Saving energy is one of the best things we can do to take care of the environment. That’s we are working so hard to reduce our environmental load by conserving materials, energy and water. As a consumer, in addition to cutting your energy consumption, you can do a lot more. We would like to share a few bright ideas for what you can do in practice.
- Switch to LED or low-energy light bulbs. LED bulbs are about five times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 50 times longer. Low-energy bulbs are also about five times more efficient and last 10-15 times longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs. Although LED and low-energy bulbs are a little more expensive to buy, they are actually cheaper in the long run.
- About 25% of household energy is used for lighting – so, turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- These days, a lot of electronic devices don’t have a real off button. They only go into standby mode when they are switched off, which means they are still drawing current. The same applies to chargers of various kinds (for your phone, computer, etc). It’s a good idea to group your technical devices in various parts of your flat – in a ‘charging corner’ for instance, where you can charge your devices when you are not using them. Plug them into a power strip with a circuit breaker and then you can easily shut off the power by pressing a single button when you are done.
- Activate power saving mode for your computer screens.
- Do not block your radiators with large pieces of furniture or long curtains – when you do, the heat ‘bounces’ back to the radiator, which signals that it is warm enough and the radiator will go cold. This also applies to the thermostat, so if you have long curtains, make sure they do not hang in front of the knob and capture the heat.
- Keep an eye on the sealing strips around your windows and doors. If you feel a draught, the strips may need to be replaced. Contact your building manager.
- Close your curtains/blinds at night, which will help keep out the cold.
- Do not close ventilators or vents. The building was constructed to allow circulation and if you close ventilators or vents, circulation stops, which affects both air quality and temperature.Air rooms quickly and thoroughly instead of having the window cracked all day long. Turn off the radiator and open the window wide for a short time. If you have more than one window, by all means open them so that you get a cross-draught. After a few minutes, close the windows and turn the radiator on again.
You can read more about heating and ventilation here.
Saving energy in the kitchen
- Using lids on your pots and pans is an easy way to cut your energy use for cooking by about 30%.
- Use pans with flat bottoms and make sure to use the right size plate on the hob for your pan, which should cover the solid plate. If the plate is only 1 cm bigger than the pan, your energy use will increase by 20%!
- Shut off the oven and cooking plates a few minutes early and take advantage of the stored heat. Avoid opening the oven door – every time you open it, the temperature drops by 25-50 degrees.
- Don’t let the hot water run while you are washing dishes by hand. If you do the washing up under running water for only 15 minutes, you will use a massive 75 litres of water!
- Use your electric kettle to boil water for cooking (for pasta, potatoes or other foods that need to be boiled in a pan). If all households boiled 2 litres of water in an electric kettle instead of bringing the water to a boil in a pan, we would save the equivalent of household electricity for 50,000 detached houses.
- Set the temperature to no lower than +5 degrees in the fridge and -18 degrees in the freezer. For every degree colder below those levels, your energy costs will increase by 5-10%.
- Defrost the fridge/freezer regularly and you will see your electricity usage (and bill!) go down.
Saving energy in the bathroom/shower/WC
- Taking short 5-minute showers instead of staying in for 15 minutes can reduce your annual consumption of hot water by 500 KWh per person. Turn off the water while you soap up and wash your hair. Use a shower timer if you would like to keep track of the time!
- A tap left dripping for one day can use as much water as a full shower. A running toilet can waste more than 1,000 litres of water in 24 hours – equal to 7 full bathtubs! Always report dripping taps and leaky toilets to your building manager.
- Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth.
Saving energy in the laundry room
- Always wash a full load.
- Lower the temperature to 30-40 degrees when your clothes are lightly soiled – it is kinder to the environment and your clothes.
- Avoid using the prewash programme.
- A drying cabinet uses the same amount of energy whether you are drying a single pair of socks or a full load of clothes – so, please fill up the cabinet!