What started out all those years ago as a few hours of power cuts here and there, has turned into a power outage pandemic where load shedding affects all areas of life. The increase in frequency over the years has resulted in South Africans expecting power cuts on a daily basis. The repercussions of this come in all shapes and sizes, and one of the questions that it begs is – how does load shedding affect daily living at home?
From safety concerns to the inability to complete chores, those who call South Africa home have had to use plan B for most of their daily activities when the load shedding stages reach their area. Keep reading to find out about the impacts of load shedding at home so that you can plan ahead and do your best to alleviate the stress of power cuts.
8 Ways That Load Shedding Affects Daily Living at Home
1. Disruption of Daily Routines
Planning activities around power cuts can be difficult when load shedding stages are constantly changing. From getting ready in the mornings to cooking dinner at night, most daily routines in a home require electricity, resulting in other plans needing to be made. Use our tips to prepare for load shedding so that your daily schedule isn’t completely thrown out.
2. Spoiled Food
Extended power cuts can cause perishable food items to spoil, especially during stages 5 or 6 when multiple power cuts are experienced in one day. This leads to waste and additional expenses. Try your best to buy non-perishables and canned foods where possible. Frozen foods also hold up much better than those that just require refrigeration.
3. Inability to Charge Devices
Load shedding can make it difficult to charge essential devices, such as phones and laptops, which are crucial for communication and work. Consider investing in a UPS to get you through load shedding; you’ll thank yourself later when that extra hour of charging time is needed.
4. Physical Discomfort
Load shedding can lead to discomfort during harsh weather conditions, such as hot summer days or cold winter nights. This is especially true for those living in poorer areas, who unfortunately don’t have the appliances to combat the weather.
5. Safety Concerns
Load shedding can create safety concerns, especially for households without suitable backup sources. Failed alarm systems and motorised gates that are down usually cause the biggest issues. If you have a security company looking after your home, find out if they can meet you at your gate when you need to open and close it manually, especially late at night.
6. Increased Expenses
If households need to invest in alternative energy sources, such as generators or solar panels, there will often be a large lump sum, as well as monthly payments, that need to be paid towards them.
7. Negative Impact on Mental Health
Frequent power cuts can cause stress and anxiety, negatively impacting the mental health of individuals and families. The irregularity and uncertainty of power outages keep people on their toes, but not always in a good way.
8. Limited Access to the Internet and Entertainment
The biggest inconvenience that is caused by a lack of access to the Internet is the inability to gather information. Whether it be for work or entertainment purposes, in this day and age, the online space plays a vital role in so many different aspects of life. To avoid this and other problems, try getting your hands on these helpful gadgets for load shedding:
- Compact gas stove
- Portable thermo cooler
- Surge protector plug
- Solar or battery-powered lighting
- Power bank
- UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply
The negative impacts of load shedding on the community are felt far and wide by so many people. As much have we have gotten used to navigating the consequences, daily living has still become difficult in many different ways. Whenever you need a helping hand with your chores, we’re here to take that weight off your shoulders. Book an expert cleaning service with your favourite trusted SweepStar and keep a spotless, healthy home, with or without load shedding.