South Africa
Reducing your carbon footprint

Reducing your carbon footprint

It is important for people to consider the impact their households have on the environment and find ways to reduce it.

How to reduce your household’s carbon footprint

Climate change has been an ongoing issue for years now and will continue to impact future generations. As individuals, we all need to be more intentional about reducing our impact on the environment by reducing our carbon footprint.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, that are released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity. All homes have the potential to become more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions, and working towards reducing your carbon footprint can also help you save money.

The costs of reducing your home's carbon footprint can vary; however, you should view it as a long-term investment. There are many different ways for you to work towards reducing your carbon footprint, and we have divided these into 3 categories.

Category 1:

This category consists of free or low-cost energy efficient habits and activities that are relatively easy to do and can help you save up to 10% on your electricity consumption. Activities in this category include the following:

  • Turning down the thermostat on your geyser to 55°C in winter and by another 5°C in summer so it uses less energy  
  • Switching off and unplugging all appliances when you are not using them
  • Only using hot water when necessary
  • Switching off lights in unoccupied rooms
  • Showering instead of taking a bath because showering uses a lot less water

Category 2:

The activities in this category will require spending a bit of money; however, they could result in you saving up to 30% on your electricity consumption in the long run. This includes the following:

  • Installing a geyser blanket and pipe insulation on the first 1.5 metres of pipes to reduce heat loss
  • Installing shade awnings on the outside of windows facing the sun, which reduces radiant heat from entering your home
  • Fitting energy-saving fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
  • Installing water flow restrictors on your taps to reduce the amount of hot water you use, which will assist in reducing the amount of water your geyser needs to reheat and lower your geyser’s energy consumption
  • Buying a pool cover and using it during winter months and periods when your pool is not frequently used, thus limiting water loss and reducing the amount of time your pool pump needs to run to keep the water clean

Category 3:

These activities will require a bigger investment than the other categories; however, they could result in you saving up to 50% on your electricity consumption. Activities in this category include the following:

  • Replacing your electrical element geyser with a solar water heating system or heat pump
  • Installing ceiling insulation to reduce heat penetration in summer and prevent heat loss in winter
  • Replacing your conventional oven with an energy-efficient convection oven
  • Installing an induction stove, which is compatible with stainless steel, cast iron and enamel cookware, as approximately 90% of energy generated is used for cooking, making an induction stove 25% more energy efficient than conventional stovetops
  • Replacing appliances such as your fridge, washing machine or dishwasher if they are more than 10 years old as they become energy intensive over time, and newer models are designed to be energy efficient

The rise of smart homes

We are increasingly seeing new developments with smart technology, which can provide more sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions.

Internet-connected home appliances and devices, such as the Standard Bank Smart Geyser solution, offer various benefits, including a reduced carbon footprint, energy efficiency, increased convenience and potential cost savings.

To learn more about our smart geyser and how it can reduce your household’s carbon footprint, contact the Standard Bank Insurance Green Home Team on 0860 748 886 or at [email protected].