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10 Ways to Slash Rising Electricity Costs

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Across Africa, the cost of electricity is on the rise. Compounded by inflation and other economic pressures, this puts additional strain on consumers


“With households already feeling the pinch, proactive measures to manage energy usage are essential to not only save money, but electricity too,” says Dr Andrew Dickson, Engineering Executive at CBI-electric: low voltage.

Below, he shares 10 ways that people can do this by using smart home technologies to monitor, control and automate electrical appliances:

  1. Knowledge is power: Understanding how much electricity your most commonly used appliances consume is the first step towards more efficient energy use. Many smart home technologies can track energy consumption, helping to pinpoint areas where you might be able to save.
  2. Keep loads low: The load management capabilities of some home automation systems can help users ensure that only one heavy load-consuming appliance is switched on at any given moment, thereby ensuring optimal energy distribution.
  3. Set limits: Users can specify the operating duration of appliances, like running the geyser for two hours to save electricity while also ensuring a hot bath.
  4. Schedule appliance switch-on: Many regions have peak and off-peak hours when electricity costs more. Smart tech can help consumers schedule appliances to run during off-peak times whenever possible to save money. This can be done at specific times and on particular days.
  5. Curb consumption in colder months: Electricity is more expensive during winter due to the high demand that results from using heaters, electric blankets and underfloor heating to keep cosy. Smart home devices could be used to determine when these appliances switch on as well as for how long. And while it can be hard to get out of bed on those icy winter mornings, a timer could be set to switch on a heater so that your bedroom is warm even before you wake up.
  6. Environmental intelligence: Many of these technologies can react to environmental conditions such as weather or the setting and rising of the sun, enabling them to automatically switch specific loads on or off under these conditions. So, if a rainy day is detected for instance, your irrigation system can be preprogrammed to not switch on. This not only saves electricity, but water too, which can lower the total of your bill.
  7. Remote control: Worried you left a device switched on? Smart home technologies allow users to turn connected appliances off from their smartphone and/or tablet from anywhere in the world. You can also use this capability to switch items on. To illustrate, you could turn your lights on before you get home from work in the evening.
  8. Don’t just standby: When in standby mode, electronic goods like microwaves, computers, televisions, coffee machines, gaming consoles and even garage door openers can consume more electricity than when they are in use as they are only active for relatively short periods. While the obvious solution would be to unplug all non-essential appliances when inactive, smart home tech lets users switch off any items that are pulling power unnecessarily.
  9. Incorporate renewable energy sources: With the adoption of rooftop solar steadily increasing across the African continent, smart home technology enables the effortless integration of these alternative power sources. For instance, the tech could be used to connect and disconnect from the grid as well as to ensure that the power produced by solar PV systems is used effectively and efficiently.
  10. Avoid additional expenses: To protect appliances from voltage fluctuations that could result from power outages, users can set a minimum and maximum ‘safe operating voltage range’. If the voltage is unstable, the technology will monitor voltage levels and only allow power to the appliance once this is within a safe operating range.

“Contrary to popular belief, homeowners won’t need to rewire their homes to enjoy the benefits of smart home technologies. Devices like smart plugs, isolators and controllers can easily be installed by an electrician without the need for additional wiring or hubs,” points out Dr Dickson.

He concludes by saying, “With the cost of living set to increase over 2024, now is the time for Africans to put the power in their hands and save in areas that they can control.”


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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SLTV to Create Jobs, Shore Nigeria’s Forex- Nwafor

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Metrodigital Ltd., homegrown satellite pay television and owners of Silver Lake Television (SLTV), has promised to impact positively on the lives of Nigerians and shore up foreign exchange for the country.

SLTV to Create Jobs, Shore Nigeria’s Forex- Nwafor

Dr Ifeanyi Nwafor, the company’s managing director who stated this in an interview in Abuja, said that the plan is to create thousands of jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths, adding that dealers were already springing up across the country.

“Each dealer will have his own installer and offices would be opened in this regard. So, SLTV is going to help in creating a lot of jobs and will also create another platform for innovations,” he said.

The businessman said Nigeria’s focus was on leading the world’s industry. He noted that the Nigerian music industry was already making waves worldwide and expressed hope that Nigeria’s indigenous pay-TV industry would also experience the same quickly.

‘’The success will bring in foreign exchange earnings for the country,’’ he said.


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How Virtual Accounts Can Help Businesses Manage Finances Efficiently

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Efficiently managing your business finances isn’t just a task, it’s the key to scaling your business for sustainable growth.

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Several tools exist today to help businesses achieve their financial management goals and establish themselves in a very competitive market.

One such tool is the virtual account, offering several benefits for multinational corporations, startups and SMEs, helping these businesses achieve their financial management goals while scaling sustainably.

In our article, “What is a virtual account and why you need it for your business,” we explained the basic concept of virtual accounts, including the types of virtual accounts, and benefits. Taking it forward with this SeerBit article, we explain the various roles that virtual accounts can play in ensuring businesses achieve efficient financial management.

  • Cash Flow Management

Virtual accounts offer a level of precision and agility that the traditional bank account does not offer businesses in today’s world. Virtual accounts give businesses more control over their funds, as they can easily segregate or compartmentalise funds for various expenses, regulate their cash flow in real-time and ensure safety for the business’ cash reserve. The ability to segregate funds for different short-term needs, such as supplier payments, tax payments, staff payments, and other long-term investments allows the company to make wiser financial decisions and ensures there will always be capital when it is needed.

  • Streamlined Reconciliation

Virtual accounts help to streamline reconciliation for your business, making the process seamless and fast by matching transactions with corresponding records for each unique virtual account. Every virtual account has a unique identifier, making it easy to match both outgoing and incoming transactions on the account with the business’ accounting records. This process is automated, consequently saving valuable time and reducing the possibility of human errors. Hence, you get accurate financial reporting in real time to make informed business decisions, thereby resolving disputes quickly and improving customer satisfaction.

  • Risk Mitigation

Virtual accounts play a crucial role in risk mitigation for businesses by providing an extra layer of security and control over financial transactions. The ability to segregate funds for specific purposes minimises the risk of mixing funds and potential misuse. Additionally, virtual accounts offer customisable access controls and permissions, allowing businesses to restrict access to authorised personnel only, thus reducing the risk of fraud and unauthorised transactions. This heightened level of security not only safeguards financial assets but also enhances trust and confidence among stakeholders, ultimately contributing to more efficient financial management practices.

  • Cost Optimisation

Virtual accounts contribute significantly to cost savings for businesses by streamlining banking operations and reducing associated fees. Through the consolidation of funds into virtual accounts, businesses can negotiate better terms with banks and optimise their banking relationships, potentially leading to reduced transaction costs and account maintenance fees. Furthermore, virtual accounts eliminate the need for maintaining multiple physical accounts, thereby reducing administrative overhead and freeing up resources for other strategic initiatives. By leveraging virtual accounts, businesses can achieve greater efficiency in their financial management processes while simultaneously lowering operational expenses, ultimately boosting their bottom line.

  • Adaptable and Scalable

Adaptability and scalability are other features of virtual accounts that make them effective for managing your business finances. They are customisable and flexible, and this allows them to adapt to whatever preferences or needs that your business has. It also means that you can configure your virtual accounts to meet specific objectives and requirements of your business. So whether you are just starting your business or already growing, virtual accounts can meet every business need at different points, even when you start to scale. This adaptability is good for your business, especially if you’re experiencing fluctuating sales volume.

Conclusion

Virtual accounts are an effective and versatile tool for your business to optimise the financial management process and enhance control and efficiency in the cash management system.

Switch to virtual accounts today!

 

 

 


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Instagram Celebrates African Women in ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ 2024 Campaign

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In celebration of Africa Day on May 25, Instagram has launched its international and pan-African campaign ‘Made By Africa, Loved by the World’. In a first, this year’s Instagram campaign celebrates women of impact, spotlighting four trailblazing women from the continent and diaspora – all of whom have built a global presence through their exceptional talents and passions across sports, entertainment and music.

Now in its fourth year, the women featured in this year’s 2024 campaign hail from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and for the first time Egypt. Eniola Aluko, Bontle Modiselle, Victoria Kimani and Tasneem Elaidy tell their inspiring stories in four beautiful short films highlighting their successes, challenges and passions. Shot in collaboration with five rising filmmakers, Haya Khairat from Egypt, Michael Rodriques from South Africa, Nyasha Kadandara from Kenya and London based Nigerian Aaliyah Mckay alongside co-director Shehroze Khan, these films amplify the unique voices and stories of women who are changing the way Africa is viewed on the international stage.

As part of the campaign, Instagram is also partnering with local African content creators to host the third edition of its community challenge, ‘#ShareYourAfrica,’ bringing together emerging and established content creators to create a movement and celebrate what it means to be African.

Speaking about the campaign, Kezia Anim-Addo, Communications Director, Africa, Middle East & Turkey (AMET) at Meta, said, “For the fourth year running, we’re incredibly excited to shine a spotlight and celebrate just some of the amazing women from across the continent and beyond, who are having a remarkable impact globally. These are women who are contributing to positively shaping the female African narrative and inspiring change across football, music, entertainment and culture. At Instagram, we’re deeply rooted in culture and connection, and we know our platform provides the perfect space to showcase passions and creativity, whilst inspiring a worldwide audience.”

Meet the stars of ‘Made by Africa and Loved by the World’ 2024:

●      Bontle Modiselle (South Africa): An award-winning dancer and influential figure in the South African entertainment industry, Bontle has won numerous awards, including a ‘Africa Movie Academy Award’ and has travelled the world showcasing her impressive dance skills

●      Eniola Aluko (Nigeria): A trailblazer in women’s football whose contributions to the women’s game has made her a significant figure in the world of sports. Eniola has played for some of the world’s leading football clubs, and recently made history by becoming the first African female to make the board of Italy’s female top-flight football club FC Como Women.

●      Victoria Kimani (Kenya): A singer, songwriter and entertainer known for her distinctive blend of R&B, Afropop and Hip-Hop. Victoria has carved a successful path in the African music scene and beyond, collaborating with well-known local and global artists, and was once referred to by the Grammy Awards as ‘Kenya’s Best Kept Secret’.

●      Tasneem Elaidy (Egypt): A singer and songwriter with strong vocals whose songs have earned her international recognition, Tasneem started out on social media, releasing cover songs and original music. She went viral after releasing her version of a popular song and today, she has a growing audience of nearly 2 million followers on Instagram, 3 million on TikTok and over 100 million combined views for her music!

To view each short film, follow the four women featured on Instagram or via the Meta Africa Facebook Page.


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