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Energy Saving Tips for Households tool - Tips Tool

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Comparison between an average household and household using new and energy-efficient appliances and implemented energy-efficient measures on the building is presented in Figure 1 and 2.
Figure 1 Average annual electricity and heating consumption by modern household

Figure 2 Average annual electricity and heating consumption by inefficient household

To achieve a balance of energy consumption in one household, the general steps are required:

  • Determining the consumption of the appliances;
  • Calculation of energy costs for individual appliances;
  • Take measures to reduce energy dependence;
  • Effect monitoring and continuous improvement.

If you want to get an idea of the limits of your electricity consumption, you can compare your consumption with the Table. 1. If you are in the red box, consider applying the following energy saving steps.

Members in the householdNormal:Too high:
11.500 – 1.900 kWh/y.> 2.300 kWh/ y.
22.600 – 3.300 kWh/ y.> 4.000 kWh/ y.
33.700 – 4.500 kWh/ y.> 5.300 kWh/ y.
44.600 – 5.500 kWh/ y.> 6.400 kWh/ y.
55.500 – 6.500 kWh/ y.> 7.300 kWh/y.


  • Keep track of your consumption. Check your consumption and your bills regularly: it will ease the planning of your family budget. Witness how changes in your behaviour may affect energy bills.
  • Buying a more energy efficient appliance could save you money over time, when compared with similar products.
  • Switch off all electrical appliances at the plug instead of using the "standby" mode. Appliances are still using electricity when on "standby" mode, and account for 6% of all electricity usage in home. Turning off your appliances could save up to 5 MWh or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK) a year.
  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
  • Remember to ventilate - Ventilation is needed to get fresh air in and let moisture and smells out. Open the windows daily. Please remember, the shorter, the better: 10 minutes is generally enough! In winter do that during the least cold hours and turn the heating on only when ventilation is finished.

Heating tips
  • Maintain your radiators properly. Furniture in front of a radiator will block or absorb the heat.
  • Reflective radiator panels behind the radiators could reduce your heating bill by up to 20%. When radiators are installed on a poorly insulated wall, most of the heat will dissipate through the wall and to the outside. To avoid heat losses, a thin reflective panel between the wall and the radiator can be installed (they are easily available at stores).
  • The easiest way to save energy on heating is to keep the recommended indoor temperatures. In winter, 21 ºC during the day and 15 - 18 ºC at night should be enough to make you feel comfortable at home. Turning your thermostat down by 1 degree centigrade could save you 10% on your fuel bill per year.
  • Drying your clothes on the radiator makes your boiler work harder than it needs to and costs more.
  • Heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators help your heating system work more efficiently.
  • Leaving doors open between areas of different temperatures allows warm air to escape.
  • Keep heat where you need it. Take control of heated spaces by closing doors (or by opening them in case you want to let heat be distributed to other rooms). Leaving the door open in a single room you want to heat will make you waste energy and money.
  • In the colder days it is recommended not to switch off the heating during the hours when you are away from home, only to reduce it. When it is turned off, your home will cool down too quickly, which will lead to overheating to reach a favourable temperature.
  • If you are away from home during the day or for a longer time, reduce the temperature, but not below 15 degrees, otherwise the air in the room becomes too humid and the risk of mold increases. You should know that the lower the temperature in a room, the more often you need to ventilate the room to reduce the humidity.
  • Heating with pellet boiler is up to 30% cheaper than heating with damp wood and / or coal. Although the price per tonne of pellets is higher than heating with wood and coal, then if we compare the prices for obtaining the same amount of heating energy, pellet heating is the cheapest. This is due to the fact that the pellets are first of all much more calorific (kWh/tonne) than other fuels (wet wood and / or coal) and secondly because they are burned in boilers with much higher efficiency - up to 90%, compared to 35 ÷ 40% for old stoves.

Insulation
  • Insulate your facade and roof - Choose external wall insulation solutions to gain the best results. Otherwise, opt for interior wall insulation or other insulating technologies.
  • As much as a third of your heating costs could be escaping through your roof. Loft insulation is the most cost-effective energy saving measure and the easiest to install.
  • Up to a third of the heat produced in your home is lost through your walls.
  • Solid walls can also be insulated by internal wall insulation.
  • Watch out for air and water infiltration through doors and windows - cover cracks with cheap material as silicone, filler or draught excluders.

Cooling
  • The easiest way to save energy consumed by cooling devices is by keeping the recommended indoor temperatures: in summer 26°C should be enough. Turning up your room thermostat by one degree, can lead you to a 8% saving. If you turn it up by two degrees, you can enjoy a whole day of free cooling, and avoid unnecessary colds.
  • Make sure air conditioning works at its highest performance - clean the filters once a month and do preventive maintenance properly. Point adjustable flaps to the ceiling to slowly cool the rooms from the top. Splits must be placed in windows or walls near the centre of the room and in the shadiest space of the house.
  • Take advantage on natural ventilation - open north- and south-facing windows to facilitate cross ventilation when it is cooler outside.
  • Keep the cold in the space you choose - take control of cold spaces by remembering to keep doors shut (or by opening them, in case you want to let cool be distributed to other rooms). Leaving the door open in a single room you want to cool will make you waste energy and money.
  • When buying a new cooling system, pay attention to its energy label - choose a high energy efficiency system (A+++).
  • Clean fans and filters: dirty or clogged filters and fans or air-conditioning units and desk fans can reduce efficiency by up to 30%. You can make immediate energy savings and increase the cleanliness of your workspace by maintaining them.
  • An energy efficient LED lamps uses up to 80% less electricity than an incandescent bulb and could last up to ten times longer.
  • Switching off a typical fluorescent light for one hour in each working day will save 30kg of CO2 emissions annually.
  • Working nearer windows will save turning on lights too often.
  • Switching off the light whenever you leave the room is an easy way to save.

Washing Machine:
  • Washing clothes at 30°C uses around 40% less electricity than at higher temperatures.
  • Modern washing powders and detergents work as effectively at lower temperatures, something worth considering.
  • New washing machine with energy class A - A++ could save up to 100kWh or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
  • A half load wash can use more than half the energy of a full load setting.
Tumble Dryer:
  • Drying your clothes outside is free! If you are using a dryer, it could be worth reviewing its energy efficiency options.
  • Drying similar fabrics together will speed up the drying process. The same goes for spinning your wash on the highest spin cycle.
  • Wring or spin soaking wet clothes before putting in your tumble dryer.
  • Drying clothes in the tumble dryer is expensive and makes them harder to iron.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • If your drier has a “cool-down cycle” it allows the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Buying new dryer with class A - A++ could save up to 420 kWh/year or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK)
Dishwasher:
  • It costs about 20% less to run a cycle on an energy saving dishwasher as it does on an older, less inefficient machine.
  • If you are buying a new dishwasher, look for the Energy Saving Recommended logo. This is your guarantee that you are buying one of the most energy and water efficient machines available. A new dishwasher with class A - A++ could save 180kWh or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
  • Use the eco setting whenever possible.
Fridge/Refrigerator:
  • Energy Saving Recommended fridges and freezers use up to 60% less energy than an older model.
  • Replace your inefficient fridge-freezer with an A+ or A++ rated model and save up to 440kWh/year or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK) a year. Look out for the Energy Saving Recommended logo.
  • Allow hot food to cool before putting it in your fridge.
  • Overfilling your fridge reduces its efficiency – cold air needs to be able to circulate.
  • Leaving the fridge door open any longer than necessary uses energy.
  • Try to keep your freezer at least three quarters full.
  • Keeping fridges and freezers away from cookers, heaters and out of direct sunlight uses less energy - It is not desirable to place refrigerators and freezers near heated bodies, stoves, etc. to prevent unwanted heating of refrigeration systems. Warming the refrigerator is a prerequisite for higher electricity consumption to maintain the desired temperature in the refrigerator.
  • Prevent freezing in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator - frosting especially in the radiator area reduces heat exchange and significantly increases the refrigerant electricity consumption (by about 30%). If you notice frozen areas, turn off the refrigerator and thaw them as soon as possible. More than a 6mm of ice build-up in your freezer reduces its efficiency. A fridge thermometer will help you set it to the optimum temperature.
  • Keeping the back of your fridge-freezer clean helps to improve its efficiency.
  • Buy a thermometer! Recommended temperatures is 5°C for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and -18°C for the freezer section.
  • Manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers are more efficient if kept clear of ice; frost build-up decreases the energy efficiency of the unit.
  • Uncovered foods in the fridge release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Check the seals on your fridge / freezer to ensure no warm air is getting in - the seals should be tight enough to hold a piece of paper securely when closed.
Electric kettles:
  • Try to boil only the quantity you need.
  • Descale electric kettles – timescale makes your kettle work harder.
  • A new electric kettle with energy class A – A++ could save more than 70kWh/year.
Computer
  • A PC monitor left on overnight uses the energy to laser print 800 pages.
  • Over a 12-month period, a PC left running for 24 hours per day will consume up to 2500kWh/year electricity or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK, etc.)/year.
  • A computer with energy class A - A++ could save 2000kWh or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
  • Activate your PCs Power Saving Device: Right click on the desktop > Properties > Screen Saver > Power. Your monitor will reactivate within a few seconds after moving your mouse.
  • Switch off computer screens when away from your desk (e.g. lunch and meetings) and turn the PC off at night.
TV and Set top Box
  • Leaving your TV and all accessories attached to it on standby all the time could cost you up to 30 Euros (BGN, HRK) per year.
  • New TV with energy class A – A++ could save about 160kWh/year or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
Cooking
  • Food cut into smaller pieces cooks quicker.
  • Cover up. Lids on your saucepans reduce cooking time.
  • It’s better to cook small items under the grill rather than in the oven.
  • Electric toasters are quicker and more efficient than electric grills for making toast.
  • Electric deep fat fryers are safer and more economical than chip pans.
  • Electric kettles boil water more efficiently than a pan on a cooker.
  • Microwaves are quick, easy to use, very economical and energy efficient.
  • A new oven with energy class A-A++ could save about 360kWh/year or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
Domestic hot water
  • Reduce the temperature of the water heater to 50-55°C.
  • Changing the preheating temperature from 60°C to 55°C can reduce about 10% of the electrical energy used by the boiler. To eliminate developing bacteria it is necessary to increase the temperature to 60°C once a month for a few hours to eliminate them.
  • Use the night rate to heat water in the boiler.
  • Using a night tariff does not save you electricity, but it will reduce your bill. For two-person households, annual savings of 35-40 Euro are realized in the use of a night-time heating water tariff.
  • In the winter season, the night rate is from 22.00 until 6.00 and in the summer - from 23.00 to 7.00.
    Recommendation: Set your boiler up to 5°C higher to compensate for heat loss during the day. You can use digital or manual timers to turn your boiler on and off.
  • Energy efficiency label - replace old inefficient boiler with a new one, equipped with energy efficiency label of the highest class! Consider the volume of the tank to the needs of your family! The investment in higher class will be repaid by energy savings. A new water heater with class A-A++ could save more than 400kWh/year or ……… Euro (BGN, HRK).
  • Solar collectors - use of solar collectors is another great way to save on electricity bills by using free renewable energy from the sun. See labels for energy efficiency of boilers in which water is heated with solar panels! Where technically feasible and economically justified, the installation of solar collectors is one of the best options for water heating.
  • Install aerators to save water! This will, with minimal investment, daily and unnoticeably reduce energy bills for water heating.

  • Keeping a fan on cools a room.
    Fans are designed to move air around, not to cool it. Having a fan on allows people inside of the room to feel cooler, but not the air in the room itself. Leaving a fan on when you leave your home is simply wasting energy while the room temperature is not cooling off at all.

  • Setting the thermostat temperature to a higher degree heats the home faster.
    No matter what temperature you set your thermostat on, your furnace or boiler will work equally as hard and fast to meet that goal. The only difference achieved by setting the temperature to a higher degree is that the system will work for a longer period, therefore using more energy. The same applies to air conditioners when set to a lower temperature than desired. Another downfall of setting the heat higher is that eventually the air conditioner may kick on to cool the room back down to your actual desired temperature.

  • Closing vents and registers in unused rooms saves energy.
    All systems produce enough airflow to fill their ductwork systems and will continue to do so even if one or more of the air vents in your household are closed. Closing AC vents simply redirects the airflow into other rooms of the home via other open vents. With this extra airflow being transferred to other open vents, the overall air pressure increases, and the system works even harder. Closing vents to save energy is a nice thought, but never the actual case.

  • Hand-washing dishes rather than running them through the dishwasher can save you energy.
    Hand-washing a load of dishes requires a lot of hot water, and therefore a lot of energy. Today, most dishwashers have energy-efficient settings. These settings typically allow you to run a load of dishes using less water and less energy.

  • Appliances don’t use energy when they are turned off.
    Thanks to standby power settings, most appliances constantly use energy in order to be ready for immediate usage. These “energy vampires” cannot be turned completely off without unplugging the device altogether.

  • Leaving a light on uses less energy than turning it off and on several times.
    Even though a higher level of current is needed to turn on a light, this higher level is only used for a fraction of a second. When a light is kept on, it uses a lower level of power, but for much longer. Leaving a light on for longer than a few seconds uses more energy than turning it off and back on as needed.
  • Electronic chargers don’t use energy if plugged in and disconnected from the device.
    Although this may be true for some chargers, most chargers use “vampire power” while plugged in, but not connected to their device. If your charger feels warm to touch, it is most likely using vampire power. It is best to just assume that all your chargers use this type of power and to unplug them when they are not being used.

  • Most heat is lost through windows.
    While heat can be lost through windows, window heat loss is only a small percentage of the total heat loss in a home. Typically, walls account for much more heat loss because of their large surface area. It’s best to consider insulating walls before upgrading windows since heat loss through windows is usually minimal.

  • Sleep mode or hibernate mode is just fine for computers overnight.
    Putting your computer into sleep or hibernate mode, rather than shutting it down, suspends it from waking and sleeping modes. Quite a lot of energy is used to accomplish this state so that the computer can be ready to pop back on at a moment’s notice. It is best to shut your computer down all the way overnight or when you are planning on not using it for a while.