Given the state of the economy, everyone is interested in saving money; given the state of
the environment, most responsible people want to do their part.One of the best ways to
save money at home is to reduce your energy consumption, which will ultimately mean
a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions—thus killing two birds
with one stone. There are a few practical and simple ways to reduce your electric and gas
consumption, which is good for the environment and for our pocketbooks.
Turn Down the Thermostat
It is hard to believe, but by lowering your thermostat by 1°C can reduce your heating costs
by as much as 10%, which translates into a savings of about €60 per year. That one degree
is insignificant: simply put on an extra blanket at night in the winter. If your heating system
has a programmer, set it to only come on when you manually switch it on, rather than
having it run all the time.
Lower Your Hot Water Temperature
Most people have their water heaters set too high, which results in higher heating bills.
Set the water heater cylinder to 60°C/140°F. This is hot enough for anything you need,
and will bring your costs down and save energy.
The windows in your home are more than just ways to see out: they also let in draughts
and let heat out. Close the curtains at nightfall, which will keep heat from escaping. Also,
check the seals around the glass window panes and casings, as well as doors; if you feel
a draught, remedy it.
Flip the Switch
Remember your mum telling you to switch off the light when you left a room? Well, it wasn’t
about being a nag, it was about saving valuable energy. By simply turning off the lights when
you exit, you can save significantly on electric costs.
Say No to Standby
Many newer appliances come with a “standby” mode, which is convenient for the user, but
which also costs you extra money. Maintaining an appliance on standby uses more electricity
than turning it off and on does, so don’t use that feature. Additionally, when your laptop
computer or mobile phone is done charging, unplug it. Not only is that better for the device’s
battery, it is kinder to the electric bill.
Fill ‘Er Up
When using the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher, fill it up, rather than doing multiple
partial loads. It’s simple math: a full load uses less energy than doing two half-loads.
Mind the Kettle
When making tea or other item needing boiling water, only boil as much as is needed. Bringing
extra water to boil is a waste of energy and water.
Fix the Sink
Did you know that a dripping hot water faucet will waste enough water to fill up half a bathtub,
not to mention wasting the energy used to heat that water? Check your taps and fix any leaks—
and turn them off completely when you’re done using them!
Use the Right Lightbulbs
Energy saving lightbulbsare a necessity. Not only do they last ten times as long as regular
incandescent lightbulbs on average, they also significantly reduce your light bill: as much as €65 over
the bulb’s lifetime! If you switch one of these new bulbs for a high-wattage incandescent, especially
one that is used frequently, you can save about €90!
Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s energy consumption to catch where changes can be
made that will make it more energy efficient. By utilizing these tips, you can save a great deal of money
and conserve energy as well.