South Africans have been urged to become more energy efficient by changing their usage behaviour and using complementary energy sources.

While the usage of alternative energy strategies can minimise the impact of load shedding or grid outages, they can also assist households to save money, energy experts from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said on Thursday.

They were briefing the media in Pretoria on how South Africans can alleviate the impact of load shedding.

Principal researcher Jarrad Wright said shifting electricity demand by using electricity at different times of the day and week can also help to save significantly on electricity use and monthly household electricity bills.

“Moving the use of electricity around to different times of the day or week can help the power system significantly.

“At the same time, we need to continue to install energy-efficient LED lighting, as well as energy efficient and smart appliances, such as fridges, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers while thinking of improving electric water geyser efficiency with geyser blankets and piping insulation,” said Wright.

Wright said households can also shift to alternative power sources such as clean-burning cookstoves, increased household braai and replacing electric geysers with a solar water heater.

The CSIR advised South Africans to use only reputable suppliers and contractors registered with parent associations.