Energy crisis and how to save money

It could be said that this year did not start quite happily in terms of energy and high prices.

The high prices of natural gas and electric power are touching all of us, no matter if you are a scientist, writer, waiter, or any other profession. So lets’ discuss some possibilities that all of us have and what could be some of them that can really help to reduce our living costs from the view of energy supplies.

Already at the end of the summer of 2021, the so-called “green” measures introduced by some European Union states caused major fluctuations in the energy exchange. These fluctuations mainly meant an increase in energy prices – especially gas and electricity prices.

The subsequent war, when the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, caused further turbulence in energy prices and, of course, their further growth.

The unstable situation in the development of energy prices, with a negative impact on the end consumer, was exacerbated in the course of the following months of 2022 by further decisions by some EU countries to shut down key nuclear power plants with the subsequent announcement of a transition to green sources, which are still perceived as risky from the point of view of several sectors of the economy stable energy supplies (in the case of electricity).

The overall development of energy prices is also linked to rapidly growing inflation, which is an obvious consequence of anti-pandemic restrictions in the economies of individual states. The result is astronomical energy prices that end up in the price lists of distribution companies and subsequently in invoices for the final consumer – households.

How to reduce energy consumption and save

So what is left for individual households? What are the possibilities of saving, or finding any reserves in saving energy and subsequently reducing their consumption?

Some measures that everyone can try at home have an immediate effect and will be reflected in the final bill of energy consumption.

For example, try the following:

Reduce the heating temperature

The household does not have to overheat unnecessarily. This is especially true at night or when no one is home. For example, the temperature in the rooms reduced by 3 °C reduces the total consumption by up to 3.8 MWh per year.

Change the ventilation method

Do you like to ventilate non-stop with an open vent? Change it up, instead of a permanently open vent on any window, start ventilating with the window fully open for 5-10 minutes. Thanks to this, up to 2.5 MWh of heating energy is saved annually. Fresh cold air warms up to room temperature faster in the room.

A close-up shot of water flowing from a basin mixer tap in the bathroom. Image source: wirestock/freepik.

Bath or shower

Choose a shower instead of a bath. Showering is up to 4 times more economical than a filled bath. This way you can save up to 1 MWh of energy per year per person every day.

Drying clothes

After washing, you do not need to dry the clothes in the dryer, but rather leave them in the room on the dryer. You save up to around 0.3 MWh per year on electricity. You will also get natural air humidity because in the winter the air in the rooms is usually too dry.

Water heating

If you heat your water in your own system (boiler or combined boiler), set the temperature to around 50 – 60 °C. You can save up to 0.70 MWh of energy per year.

The dishwasher saves energy

Yes, if you have a dishwasher, use it, and don’t unnecessarily wash dishes under running water. You can reduce consumption by up to 0.45 MWh per year on the energy needed to heat water. Of course, only turn on the dishwasher when it is full (according to the instructions).

Regular checks of the heating system is very important. Image source: freepik.

Checking and adjusting the heating

If you live in a house, or if you have the opportunity (and responsibility) to set up the heating system yourself, then definitely do not neglect it. There are several factors that have a major influence on the resulting heating gas or electricity consumption. It is therefore important to call an expert to check the gas boiler or other system you use before the heating season. Regular inspection of the equipment is also important in case of a potential breakdown in the future and subsequent resolution with the help of the insurance company (they will want to see the inspection report).

Central heating

Correct pressurization of the system is important for the correct operation of central heating (it is best set by a heating engineer during the inspection and revision of the system), but it is also important to vent the radiators, which is inevitable for the correct circulation of the heating medium (hot water).

Insulation of door and window sills

If you have not replaced the windows with new ones, or if you are renting and the windows or doors are quite leaky, try covering the lower edge of the closed window or door with an old blanket or something similar. You will prevent unnecessary heat loss.

The curtains covering the radiators are not a good solution. Image source: pvpproductions/freepik.

Radiators

Do not cover the radiators in the room at all. You will allow the sufficient release of the delivered thermal energy into the space.

Clothes

Try to dress in comfortable soft home clothes that are warmer at the same time. You will find that you do not need to heat the room as much as you did before. This will be reflected in the final energy consumption.

Turn off unnecessary electrical appliances

Today’s modern electronics are most of the time non-stop connected to the power grid, in the so-called “standby” mode. You can see it on TV, for example. Even when it is turned off, the red light is on and it is enough to turn it on with the remote control. When you don’t need to have the TV on, turn it off completely so that no lights are on. It is not about the small light of the pilot light, but about an unnecessarily switched-on appliance that takes electric current, transforms it to a lower voltage in its transformer, and supplies it non-stop to all the circuits of the given appliance. Just so that the user can comfortably turn on the TV easily at any time, hidden consumption occurs. You will also reduce the risk of possible overheating and the risk of a subsequent fire of the appliance.

Curtains

It is quite common for radiators to be located under a window. And it is quite common to use long curtains reaching down to the floor. In winter, these curtains unnecessarily block the flow of heat into the room. The solution is to use curtains that extend up to the window sill, especially in winter.

A combination of different recommendations can really help. Let’s try to find some additional tips together and add them to the article. If you have your personal experience or an idea, let me know and I will add your idea to the article.

I wish you all have a nice and relaxing heating season this year!

~Jozef

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