency and home greening topics from various sources. They are shared with you by kind agreement of a range of organisations. In particular, the City of Cape Town acknowledges and thanks the following: Green Building Council South Africa and their My Green Home project (the source of many of these resources), Eskom and the 49M campaign, other local authorities eThekwini Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, as well as Builder’s, Warehouse, EE Publishers, Eurolux, Green Business Guide, Greener House blog and Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) in South Africa.
(+) Overall electricity saving advice for homes
- Top ways to save electricity at home (downloadable pdf).
- Ways to Save Electricity in Winter (downloadable pdf).
- Poster about Top Ways to Save Electricity at Home A - for mid to high income homes with geysers, many appliances and pools etc.
- Poster about Top Ways to Save Electricity at Home B - for lower income homes which may not have a geyser.
- Eskom's home electricity reduction webpage has a wide variety of tips and resources.
- Winter energy saving tips from Eskom
- American Michael Bluejay’s no-nonsense, practical guide to saving electricity. While some of the information is obviously American (e.g. the tariffs and sources of energy), the explanations and principles are useful.
(+) Understanding your electricity use
- A clear explanation of ‘what is a kilowatt hour?‘ by Eskom, explaining the energy use of appliances
- Understand your utility costs with our handy guide. (From My Green Home)
- Evaluate your household energy consumption by conducting an eco-audit at home.(From My Green Home)
- What is your home’s kilowatt usage per year? Find out how to calculate your home’s annual number in kWh/m². (From My Green Home)
- Eskom’s eco audit calculator takes an inventory of your appliance usage and creates a pie-chart breakdown of your home electricity use and suggestions for areas in which you can save. You have to sign up for a free account first.
- Understanding electric heating (From New Zealand’s government’s energy advisors.)
(+) Specialist energy efficiency for different parts of your home
Solar water heaters
Pool pump electricity use
- Guide to globes (From My Green Home). This is the era of choice in lighting, which can also make it a time of confusion. Learn the basics to be green shopper who knows what’s watt. (Or just skip to Buying Recommendations at the end.)
- Eurolux’s lighting calculator estimates savings and payback times for replacing incandescent bulbs with efficient globes. Technology is evolving so fast that you will probably save even more than the predicted results.
Appliances & reading energy labels
- My Green Home’s guide to reading energy labels. Head to the appliance store knowing what to look for on South African, European and American energy labels. See above for the link.
Heating, insulation and cooling
(+) Green living guides
(+) Carbon calculator
- Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism website’s easy-to-understand carbon footprint calculator helps you see how much each aspect of your life - house, car, flights, etc. - contributes to your total. (If you use LPG, use rough conversion: 1 kg = 2 litres.)
(+) Other useful South African websites
- My Green Home, which is led by Green Building Council South Africa and partners, including the City of Cape Town. The Ngewana family from Pinelands, Cape Town greened their home over a few months and achieved great savings. See the webisodes of what they did on the website, as well as:
- Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) has info on energy efficiency, solar photovoltaic panels, and a good Solar Water FAQ under the Consumer Help tab.
- The Greener House Blog features practical advice from a Johannesburg suburbanite called Don Boroughs who won the 2013 Eskom eta Energy Efficiency Award for cutting his electricity use by 75%.
- Green Business Guide website is an online directory to connect businesses in Southern Africa who support energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible business. The directory includes certified businesses, environmentally conscious organisations and providers of green products and services.
- Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) has info on energy efficiency, solar photovoltaic panels, and a good solar water FAQ under the Consumer Help tab.
(+) Other useful resources
- Resource Efficiency Criteria for Development is the City’s one-stop reference guide on resource efficiency for new homes and buildings and renovations/ additions. It pulls together a wide range of policy and legal directives and guidelines. Some are mandatory and some are still voluntary, but they are all considered important by the City.
- Solar water heater brochure for City of Cape Town’s SWH Programme (2016).
- Six graphics that explain climate change (2015) from BBC News.
- A timeline of earth's average temperature.
Get Your Piece Of The Sun
Bring some water to the boil, add elements of traditional South African sound, mix in a bit of folk, blues and indie-pop rock, stir well...and, there you have it -- the recipe for the "Get Your Piece Of The Sun" song that the City of Cape Town commissioned to promote the sale of solar water heaters amongst Cape Town home owners.
The song was written by Andrew Janisch who works for the City of Cape Town, the song features Donovan Copley and his band Hot Water.
No Danger Diaries
No Danger Diaries are four regular Capetonians who want to do some good in the world, while having fun. See how they install a solar water heater, save the environment, some money and "Get their Piece of the Sun."