Green Home

South Africa’s mounting energy crisis means that we all need to think of innovative ways to save electricity in our homes. The most effective way to save energy is to insulate your home. By using thermal insulation and energy saving techniques it is possible to save up to 78% of a building’s energy consumption for heating and cooling.

The Energy Efficiency Standard For Buildings (SANS 204) has been published by the SABS and are now legislated AND INCORPORATED INTO THE National Building Regulations (SANS 10400). New buildings will have to comply with the minimum performance parameters, which mean that insulation will have to be installed to achieve the deemed to satisfy R-value stipulated in SANS 204.’s home products embrace all tenets of the green philosophy: safe for the environment, made from natural or organic material, completely effective and baby, child and pet friendly.

To some degree, the growth in housing unit size and demand for energy services has been countered by improvements in energy intensity. Some energy end uses have become much more efficient in the past three decades, such as refrigeration and clothes washing. Efficiency gains also have been made in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, as well as in windows and insulation. As a result, from 1985 to 2004, the energy intensity of the residential sector decreased by 9 percent as measured by energy use per household. Nevertheless, the growth in the number of households and size of houses increased total energy use. Using today’s best practices, builders have demonstrated that it is possible to design and construct new houses that are 30 to 40 percent5 lower in energy intensity than a typical code house, at little or no additional cost.

What exactly are green home products?

What exactly are green home products?

Green home products are environmentally friendly products that are typically made from natural or organic materials and contain no or very few chemicals and toxins. They are biodegradable, so they leave no discernable trace after use. Organic products are also gentle on your skin and body, so they can be used safely in green household cleaners as well as skin care and hair products and even as natural home remedies for most medical conditions.

How do I know if a product is green?

For a start, green products don’t contain ingredients that look like chemistry equations and that need a degree in foreign languages to pronounce. Instead, green cleaning and skin care products contain simple ingredients, such as natural enzymes and plant extracts.

Natural products are as effective at removing stains and cleaning dirt as chemical cleaners, but if you’re not sure about going completely green yet, you can always choose home products that are less toxic than others. Soap-based cleaners are more environmentally friendly that those that contain ammonia, borax works just as well as chlorine in bleaches and detergents and, interestingly, ordinary bars of soap are better for your skin than the modern anti-bacterial varieties.

Although many South Africans are making efforts to reduce energy use at home, the amount of energy used by households across the country is increasing as more, and often larger, homes are built. The use of household appliances is also on the rise. No matter where you live, you can make considerable energy savings by living in homes that have been designed well and include energy-efficient appliances and features. Good design can reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling without reducing comfort.

You can think about and improve the energy efficiency of your home if you are building or renovating, buying or selling or renting. The decisions you make now will affect your lifestyle and your energy costs for many years to come.