Save energy with thermal covers

Roll-up stations are recommended for larger swimming pools, so that when the pool is in use, the thermal cover can be rolled up and stored neatly at one end of the pool. PowerPlastics’ thermal covers are available in blue and black and can be manufactured to suit all sizes of swimming pool.

Save Energy to Save Money and Save Your Environment

By Maya Aberman who tells you how and why you should try to save energy. Please note that the figures have increased substantially since this article was written, however the concept of saving energy to help save the environment remains the same.

Save energy to save money

Typical mid-income households spend R170 to R300 on electricity every month using between 500 and 800 units or kilowatt-hours (kWh). Most households could easily save 20–30 percent of this.

Save energy to save water

Power stations use two litres of water for every unit of electricity (kWh) generated.

Save energy to reduce ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions

In South Africa electricity is generated from coal, which produces carbon dioxide (CO2) when burnt (about 1.1kg per 1kWh used). This is the main contributor to global warming, which is expected to have catastrophic impacts. Fuel combustion in cars is also responsible for substantial CO2 emissions (about 0.3kg CO2 per every 1km driven).

Save energy to reduce air pollution

Air pollution is caused by car fumes and by burning coal to generate electricity.

Buy a pool cover and install a pool-pump time switch

This will keep your pool warm and clean, at the same time reducing the energy and money you need to spend on heating and running your pool pump.

Install solar water heating

Solar water heating methods can be used to heat both your pool and tap water. This uses a renewable source of energy and will pay back in electricity-saving over a just few years. If you are building a new house or pool, it is a sound economic choice as the estimated savings are anything from 20–40 percent of the total electricity bill (saving depends on hot water use patterns).

Insulate your ceiling

It is estimated that you can save half your electricity bill by insulating you ceiling.

Use compact fluorescent light bulbs

These light bulbs last much longer and use a quarter of the electricity for the same light output as a ‘normal’ light bulb. Also, each compact fluorescent installed saves about 500 kg of CO2 emissions over its lifetime, by using less electricity!

Design your house using energy-saving principles

When designing a house:

  • make the best use of natural light by including north-facing windows and skylights
  • incorporate energy-saving lighting (LEDs)
  • design roof overhangs to keep summer sun out but let winter sun in
  • install ceilings wherever possible as it is difficult to warm up a double-volume house
  • use thermally efficient building materials and insulate your walls and floors well

This article originally appeared in NSPI Swimming Pools & Spas (2004). At the time, Maya Aberman was a campaign co-ordinator at Earthlife Africa (ELA), a membership-driven organisation of environmental and social justice activists, founded to mobilise civil society around environmental issues in relation to people. ELA Johannesburg was established in 1988.

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