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Beat the Eskom Electricity Hike Blues

It’s that time again, the time for the dreaded price increase for Eskom electricity. This means us South African will have to dig deeper into our pockets to keep the lights burning. The latest hike is effective as of July 1st and will hit consumers hard. However there is no use complaining about the increase in Eskom rates because it will happen again, annually, until 2014. There is an estimated 25% hike in electricity which will differ from city to city.

Apart from the annual increase there is also a change in the structure of the rates. This means that there is an additional 15% Inclining Block Tariff; paying more for less, double the pain. The more you use, the higher the average price, this is in an effort to penalise users who use too much power. Even though this does make sense it is a somewhat unfair approach. The penalisation is calculated according to an Eskom metre which could be for a four member family or a bachelor pad. The average four person household in Cape Town uses 1000kWh per month which is not excessive but is now getting charged more for Eskom pre paid and also Eskom electricity.

There is a way to lighten the load and shine some (less expensive) light at the end of the tunnel. Even though it is futile in hoping that Eskom brings the rates back down there is still a way pay less and not break the back every time you turn on the oven. Here are a few quick fixes to beat the Eskom blues:

Solar Water Heating

Water heating eats up Eskom electricity; it’s generally the highest consumer of your electricity. Therefore it should naturally be the first problem you tackle when you start your saving power endeavour. The initial cost of solar water heating might hurt you a little but not as much as Eskom will in the long run. You will save massively on your Eskom electricity bill.

LED Lights

If you can’t afford the initial cost of solar power heating to challenge Eskom, the most cost effective way to save on power is LED lights. Replacing the light in your house with LED lights will not cost you an arm and a leg and will put some cash back into your pocket. You will save thousands of Rands annually and make Eskom smile a little less on the way to the bank.

There are plenty of ways to make your electricity bill a less horrifying sight. Sustainable living is the way to go especially now that Eskom has its plans of electricity price hikes set in stone. To see how much you could be saving, use the Sustainable calculator and be pleasantly surprised.


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