Making the Heart of the South African Home Smart


By 2026, three million South African households will adopt smart home technologies, up from 1.6 million in 2022. This is being driven by time-pressed consumers increasingly turning to technology for greater convenience and efficiency. With a poll amongst VISI readers revealing that the majority would opt to give their kitchens a spring ‘update’, why shouldn’t this start with making the heart of their homes smart?

Dr Andrew Dickson, Executive: Engineering at CBI-electric: low voltage says that with the cost of renovating a kitchen ranging from R10 000 to R250 000+, depending on the size of the kitchen and extent of the remodelling project, a more cost-effective way of making your kitchen work better for you would be to install smart home technologies.

“Not only will this mean a more modern kitchen in the time it takes to change a plug, but also one that actually helps you monitor, manage and control your energy consumption – especially with dishwashers, induction stoves and washing machines being the biggest power consumption culprits, he adds. “Additionally, some estate agents say that it could even increase the value of your home.”


Dr Dickson breaks down how homeowners can go about incorporating smart home technology into their kitchens to get the most benefit:

Waste not

With geysers using the most electricity out of all of a home’s appliances – approximately 1,984 kWh annually on average – one of the best ways to curb consumption would be to install a Smart Controller as this enables you to schedule the geyser to turn on and off at specific times. For instance, you could schedule for it to switch on an hour or two before mealtimes to ensure that there is sufficient hot water for prepping and cleaning up after meals. By keeping the geyser off at all other times, this can reduce consumption by 23%.

Peace of mind


Ever left home and then later worried about whether you switched the stove off? A Smart Isolator could be used to not only check and see whether your oven or stove is on from anywhere in the world via an app on your smartphone and/or tablet, but also turn it off

Lower standby electricity usage

Did you know that leaving multiple appliances on standby could be responsible for up to 10% of your household’s electricity bill? This makes sense seeing that the energy consumed by a coffeemaker on standby, for example, accounts for up to 55% of the total energy used by the appliance. With a Smart Plug, you can switch off appliances when not in use. Even better, you can turn them on remotely when needed, meaning that you can get the coffeemaker to start brewing even before you get out of bed.

Lighten the load

According to a Twitter poll by Gumtree, 61.6% of South Africans’ electric appliances stopped working due to power surges caused by load shedding. However, smart technologies can protect appliances from voltage fluctuations. Users can set a minimum and maximum ‘safe operating voltage range’ via an app. If the voltage is unstable, the smart device will monitor the voltage levels and only allow power to the appliance once it is within the safe operating voltage range. Alternatively, once power is restored, the smart devices can be set to automatically delay the re-energising of white goods like fridges, freezers and dishwashers, providing a basic level of protection against the likes of switching transients typically associated with system restore after loadshedding.

“It’s easy to build your dream kitchen one smart device at a time,” concludes Dickson.

With the locally developed and manufactured Astute Smart Range from CBI-electric: low voltage, everyone can have a smarter kitchen. Go to for more information.