Ways to reduce your electricity bill – Step Two:

Switch to gas

Gas is used extensively for cooking and heating in other parts of the world, but here in SA, we have no pipeline gas, says Palmer. You will need to buy a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) canister which fits your appliance. A refundable deposit is required for the ongoing use of the canister and you refill it at your nearest gas outlet (see www.totalgaz.co.za; www.afrox.co.za; www.easigas.co.za). Remember, as LPG is 100% derived from oil, its price fluctuates with the oil price.

Says Terence of The Gas Experts (www.gasexperts.co.za ), you can purchase a good, safe four-burner gas hob for under R2 500. For a family of four living in a basic townhouse, a 9kg bottle of gas can last up to nine months, costing R200 a year to run the hob. A medium-sized gas water heater, retailing for R3200, will use a 48kg bottle of gas (costing R790) approximately every two and a half months. Installation of a gas stove and geyser will cost around R4500 (excluding the bottles). To keep warm, gas heaters and fireplaces are cost- and energy-efficient.

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