Property Owners Cut Electricity Consumption In Half

A Pinelands family who accepted a challenge to make their home green has cut their electricity costs by more than half.

Six months ago, the Ngewana family set some ambitious goals for themselves after agreeing to take part in the My Green Home challenge initiative.

The project is led by the Green Building Council South Africa, with main co-funding from the German government through the South African-German Energy Programme.

As part of the challenge the family set out to cut their electricity consumption by 40 percent, water by 20 percent and waste to landfill by 75 percent. They also aimed to use only 600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of power a month, to reduce the tariff they pay on each additional kWh by 18 percent.

At an event held at the Ngewana home yesterday, the Green Building Council announced that electricity usage at the home had fallen by 53 percent, water by 44 percent and waste to landfill by 81 percent. For September, total electricity consumption was just 442 kWh, well below the 600 kWh/month tariff step.

Lighting consumption fell by 74 percent, through a combination of efforts to keep lights on only where they are needed and a switch to LED lightbulbs inside and outside the house.

When the project started, Zwelethu Ngewana, a university lecturer married to Bulelwa Ngewana, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, said: ‘We all have a stake in the future. I am keen for the family to see it as something we are morally and socially obliged to do. SA has a big problem when it comes to resources. People know the theory but they haven’t changed their behaviour. We worry about the future in terms of sustainability.’

Their daughter, Thulisa, 22, is an interior design student.

It starts off small and it spreads after you make a conscious decision to change. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but it does have to be something. It’s amazing how little I knew about our house. Know what you consume, set targets and do it. It’s easy once you start,’ she said.

Bulelwa added: ‘What surprised me is most people don’t ask how green their house is.’

Spokeswoman for My Green Home, Michelle Du Toit, said: ‘Some were sceptical that such drastic cuts would be possible in so short a time. But the Ngewana family demolished all those targets by a good margin.’

This article “Property Owners Cut Electricity Consumption In Half” was issued by My Green Home.

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