Count the Savings
The Ngewana family set goals to reduce their electricity use by 40%, their water by 20% and the waste they send to landfill by 75%. They exceeded these goals after just 3 months- see results described below and track their ongoing progress on the Electricity and Water Consumption Dashboard below.
You can count your own savings with the help of the tools, guides and devices listed below in Resources and Sponsored Products. For more info on their interventions, see the theme pages on this website and the My Green Home Retrofit Summary. A case study will also be available by the end of September.
Evaluate your consumption
Set your goals
Invest to save
What can you do?
- No Cost
- Low Cost
- Invest to Save
CURRENT ELECTRICITY AND WATER CONSUMPTION AT THE NGEWANA’S HOME
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 ‘GREEN RETROFIT’ AND THE SAVING JOURNEY SO FAR
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
How to do an eco-audit at home
Your utility bills or pre-paid receipts hold much of the key information you will need to audit your electricity and water consumption. Understand how much you use and how much you pay with our handy guide.
Energy Calculator from Eskom
How do your appliances measure up? Calculate their individual operating costs with Eskom’s Energy Calculator.
How to calculate your kWh/m²/year number
How does your home compare with others? Is it an energy hog or a lean machine?With a calculator and a measuring tape, you will soon know more about the
electricity consumption of your home.
Calculate your appliances' individual consumption
How many kilowatt hours are your favourite appliances chewing? Find out with Eskom’s simple Appliance Usage evaluation guide.
Homebug Pro electricity monitor from HomebugMonitor your electricity meter and reports power usage to a web-based platform every minute, 24/7.
Electronic Thermostat from GeyserwiseGeyserwise provides programmable control of geyser on/off times and thermostat.
Water Management System from AquatripRadio Remote Control Water Management, Leak Detection, Control System, Water Metering facility.