Some good ideas from a useful article on Facebook whose author is unidentified. Please let us know if you read this so we can credit you. THANK YOU for these invaluable tips
I live in Zambia, and have been living with load shedding every day, for 12-18 hours a day, for the past 6 months. A couple of my friends asked for my load shedding tips so I thought I’d share them here too:
Most important tip: be patient, 😕 stay calm, and accept that it’s going to be what it’s going to be, regardless of how worked up you get about it!
Yes, it sucks, yes it’s unfair, yes some suburbs are way worse off than others. 🙄
1. Fill a few 2L bottles with water and freeze them.
When the power goes off, move 2 or 3 into your fridge and limit opening and closing the door.
Leave the other frozen bottles in the deep freeze and only take them out once the others are down to about 25% ice. Swap them out for more frozen ones. This should keep your fridge cold enough to preserve your food for at least 8 hours. The ones in your deep freeze should stay frozen at least 12 hours. Remember, don’t open and close the doors unless entirely necessary!
2. Keep your power bank charged up and ONLY use it when the power is off.
If you know you’re in for a few hours down time in a day, put your phone on low power mode ASAP to preserve battery life.
3. Invest in decent rechargeable lights.
- Invest in decent rechargeable camping lights ( Cape Union Mart, Makro, Game). They last a few hours and are bright enough to read/play board games/shower by.
- Get some rechargeable globes (R75 – R125 each depending where you shop). 💡💡💡
It charges when the power is on and works well during loadshedding. Get one for every room in the house and there will be no need to sit in darkness any longer.
4. Thieves love loadshedding when all is in darkness. Light up the outside of your house with solar lighting.
Invest in decent solar lights, the kind with it’s own panels, this is a “must have” item. Shop around, Makro and Game now stock it, but also the Chinese shops (who give you zero warrantee). 100 Watt gives a very decent light and will last the whole night. 200 Watt will light up your outside courtyard or carport. It can be set for automatic timing.
5. A car phone charger is a necessity!
6. Keep groceries in the pantry/fridge that don’t require cooking
Especially if you have an electric stove/oven. Tapas anyone? If you’re desperate, a little camping gas stove is a good idea for easy meals like scrambled egg, 2 min noodles etc.
7. When the electricity is on, boil the kettle and fill a flask or two to use for baby bottles/tea/coffee.
8. Plan outings for your scheduled loadshedding time.
During the day it’s not so bad, but at night it can get real depressing sitting in the dark night after night. A movie, a date night, a meal out, late night shopping, hanging with friends on a different schedule to you – all do wonders at boosting your mood and reducing the effect load shedding actually has on you. Don’t be scared to call on your community!
9. If it’s within your budget, look at getting an inverter system, or generator.
Even the most basic system will give you a few hours of the minimum: lights, chargers, tv, maybe a fan. Electricity prices are going up by 18% so factor that in your financial calculations.
10. Hot water.
A simple solar shower bag kept full and in the sun can be a mood changer. A solar geyser is better.
- keeping the braai stocked with charcoal or wood is now an essential chore.
- Invest in a gas hob, the prices are increasing with demand.
12. Hang washing up carefully so it doesn’t crease.
Hey, our British visitors never iron any clothes, an example to follow.
I have noticed that the cellphone towers are going off during load shedding. Get to know your neighbours in case you can’t phone or text. If anyone knows Elon Musk a few Starlink satellites will help.
I know it sucks, and is frustrating and makes you shake your head and swear and rage. But try remember the many wonderful things that you do have as a result of living in SA. And enjoy all the candle lit bubble baths you want! 🕯️🕯️🕯️
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