Electricity bills are the most bothersome part of our household budget. Costs, due in particular to the current economic crisis, are increasing and more and more consumers are feeling the pain. Electricity should be used wisely, not only to reduce the monthly bills, but also to avoid unnecessary waste. By changing our habits through small gestures, it is possible to reduce household spending on electricity.
Let’s see a few handy solutions for reducing electric consumption:
Lighting: When buying light bulbs choose low consumption ones to suit your needs and avoid excessive lighting. Do not forget to turn off lights when leaving a room. Avoid artificial lighting in daylight or when adequate natural light is available.
In general, if you can, don’t leave your electrical and electronic devices in standby but switch them off completely. Do not use your small appliances beyond the time required (i.e. unplug the battery charger after charging, turn off the TV when nobody is watching, avoid the simultaneous use of multiple devices, etc..).
If you use a water-heater or heat pump version, set its temperature to 60° C in winter and 40° in summer.
Invest in a multiple gang mains power extension lead socket cable so you can turn off several devices at once.
For larger appliances: it is imperative that you try to avoid energy waste. Not only to avoid too high a bill, but also to ensure durability and optimum performance. One good trick is to make sure the vents of the fridge/freezer are clean and located not too close to heat sources such an oven next to them. If you need to change any devices that consume energy (oven, washing machine, fridge…) choose the latest models with A or A+ energy rating. Such investment will be amply rewarded in time with significantly reduced consumption of electricity.
To improve the performance of your appliances, do not forget to adjust their use, in view of your real needs. Clean them regularly. Here are some basic rules to reduce the energy consumption of these devices. Do not run a washing machine half empty. Avoid opening and closing the refrigerator door continuously. Clean the filters of the washing machine, dishwasher and air conditioning regularly.
If possible, dry your clothes outside or on a drying rack rather than in a dryer. Avoid continually opening the oven door to prevent unnecessary loss of heat. When cooking your food, prefer the pressure cooker or use lids with pots and pans.
Remember that electric heaters and thermo-fans are not energy-efficient gadgets: they consume a lot and keep us warm only for a short time.
Last, check with your electricity provider: if you’re paying an hourly rate, choose less expensive times to run your washing machine and dishwasher (for example, after 7 PM. or between midnight and 8 am). It is always worth keeping an eye on offers from various suppliers to choose the best electric rates in line with your lifestyle.