10 tips for reducing energy bills
Resisting inflation and maintaining a decent standard of living is easier when certain expenses can be modulated. This is the case with energy bills, and with prices rising on this particular item of expenditure, the effort is all the more worthwhile.
Reducing your energy bill does not necessarily mean losing comfort, if the right actions are taken. Some are obvious, others require an initial investment but are effective over time. Here are our 10 tips for reducing your energy bill.
#1 Adapt the room temperature to your real needs
This may seem obvious, and everyone knows that heating is the biggest energy expense in winter. The right attitude is all the more difficult to grasp, as the related cost varies according to the outside temperature: for the same inside temperature, heating costs can vary by as much as double depending on the weather.
The first thing to do is to determine your minimum comfort temperature. Many people tend to overheat their homes, whereas setting the thermostat one or more degrees lower would not bother them too much: for each degree, the gain on the energy bill can be as much as 7%!
Also, depending on the size of the house or flat, differences can be made by room. There is no need to heat an unused room to 19 degrees, for example.
#2 Modernise heating equipment
To continue in the same vein and whatever the heating method used, it can be profitable, especially since the significant rise in the price of electricity, gas and even wood, to invest in the latest generation of equipment.
In addition to the greater comfort they provide, they are designed to consume less and considerable savings can be expected on energy bills, which will sometimes quickly compensate for the expense involved.
In the case of electric radiators, opt for those with a ceramic core or other material that captures heat and releases it after the appliance has been switched off. For the hot water tank, choose one preferably equipped with a steatite resistance, insulated from the water and which will therefore not scale up, for a preserved heating efficiency and a lower consumption, durably.
#3 Positioning thermal equipment well
If you have the possibility, make sure that you place the equipment that produces heat and cold in the best conditions, so that it does not consume more energy than necessary.
The refrigerator can be placed in a less heated room such as a storeroom or garage, while the water heater, which you might want to keep away from hot rooms and out of sight, will be more economical if it is in a heated atmosphere. In addition, plan to insulate the pipes that carry hot water to avoid costly heat loss.
#4 Upgrade light bulbs
Lighting is generally not the most expensive piece of equipment in terms of energy, but the difference between incandescent bulbs and the latest generation of LED bulbs is significant.
For the same light output, an LED bulb that costs a few euros more to buy will usually use ten times less energy.
#5 Unplug unnecessary appliances
There’s no need to go round every socket in the house to pull the plug on all the appliances that won’t be working for the next few hours or at night: remote-controlled sockets provide a simple way to do this from the comfort of your sofa.
For a cost of no more than a few dozen euros, these sockets, which are positioned upstream of the power supply for television equipment, for example, enable you to cut off the power supply in a single gesture and prevent many appliances from remaining on standby unnecessarily.
#6 Shifting the use of equipment to off-peak hours
If you have an off-peak/peak tariff, first check that the hot water tank, which consumes a lot of energy, comes on at night.
Similarly, both washing machines and dishwashers can be switched on at specific times, and most modern appliances are programmable. If you cannot avoid using a tumble dryer, you should also plan to run it during off-peak times.
#7 Favour economy programmes
Some people are reluctant to use the programmes advertised as energy-saving on the same cleaning appliances because they take longer to run. It should be noted that a washing machine and a dishwasher heat the water at various times depending on the cycle programmed, which represents their most significant energy expenditure.
In economy mode, soaking times are extended and the hot water supply is reduced accordingly: even if the appliance is left on for longer, its final consumption will be lower: use the eco mode! And to increase the savings, make sure you fill the appliances well before using them.
#8 Cook intelligently
There are two things you should do when preparing your meals:
- Cover your pots and pans with a lid to retain heat and speed up cooking;
- Turn off the oven before the end of the cooking time, as the ambient heat is sufficient to finish the job without consuming more energy.
#9 Save hot water
The production of hot water quickly increases the energy bill: certain gestures or good habits can easily lead to substantial savings. For example, you should always turn the kitchen mixer tap to the “cold water” position to avoid using hot water when washing your vegetables.
Also, fitting your tap with a water pressure reducer and installing an energy-saving shower head in your shower are investments that will quickly pay for themselves in terms of energy savings – and water, a precious resource above all.
#10 Don’t use energy for decoration
Finally, fashion can lead to the purchase of furniture with LED lighting, or to the direct installation of this type of lighting in various places and for purely decorative purposes. Although LEDs are quite economical, there is no need to use electricity for a simple visual effect.
Every little bit helps: put all our tips into practice and you will certainly see substantial savings on your next energy bill!