Today, households produce about a quarter of all direct CO2 emissions produced in the EU. Did you know that three-quarters of the energy consumed by homes in the EU goes to heating and cooling?
Heating and cooling
Don’t overheat the water. Set the boiler to a maximum temperature of 60°C to make it work more efficiently. Use your thermostat wisely. Did you know that your house won’t heat up faster if you turn on the thermostat? This only affects the maximum temperature in your home. Close curtains or blinds on hot days to keep sunlight out of your home. Keep cool with a fan. Fans use much less energy than air conditioners.
Replace single glazing with double glazing. Double-glazed windows lose 50-70% less heat. Can’t install double-glazed windows? Blackout curtains or removable insulating window panels reduce the flow of cold air into your home. Drafts can be a big source of heat loss. You can save energy by closing gaps around windows or by installing draft protection under doors.Even adding covers to keyholes and mailboxes can make a difference! Insulate central heating pipes and insulate wall cavities. If you cannot install cavity wall insulation, install radiator insulating baffles on the wall behind the radiators.
In the kitchen
Buy energy efficient appliances. In the EU, many everyday products such as refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens have an EU energy label to help you choose an energy efficient model. The rating ranges from A+++ (most effective) to G (least effective). For example, a class A+++ dishwasher consumes half the energy used by a class D dishwasher. Make sure your oven is closed tightly. If you need to replace your oven, choose an A-rated model – this can save you around 200 euros over its lifetime compared to a D-rated model.Do not wash dishes by hand if you have a dishwasher. Modern dishwashers use less water and energy – and most of them have an “Eco” setting, but only use the dishwasher when it’s full! Boil as much water as you need. If you’ve only left hot water in the kettle for a few minutes, you don’t need to boil it again.
Fill up the washing machine. Do not wash if you only have a few items. Wait until you have a full load, but do not exceed the maximum allowable weight. Select the lowest suitable temperature. These days, detergents are so effective that they clean most clothes at low temperatures. Skip the prewash cycle unless your clothes are very dirty. Avoid using a tumble dryer if possible. One tumble dryer cycle can use twice as much energy as an average washing machine cycle.
Replace incandescent or halogen bulbs with more energy efficient ones. One LED bulb can save over 100 euros in electricity bill over its lifespan of about 20 years. Turn off your devices. Internet connected devices, such as smart TVs, printers, and game consoles manufactured in 2016 or earlier, can consume up to 80 watts of power in standby mode. You can use one power strip with multiple outlets to turn them off easily. Check with your energy supplier about installing a smart meter. Smart gas and electricity metering systems can save you 3% energy.
Switch to green energy
Most energy providers offer “feed-in” electricity tariffs that support the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. If your home has its own roof, consider installing solar panels to generate electricity.