Reducing my electricity consumption and my electricity bill by changing my behaviour
Sometimes it is necessary to replace a device especially if it has already reached a certain age. When I decide to buy a household device, I look at the European energy label, which shows me the energy consumption of the device. On oekotopten.lu, I also find a list of the most economical devices to guide my choice based on the energy efficiency classes and my needs.
I compare the prices of electricity providers
To reduce my electricity bill, I compare the prices of the different electricity suppliers. All I have to do is enter my postcode and my annual consumption on calculix.lu. The comparison calculator produces a comprehensive list of the offers available for my place of residence and I can choose the offer that suits me best.
- I always use pots of the right size. The diameter of the pot should match the diameter of the cooker top. A curved bottom of the pot leads to poor contact with the heat source and increases consumption.
- I put a lid on the pot. When the water in a pot starts to simmer, it doesn't get hotter: all the energy used to boil it doesn't raise the temperature of the water, it just evaporates. In this way, I save a lot of electricity by avoiding cooking at high heat.
- I save even more electricity if I switch off the power a few minutes before the end of cooking to use the residual heat: Even if the water in the pot is no longer simmering, the temperature on the stovetop is still high enough to finish the job.
- Oven: I avoid preheating for long cooking times and turn off the oven five to ten minutes before the required time is up, remembering not to leave the door open unnecessarily.
- Hot water: Nothing is as effective as a good kettle filled with just the amount of water needed. I make sure it does not calcify as this reduces the efficiency of the heater.
- Heating the water consumes the most energy: if you choose a programme with a low temperature (30 °C instead of 60 °C), you will use less energy. Most washing powders are now effective at low temperatures. Especially since their enzymes, which digest food stains, among other things, become ineffective if the water is too hot.
- I avoid running the machine when it's not full, and I don't start a prewash if the laundry is only lightly soiled.
- I use the "Eco" button. Attention: Not to be confused with the fast programme (Express): to be faster, the machine gives more power to the heating and often uses more than the normal programme.
- I choose a powerful spin programme. This way I avoid my tumble dryer using a lot of energy for drying, as I have removed most of the water from the laundry beforehand.
- I prefer to air dry my laundry rather than tumble dry it.
- I choose a powerful spin programme. This saves my tumble dryer a lot of energy for drying, as I have removed most of the water in the laundry beforehand.
- I clean the filter of the tumble dryer after each use so that the air can circulate better.
- When I iron my laundry, I use the appropriate drying programme ("ready to iron"). It uses less energy than the 'ready to put in the cupboard' programme.
- I only start the machine when it is full.
- I select the "economy programme" if there is one. This programme should not be confused with the quick programme (Express), which uses more energy. With the economy programme, washing takes longer, but less electricity is used.
- Most of these devices have a consumption "on standby" when they are waiting to be used. This is the famous "standby" power. I therefore avoid leaving my devices in standby mode by switching them off completely.
- To switch off the TV, the set-top box or other multimedia devices, I don't use the remote control, but the main switch or the power strip.
- After use, I unplug adapters and chargers (e.g. for my mobile phone or laptop) from the socket.
- I set the default settings of my computer so that it switches to standby mode (screen and computer) after a certain time (15 minutes). As soon as I leave my seat, I can switch off my screen with the push of a button (so no information is lost): as long as the standby mode is not started, I can switch my screen on again and continue using it directly.
- I turn off my computer when I take a break for an hour or more.
- I avoid screen savers, which often use more energy than they save: They were useful on the old, clunky screens (cathode ray screens), but they are useless on modern flat screens.
- I make as much use as possible of daylight coming in through windows or light wells. However, I remember to also provide shade (preferably from outside) to avoid overheating in summer.
- I always switch off the light when I leave a room. Contrary to popular belief - and regardless of the type of light bulb used - the extra energy needed to switch it on is only a fraction of a second and is insignificant in any case.
- I install motion detectors in the hallways.
- The twilight sensors installed for the outdoor lighting switch on and off as needed.
- I replace my incandescent, eco-halogen or compact fluorescent lamps with LED lamps.
- I put my fridge and freezer in a cool, airy place and not near a heat source.
- I make sure that the doors of my fridge and freezer close tightly and do not keep them open unnecessarily.
- I defrost my freezer regularly. The frost acts as insulation and reduces the performance of the freezer. As a rule of thumb, you should defrost every six months or as soon as the ice layer is a few millimetres thick.
- I let hot food cool down before I put it in the fridge or freezer.
- I set my fridge to the right temperature (6 °C). For the freezer, I set the temperature to -18 °C, not below.
- I dust the back of my refrigerator and freezer to promote heat dissipation and keep a distance of 5 cm from the wall.
- The air conditioner is an electricity hog. Before I turn it on, I avoid generating heat from other electrical devices that give off a lot of heat: Halogen lamps, oven, tumble dryer, etc.
- I remember to ventilate extensively at night (I create a cross-air flow by opening several windows) to cool down my home.
- As soon as the sun rises, I close the blinds (or shutters) and the windows to prevent the sun from heating up my home.