How to reduce your gas/electricity bill during the winter? – 21/11/2022 at 08:30

How to reduce your gas/electricity bill during the winter? photo credit: Adobe Stock

Small streams make big rivers, so small gestures save energy on a daily basis. It’s good for your wallet, but also for the planet. Here are some tips that should become reflexes.

Adopt the right reflexes

Each household has an average of one hundred electrical and electronic appliances. This number may seem high to you, but take it into account. Between household appliances, tablets and computers, various lights and other alarms or autonomous vacuum cleaners, all of this equipment represents 200 kilos per inhabitant. This is why accumulating small gestures can be of great use on the scale of your bill, but also for the overall consumption of the country. The standbys of connected devices have a power of 2 watts and keeping audiovisual and computer equipment, cooking appliances and small household appliances on standby is really not useful. Power strips with switch are the ideal solution. On the lighting side, opt for LEDs, but choose them well. They must be well classified on the energy label and last at least 20,000 hours. And of course, remember to switch off when leaving a room.

Know how to make the best use of your machines

On the washing machine and dishwasher side, adopt the “Eco” program. Unlike the fast program which is not economical, the “Eco” mode heats the water less and that makes the difference. By using this program and opting for a temperature of 30°C, you save 50% of electricity compared to washing at high temperature. Wait until your machines are full to run them. Each household performs an average of 200 laundry cycles per year. With a little organization, it would be easy to avoid 30 wash cycles and thus save 15% of electricity for the washing machine. As for the dryer, you can often avoid using it. This appliance uses a lot of energy and a well wrung laundry dries quickly in the open air. Finally, for any new purchase, remember to check the energy label. For example, by opting for a device classified B instead of another classified A, you raise the bill by 15 to 20%.

Common sense is the best adviser

In the kitchen, whether you use gas or electricity, remember to cover your pans. Putting on a lid saves 25% energy. The new electric kettles with a thermostat are very clever. By choosing to heat the water to 80°C and not 100°C, you can save 25% of electricity. On the television side, the fashionable giant screens are very greedy in electricity. A single 160 centimeter television consumes as much as three 80 centimeter televisions. If you can’t do without it, reduce its brightness to limit its consumption. As for the box which has appeared in all homes, by remaining on 24 hours a day, it can consume more than 200 kWh per year, or as much as the washing machine. Save about 25% of the box’s power consumption by turning it off at night.

Heating, a whole program

First, think about your thermal insulation. On the window side, to avoid the most loss, close the shutters as soon as night falls and remember to install thick curtains. Also caulk the underside of the door, which is often a real draft.

By covering your heating pipes with thermal insulation, you will prevent heat loss. This is not negligible, especially in unheated rooms such as the garage or the cellar. On the other hand, never block the ventilation grilles, they are essential to maintain good air quality in your home. There is no need to heat all rooms to the same temperature; the thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature between 19°C and 17°C depending on when they are occupied.

Finally, do not forget to ventilate your home daily. Even if it’s cold outside, airing for at least 5 minutes a day helps evacuate humidity and reduce energy consumption.

How much do small gestures save over the year?

Switching off the standbys of each device can save up to 15% of the electricity bill (excluding heating and hot water), i.e. more than

100 euros

per year. Unplugging an espresso machine (which contains a hidden standby) saves

3 to 4 euros

per year. That’s a small saving compared to TV. Unplugging this one at night would save up to

70 euro

per year. But heating remains the most important source of potential savings. The French use more than 60% of the energy they consume for heating. Each degree less represents a saving of 7% on the overall bill.

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