Arriving home to no power is unpleasant, but there are several ways you can lessen the negative impact that load-shedding has on your daily life.
While some of these solutions are expensive, they can be seen as a long-term investment in your household.
This is because Eskom is R450 billion in debt, making it extremely difficult for the power utility to fix its systems any time soon.
Here are some solutions to survive load-shedding at home.
Generators are the simplest way to minimise the effects of load-shedding, as they can serve as a substitute for Eskom’s power grid.
However, they are expensive to run, and if you want to power more than just a few critical appliances, you will need to make a substantial investment.
Traditionally, household generators consume diesel or petrol and offer a limited amount of power.
Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS) ensure that your devices will not immediately turn off when the power goes out.
This means your devices will not be damaged by sudden power cuts, which is great news for computer users.
It is particularly beneficial to use a UPS in tandem with a generator, which ensures that your devices remain running while the generator kicks in.
UPS devices range in power – from affordable versions that will keep one or two devices running, to more powerful versions which can keep a lot of devices powered for the same period of time.
If you truly want to operate as normal during a period of load-shedding, inverters can be used to convert energy from a battery bank to power your appliances.
The input and output voltage of inverters is an important consideration when setting up a backup power system.
You should also ensure that you choose a sine wave inverter if you want to power your major electrical appliances – as this type of inverter is more efficient than other inverter types.
When investing in your kitchen, it is highly worthwhile installing gas appliances over electrical ones.
This is particularly relevant in South Africa, where load-shedding is a major concern.
Gas stoves are an obvious solution, although investing in other non-electric cooking options – such as stove-top kettles and braais – is also a great option.
If you want an affordable way to light up your home, rechargeable lights are a must-have.
These are extremely affordable, generally costing a few hundred rand, and can be used over and over again.
They are also much safer than using traditional methods such as candles.
Keeping your smartphone powered is probably one of your biggest priorities during load-shedding.
Investing in a powerful power bank is, therefore, a no-brainer.
It is worthwhile investing in a high-quality power bank to ensure that you are completely covered – even if load-shedding goes on for unexpected lengths of time, or if there is an issue getting your power back on once load-shedding ends.
A more permanent solution to the load-shedding issue would be to implement solar power for your house.
However, this is incredibly expensive, as it can cost hundreds of thousands of rand to take a house completely off the grid.
You can start small, though, implementing solar power for certain elements such as your geyser, and expand later.