This Dashboard  shows how much electricity and water the Ngewana family are using ‘real time’ and how it’s changed over time. Click on the different tabs to view monthly, weekly and daily use compared with their target levels. It even shows usage of different components of the house, such as lighting or the geyser, hour by hour.



The Ngewana family’s green journey began with no-cost behaviour changes. Then their home was given a major equipment retrofit, with a range of efficient devices, appliances and systems installed to save energy, water and waste. With the house a lot more energy-efficient, a solar photovoltaic system was added, to generate electricity to cover some of their daily power needs too.


ENERGY – The Ngewana family cut energy use by a third with just no-cost changes, and after equipment was installed they saved 48% within 3 months, and they’re now saving 53% on electricity.  This saving result is set to improve still in Summer months to come.


WATER – Their water-saving habits reduced water use by a third, and then with equipment and water re-cycling systems added they’re now saving 44%.


WASTE – They’re now recycling 68% of their waste, and 13% is organic material from the kitchen & garden which is now going to make compost and fertilizer, rather than decomposing into harmful methane deep inside a landfill. So they’re saving 81% of the waste they used to send to landfill.



Not every benefit the Ngewana family has experienced while greening their home can be quantified or reduces their utility costs. They have enjoyed health, lifestyle and psychological benefits in the process as well. Some of their new appliances aren’t just more efficient, they also work better. For example, the induction stove cooks more quickly, the variable-speed pump is much quieter and the LED television has a clearer picture than the appliances they replaced. The new non-toxic paint on their walls is better for their lungs, and they tested non-toxic cleaning products.


The Ngewana family also has the psychological benefit of knowing that their home is healthier for the environment of South Africa and the Earth itself. They have greatly reduced the pressure their home exerts on the national grid, reducing the risk of load-shedding that harms the economy and inconveniences us all. And the carbon footprint of their home has been cut in half, reducing their contribution to global climate change that imperils people, plants and animals everywhere.


CASE STUDY GUIDE TO COME – by mid October 2014



Sponsored Products

Products used in the Ngewana green home makeover. Please note that this is not a product endorsement.

  • Homebug Pro electricity monitor from Homebug
    Monitor your electricity meter and reports power usage to a web-based platform every minute, 24/7.
  • Electronic Thermostat from Geyserwise
    Geyserwise provides programmable control of geyser on/off times and thermostat.
  • Water Management System from Aquatrip
    Radio Remote Control Water Management, Leak Detection, Control System, Water Metering facility.