If you preheat the oven only when it’s needed and use residual heat to cook, then you’ve already started saving energy. Something else you can do every day to be more energy efficient is keep the lids on pans and pots. Plus there are plenty of savings to be made with an energy-efficient fridge, that’s if you’re happy to invest in one. Fridges with an A+++ rating consume just half as much energy compared with older appliances.
Did you know that devices in standby mode account for 10% of your electricity consumption? Standby mode does not fully disconnect devices from the power supply, adding an average of up to €115 to your energy bill every year. That means you should switch off your electronic devices completely when you are done using them instead of just leaving them on standby. An extra tip: only charge your device’s battery when it’s about to die. Doing so helps optimise battery life as the device ends up completing fewer charge cycles. You should also make sure you unplug the charger from the socket once the battery is full as electricity will often continue to flow if it’s still plugged in. If you have several devices to charge, it’s worth getting an extension lead with a master switch to disconnect all of the devices from the power supply in one go.
All computers, laptops and smartphones have an energy-saving mode, and it can be easily customised in your system settings to suit your needs. For example, you can set it to reduce the screen brightness sooner, turn off the screen automatically, or go into sleep mode if the device is idle for several minutes. This helps save up to 90% in energy use, and it allows laptops and mobile devices to last for longer on one battery charge.
Switching from conventional light bulbs to LED lights is arguably the easiest and most effective way to save energy. LED lights may be more expensive to buy, but it’s worth it in the long run. LEDs are energy efficient and last 15 times longer than conventional bulbs. If you were to swap ten 60 W bulbs for LED lights, for example, you would see your energy consumption drop by 405 kWh every year, saving you around €150 on your energy bill. Switching to LEDs also has the bonus of saving 310 kg in carbon emissions. An extra tip for those who want to have the right colour temperature: note the light’s kelvin value. The higher the number, the cooler and more bluish the light colour.
Most old household appliances waste energy. For example, an energy-efficient dishwasher consumes 30% less energy on average than a model made ten years earlier. Even with the upfront purchase costs, you still save money in the long run if you upgrade to an A+++ rated appliance. It’s not only energy that’s wasted either, old cathode-ray tube televisions, for example, are a drain on your wallet too. If you’re keen to part with your old TV set and invest in a new flatscreen model, do make sure you take a look at its energy-efficiency rating and annual power use information as energy consumption can differ greatly.
Large cooling appliances use more power than smaller ones. Your fridge is the perfect example of this as it’s switched on all year round. That’s why you should buy an appliance with a capacity that’s just right for what you need. For example, a 100 – 160 l capacity fridge is usually sufficient for a one or two-person household. Washing machines are another example of this principle. Choosing the right drum size for your needs means you can save energy, water and detergent.