While South Africans face the prospect of a cold season with ever-increasing power outages, many of them are importing technology into their homes and offices that exacerbates the situation. 

Plasma televisions are becoming recognised as one of the biggest electricity consumers in many homes, behind geysers and heaters but rapidly overtaking fridges and freezers.
As screens get bigger and boast higher resolution, they draw more power – on average four times more than the old cathode ray televisions or monitors and almost double a similar size LCD screen.
A simple rule of thumb in determining how much power the screen draws is that the bigger it is, the more it uses.