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Upset and frustrated by load shedding?Most of us have had extremely frustrating incidents. These helpful hints and tips will make life easier and minimise the impact on your lives.

Make life easier

We all know the saying:

“Make hay while the sun shines” – or should that be: “Do what you can while the lights are on”.

  •         Charge equipment while the power is on.
  •         Fill up your car and get that extra cash, pumps and ATMs are affected during outages too.
  •         Get a vacuum flask, when you make yourself a cuppa, fill the flask for the next one.
  •         Get hints and tips from your friends that go camping.
  •         Have good back up batteries for alarm systems, garage doors and electric gates – prevent being locked in / out of
  •          your home or office.
  •         Have a car charger for cell phones / navigators.
  •         Get an alternate cooker, gas or gel to complete your half cooked meals or switch completely to a gas stove

Provide extra lighting – candle light, gas/gel/paraffin lamps, or rechargeable battery operated lamps. There are lamps available that, if plugged in will switch on when the power goes off.  The little battery operated head lamps are very practical and battery operated LED dots or strips are a safe long lasting alternative. Always keep safety in mind, don’t leave open flames unattended.

  •         Keep windows and doors closed – prevent loss of cooled or warmed air.
  •         Adjust layers of clothing according to the weather conditions
  •         Keep warm by the good old-fashioned fireplace, or use throws and blankets to keep warm in front of the TV.
  •         Hang thick curtains in open plan areas to keep the warmth in
  •         Prevent bad hair days by getting a good cut that can dry naturally without too much fuss. Put your fan in the car on full blast on  your way to work to get it dry.
  •         Be extra cautious on the road while the traffic lights are out – buffer your time.

Don’t be left powerless? Do the things you never get time for.

  •         Sort your paper piles or a drawer, tidy your desk.
  •         Purge all the items you no longer need or want.
  •         Assign a home / label the stuff you always wanted to label (a handheld labeller is excellent for this).
  •         Make phone calls.
  •         Create  a master list of the things that need to be done.
  •         Break this down into to-do lists.
  •         Get to know your colleagues.
  •         Take the stairs – get some exercise.
  •         Do relaxation exercises.
  •         Read a book / newspaper.
  •         Take up a new hobby; don’t get so involved that you forget to get back to work when the power comes back on.

Alternate Power Sources

  • Solar Power: You can purchase solar blankets that can provide limited power supply for all kinds of applications from loading your cell phone to providing hot water. Advantage = Clean, environmentally friendly, don’t need fuel or electricity for charging, easy to store / Disadvantage = costly
  • Generators buy or rent the best one you can afford, to ensure availability of service and parts. To choose a generator, decide what items you need to run, establish your total power requirements in KVA/ KW (1KVA = 800W) and opt for one that is slightly bigger to prevent overload with an automatic voltage regulator, which regulates the dips and surges in the power supply. Advantage= energy during outages / Disadvantage = Costly with fuel prices increasing, smelly, noisy) On not use indoors – it emits toxic fumes
  • An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or power box maintains a continuous supply when the utility power goes down. UPS switches to batteries to power the essentials. The UPS needs to be plugged in while the power is on, so that the batteries can be charged. Ascertain the total power you will need depending on the equipment you will plug into the UPS. Advantage = Auto switch-over. Back-up power for 20min to a few hours depending on the size of the UPS and the load that is being drawn. UPS’s run as long as your batteries last.
  • Gel fuel is an alternative fuel source to electricity paraffin, methylated spirits, LPG, wood and dung. It can be used for cooking, lighting and heating.

How to save energy

  •         Switch off equipment and appliances to save electricity and prevent damage to the sensitive electronic equipment
  •         during the power surge when the power comes back on.
  •         Adjust power management settings on computers and copiers to “sleep” mode during periods of inactivity.
  •         Use standby equipment in case of power outages.
  •         Consider reducing filtration time to 6 – 8 hrs on swimming pools and spas during off peak periods


  •         Test for drafts – seal or use weather stripping
  •         Prevent heat loss. Insulate ceiling and hot water pipes. Install a geyser blanket.
  •         Get a vacuum flask, when you make yourself a cuppa, fill the flask for the next one.
  •         Don’t open the fridge doors unnecessarily


  •         Replace your incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps
  •         Switch off lights in rooms that are not occupied.
  •         Maximise natural light – consider skylights for dark areas

Heidi Meyer Professional organiser

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