Reduce your electricity consumption

Increase your home efficiency, reduce your carbon footprint and save money

Last updated on: 29 March 2020

In this page we are documenting those electricity saving opportunities which we have tested or are deemed to have solid potential for reducing electricity consumption.

Four proven ways to save electricity at home

Four proven ways to save electricity at home

Before going ahead, we really recommend to have a look first to some videos in which we explain some very important concepts that everybody should know about:

YouTube Video: What a Kilowatt Hour (kWh) is

YouTube Video: How to measure your home appliances and devices power consumption

We are working towards making the videos available in different languages so, if English is not your main language, have a look to our YouTube channel for other language options.

1 - Energy efficient LED light bulbs

Switching to energy efficient bulbs it is most probably one of the easiest and quickest way to reduce the electricity consumption.

LEDS are by far the most efficient type of bulbs and swapping from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs it is the most cost efficient solution, even after taking in consideration that the LED bulbs are more expensive than the incandescent bulbs.

Bulb type and characteristicsIncandescentCFLLED
Bulb wattage (Watts)60147
Bulb prize (approx.)133,5
Bulb lifespan (hours -approx.)1,00010,000 15,000
Number of bulbs needed over 10 years (12,500 hours approx.)12,51,50,5
Bulbs cost over 10 years12,533,5
Total electricity cost over 10 years (at 0,17 euro per kWh) 127,559,529,75
Total cost over 10 years (material cost + electricity cost)14062,533,25

Increase your awareness by calculating how much electricity is being consumed to illuminate your house. If you now your bulbs power rating you can calculate their electricity and cost consumption.

Alternatively, use the power ratings shown in the table below to compare the electricity usage and cost of the different types of bulbs.

IncandescentCFLLED
40 W8-12 W4-5 W
60 W13-18 W6-8 W
75 W18-22 W9-13 W
100 W23-30 W16-20 W
 

2 - Eliminate the standby mode power consumption

Some devices continue to use power even if they are not being used actively, while they are in standby mode. Those devices that use electricity while they are not being used they are called phantom loads or vampire loads

And there it is the problem, we are wasting valuable electricity and money without knowing about it. This is why it is so important that we get to know what the standby power consumption is.

Increase your awareness by calculating how much electricity is consumed bu a device or appliance in standby mode. If you need to know how to measure the power consumption, have first a look to this post.

 

If you want to reduce or eliminate the standby power consumption, consider the following options:

  1. Switch your devices off while they are not in use
  2. If your appliance or device has an ECO function, make sure that it is enabled
  3. Use a power strip to power off several standby devices with the flick of a single switch
  4. Use a smart power strip to measure and control the standby loads
  5. Use a visually friendly smart socket to avoid unnecessary standby times

3 - Energy efficient appliances

Fridge, dishwasher, tumble driers, electric ovens… are some of the home appliances that use the most of the energy. This is why one of the most common piece of advice when it comes to saving energy it is to replace old and power hungry appliances for newer and more efficient ones.

But we need to very very careful, we must be sure that the cost of buying that new appliance is justified.

For example, it is quite certain than replacing a very old fridge for a newer one may actually reduce our electricity bill but we must consider the initial investment against the time that it it will take to pay off.

Have a look to the table below where we compare the costs of buying and running over time two Energy Star rated fridges.

Fridge efficieny classA+++A++
Power consumption per year174 KWh/year252 KWh/year
Fridge cost1159899
Electricity cost per year at 0,17 kWh29,5842,84
Electricity cost over 20 years 591,6856,8
Total cost over 20 years (fridge+ electricity)1750,61755,8

For those considering to buy a new appliance, this calculator can help with deciding if it is really worth to buy a more expensive appliance.

 

4 - Tumble drier balls

Tumble dryer balls are an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener and they come in two variants, wool and rubber.

tumble dryer balls

The theory behind the dryer balls is that they accelerate the drying process because the balls prevent the laundry from sticking together so the warm air can circulate more easily. Also, the dryer balls have additional benefits like softening the fabric and preventing static.

Tumble dryers will no work efficiently if they are packed because without room for the air to circulate, it will take a very long time for the load to dry. So, having into account this advice and by just adding dryer balls to the load, it may be possible to reduce the drying time up to 20%. This means a potential electricity consumption of also a 20%.

Tumble dryerWithout ballsWith balls (20%)
Electricity consumption174 KWh/year139 KWh/year
Electricity cost per year29,5823,63
Electricity cost over 10 years 295,58236,3
Total savings over 10 yearsn/a59,28

Note that in this case we are still in the process of testing the tumble dryer balls. Still, after reading many reviews we believe that it is a quite inexpensive to reduce the tumble dryer electricity consumption.

In any case, this calculator can help you with deciding if buying a tumble dryer ball it is really worth the cost:

 

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