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Thread: Reducing Costs-Any tips?

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Reducing Costs-Any tips?

    Any tips for reducing electricity costs or alternatives? In the restaurants the fridges pull huge power and naturally lights, air con and small appliances. At R20 000 a month and looking like R30 000 thats a whack of cash. Any ideas? Solar power, candles anything I will take it!!!!

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    Solar Power is good but a whack to put up. I know of a place in Jhb that has panels starting at R250 a piece. Then there's a place near Barrydale on the way to Outshoorn that builds Stainless steel Shields that absorb sun rays to convert the heat for you. That is much less expensive. I can get a little info if you're interested.

    Then there's your inverter/converter. My uncle produces them in Three Rivers. I need to go there sometime next week to see him.

    My round trip to say good bye to all and sundry. Got given the death penalty today.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're already using gas for cooking heat. How about gas hot water heaters instead of electricity powered geysers?

    Energy saver lighting, maybe? Although if your restaurant style is low light ambiance, that could be a bit tricky.

    If you're considering candles, it might be an idea to look at paraffin lamps. When the wick is set right, they are very clean burning and might work out cheaper to run, not to mention having a certain ambiance of their own. Of course more heat being generated in the restaurant means your aircons work harder...
    Last edited by Dave A; 07-Nov-09 at 09:14 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    BBBEE_CompSpec (09-Nov-09), sterne.law@gmail.com (07-Nov-09)

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    hi...a few tips

    LED downlights is expensive to initially install, but lasts for up to 20 000 hours, and use less than 1 watt per bulb. The costs are around R50 for the 230V housing and R80 for the bulb. Long term a 100 bulbs running at 10 hours per day is 100W/h = 1kW/h 60c/kW i.e R0.60 x 10 = R6.00. Even if you are using higher powered LED lights, they are still less than 5 Watt. A 14 Watt long life doesn't even come close.

    For heating in the winter, use underfloor/undercarpet/undertile heating, or an aircon. I know I am going to get a lot of opions on this, but I have compared prices, and GAS is actually more expensive (size for size).

    If you insulate your premises from the top and bottom, your heating and cooling expenses will be halved. Pratley makes a additive that you mix in the concrete (pratlyperl), its vacuumed volcanic ash, and in the subfloor gives you excellent insulation. It can be mixed into the walls as well, drawback is you need to do this on a new building as demo and rebuilding is a bit expensive. Payback used to be around 5 years (i worked this on installing the product and underfloor heating together).....the way electricity prices are increasing that gap is getting smaller and smaller.

    If you contact LAPP Cable, they had an advertisement up there (happened to see) of a company that does wind turbines.....industrial size and smaller, might work well if they can stick it on the roof of a building, don't know the payback though....

    Insulate all your boilers/fridges, and get an electrician to do a check on the premises, old and used equipment that the owner doesn't see can sometimes eat at the electricity usage, balanced loads etc.....

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    BBBEE_CompSpec (09-Nov-09), Dave A (09-Nov-09), sterne.law@gmail.com (10-Nov-09)

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    This isn't really my forte. This is actually Dave and his troupes area of expertise. But i enjoyed the dig as it got results.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Wohoa!!!!
    Shaun, run that death penalty comment past us again? and explain? please?

    use a new thread!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post
    Any tips for reducing electricity costs or alternatives? In the restaurants the fridges pull huge power and naturally lights, air con and small appliances. At R20 000 a month and looking like R30 000 thats a whack of cash. Any ideas? Solar power, candles anything I will take it!!!!
    I am a student from the Netherlands, and we have tested three communities in pretoria (Poor, average and rich)

    We installed advanced measuring equipment in 6 houses per community.
    We can conclude that the geyser and the fridges/freezers consume the most of the energy.

    We also saw that most geysers were set at 65 or 70 degrees. You can adjust this to about 55-57 degrees (to kill all the germs)

    Most fridges and freezers were iced. This was because the rubbers were bad. And then humid air comes in the fridge.freezer. This will condensate and you will get ice.

    When you have allot of ice in a freezer it will use 50% more energy to cool the things inside. So defrost your freezer/fridge to save money, adjust geyser.

    And you can use for cooking a special pan: the bottom is with the water, the two pans on top have holes to steam the vegetables.
    (than you only use one plate of the stove, if you have an electric stove)

    These are some simple tips from me.

    But a solar water heater is also a sollution. If you live in example cape town, Use a Vacuum tube solar water heater. (this one will also work in cloudy days!)

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Is it true that these long life bulbs lose 20% of the lighting capabilities over their life span? I have a number of lights that stay on 24/7 - I am still looking for this 'long life' many hours bulb and have replaced many. I also have had a number of these day/night switched long life bulbs and not one has gone the distance either - they have an extremely short life span. For the price it is very disappointing.

    I find that LED lighting is bright within its immediate direct surround but after that one is peering around in the dark. Are the downlighter you talk of Jaques like that?

    Also - saw an advert on tv for a new type air conditioner that uses 20% electricity compared to its older buddies. Air cons are essential kit down here in durban so this was welcome news. Only thing is they cost double the old ones.
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
    Sponsored By: http://www.honeycombhouse.com

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    I guess it depends on your requirements. LED lights are very directional, and you have to be below the light to get the full effetct, but this is generally the case for a <1Watt standard LED downlight. You get many different types and strenghts.

    They are more expensive the higher you go in wattage and the intensity of the light output. I find that the <1Watt LED downlights gives a nice ambiance in the room, and keeping it on all night with not a lot of light needed is perfect. The positive is that they last for 20 000 hours and longer. I read that Radiant lights are busy developing new versions which they say will last for 10 years. The technology is also improving, where they are increasing the light output vs. the wattage needed. Have a look at Giantlight.co.za.

    I used 8 x 20Watt downlights in my livingroom, ceiling height is around 5 meters (double volume), floor size 25m2. I only use these lights for reading etc. Total cost is around 160W...0.16kW....60c/kWh....10 cents per hour. Any other time I have a floor standing light with 2 long life bulbs, one white 14Watt and one blue.....nice effect.

    My bathroom has 2 x LED downlights and 1 x 50 Watt standard OSRAM downlight. A blue LED over the bath, a White LED over the Toilet and the standard shining on a mirror on the opposite wall. This creates a very nice lighting effect at around 3cents per hour. I have had to replace the standard bulb twice over the last 3 years....go figure.

    Ive got a thing about lights!! My ideal career would be to design and develop lights and lighting systems

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRSP View Post

    We also saw that most geysers were set at 65 or 70 degrees. You can adjust this to about 55-57 degrees (to kill all the germs)

    When you have allot of ice in a freezer it will use 50% more energy to cool the things inside. So defrost your freezer/fridge to save money, adjust geyser.
    Something I've always wanted compare but never got the chance....New domestic geysers has a standing loss of around 2.2kW@60DC over a 24hour period. I.e. if you don't open the hot water once, it will cost you 2.2kW...60c/kW...R1.32...30 days around R40. The geyser costs you money if you use hot water.

    If you turn the thermostat to 70 DC, you use far less hot water when showering or taking a bath, so the geyser does not have to regain all this energy it lost since it still has quite a lot of hot water in vs. ice cold water topping it up. What do you think??

    Apart from wrapping the geyser in a thermal blanket and sealing off the roof space around the geyser, wrapping the pipes......what do you think about replacing the geyser thermostat with a digital one. Surely the digital thermostat would control the temperature much better over the long run not overshooting and undercontrolling, i.e. saving you money as well? Or is the loss negligeable?

    I heard a while ago someone invented a way to re-use water expelled from the geyser when initially opening it. Where is this technology? Why does is always take years to get something to the public The therory is that there is a pipe flowing from you tap back to the geyser, which is actuated thermally. If you open the hot water tap, you dont want or need the cool initially heated water, so you don't see any water coming out. The water is pushed back into the geyser (luke warm already compared to cold water) and decreasing the energy needed to heat up the water again. Once the water is hot enough to actuate the valve, it slowly switches and you get only hot water (exactly what you wanted). This saves you water and electricity. No real $ value at first, but over a years usage I believe it would definately be worth while.
    Last edited by Jacques#1; 23-Nov-09 at 07:41 AM. Reason: spelling, substance
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