Maximising Energy Efficiency: The Strategic Edge of Geyser Temperature Reduction in South Africa

Maximising Energy Efficiency: The Strategic Edge of Geyser Temperature Reduction in South Africa

In a country where the supply and generation of electricity is regularly disrupted by load shedding, even minor adjustments in our homes and businesses can help yield significant outcomes. Sensor Networks, as a locally-based pioneer in innovative solutions, hopes to help drive these minor adjustments at scale and committed itself to delivering a tangible impact to South Africa’s energy landscape.

In its pursuit of operational excellence, Sensor Networks now offers public and private stakeholders critical insights into the strategic practice of reducing geyser temperature set points, as a means to address our national energy crisis.

By reducing geyser temperature set points through the use of smart-geyser technology, we can unlock our collective potential to reduce our country’s energy requirements on a national scale. This would help decrease the load on Eskom, assist households in decreasing their own energy consumption, and may help mitigate against increasing levels of load shedding in future.

Unlocking Energy Savings Without Compromise

It is entirely possible to contribute to South Africa’s push towards energy conservation without compromising the performance of any household geyser. Sensor Networks maintains that controlled geyser-temperature reduction can be used as a method to strategically trim energy consumption and costs. By fine-tuning your geyser settings, such as the set-point temperature of the geyser and using a heating schedule, one can unlock immediate energy efficiency.

The impact of this smart yet innovative solution can be amplified if leveraged across millions of other geysers, in households and businesses across South Africa.

Using data drawn from a sample of thousands of geyser controllers located across our country, Sensor Networks has found that the average geyser set-point temperature rests at around 60°C. Lowering this set-point temperature using smart-geyser technology can reduce the energy usage of every individual household, significantly impacting energy usage at a national level.

What the Data Tells Us

Total geyser sample size (n): 6,809

For geysers with a set-point temperature of 51–70°C:
Sample size (n1): 6,346
Average geyser energy usage (e1): 0.492 kWh

For geysers with a modified set-point temperature of 50°C:
Sample size (n2): 463
Average geyser energy usage (e2): 0.357 kWh

Average savings on geyser energy usage if reducing the set-point temperature to 50°C: 0.135 kWh

It is important to note that the energy-consumption data provided above is based on a single day of measurement, and from a select group of real-world customers from across the country who have active Sensor Networks Smart Geyser controllers installed on their household electric geysers.

These figures are constantly changing due to real-world factors such as the weather, load shedding and the time of year. This, however, underscores the tangible benefits of using real-world information to make data-driven decisions around geyser temperature reduction, and its strategic implications for energy conservation if managed correctly.

A Strategic Approach to Load Shedding

If we are to address South Africa’s national energy crisis, strategic energy conservation will remain a critical undertaking. Implementing temperature reduction – although, not at the expense of convenience (ie: cold showers) – across millions of household geysers offers a substantial advantage.

If the average energy savings due to set-point temperature reduction of a single geyser across the Sensor Networks sample set can be measured at 0.135 kWh, then this can be extrapolated to the more than 7 million electric geysers already in use across the country. With this approach, we could theoretically secure total energy savings of up to 945,000 kW – roughly equivalent to one stage of load shedding (1,000 MW).

Sensor Networks’ data is able to prove that geyser set-point temperature reduction provides members of the public and private sectors a strategic tool and mechanism that offers a direct pathway to energy conservation and efficiency, without any of the usual compromise.

If we collectively make a few minor adjustments to the way we use our geysers in our homes, we can navigate load shedding, lower our household expenses, and pave a progressive path for South Africa's energy future.

Image by Freepik

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