SA isn’t joining in Earth Hour campaign

Posted by Laura Grant on March 13, 2008
Posted in Green News

earth-hour-logo-new.jpgWWF South Africa is not campaigning with other WWF offices around the world on Earth Hour this year, the local organisation says. At 8pm on March 29, millions of people around the world will switch off their lights for one hour. It is envisaged as a way that ordinary people can take a stand against climate change.

South Africans already face energy challenges because of Eskom’s load shedding, says Peet du Plooy of WWF South Africa. “The ability to save energy as a matter of choice is no longer an option, but a necessity,” he says.

WWF South Africa says that even though it is not campaigning, it is still 100 percent committed to energy efficiency initiatives such as the global Earth Hour campaign. But it is rather placing emphasis on urging South Africans to focus on developing energy efficiency as a way of life.

Du Plooy says that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to address South Africa’s energy problems. “Solar water heaters to replace South Africa’s 1.4 million electric geysers will cost about R3.50 per watt, while the cost of building South Africa’s next big coal power station – which would probably be the world’s biggest – is now estimated at R16.40 per watt,” he says. “Solar water heaters in the residential sector alone can save a third of the energy this coal-powered station will provide and can be rolled out well before the five years required for building a coal power station.”

Engineering News reports reports that earlier this month, speaking at an Eskom conference, University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre associate professor Harald Winkler said that over 90 percent of South Africa’s power came from coal and was carbon intensive. The implementation of energy efficiency methods were therefore a “no brainer” when it came to lowering emissions, he said.

If cumulative carbon dioxide emissions between 1950 and 2000 from energy sources were considered, South Africa ranked 14th in the world. If one considered annual emissions for the year 2000, including all six GHGs, with land use, land change, and forestry taken into account, South Africa came in at No. 21, the report said.

WWF SOUTH AFRICA’S TIPS TO CUT ELECTRICITY USAGE AT HOME

1. Fit a geyser blanket to your geyser if it doesn’t already have one
2. Turn the geyser’s thermostat down
3. Shower instead of bathing
4. Turn the geyser off completely when you’re not using hot water
5. Switch off your appliances at the wall when they’re not in use. Devices like cell phone chargers drain electricity even when they’re not in use
6. Check that your fridge and freezer doors seal properly. Replace the seal if they don’t
7. Dry clothes on a washing line rather than a tumble-drier
8. As a rule of thumb, cook small amounts of food in a microwave oven and large amounts in a normal oven
9. Fill your dishwasher completely before switching it on
10. Keep your air-conditioner’s filters clean
11. Replace your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient ones
12. Insulate the ceiling of your home
13. Don’t operate your swimming pool pump more than you need to. Use a timer
14. Keep the pool filter clean.

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