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Energy efficiency

There is a wide range of energy-efficient lamps, household appliances and heat pumps. How can you select the best option for you? Below is information on energy saving opportunities and technical solutions for heating, lighting and thermal insulation. Find the best solutions for your home and take the best for your business!

Did you know that you can reduce your energy expenditure by making easy changes in your habits?

  • Lighting

    Good old incandescent light bulbs used to account for up to one-quarter of your electricity bill. Simply by replacing your light bulbs, you can cut the amount you spend on lighting by up to 80%.

    What to consider when buying and replacing light bulbs?

    • All energy saving light bulbs and LED bulbs are in energy efficiency class A...A++, whereas improved halogen light bulbs are usually class C or D. This means that a halogen light bulb of class C needs almost three times as much electricity as an energy saving light bulb of class A.
    • When buying a light bulb, check the luminous flux (in lumens – lm) of the bulb on the label. For instance, a luminous flux of 700–750 lm corresponds to a 60 W incandescent bulb and can be created using a 33–48 W halogen light bulb, and an 11–12 W energy saving light bulb or LED bulb.
    • Check the colour temperature (in kelvins – K) of light bulbs. The lower the value, the warmer and more relaxing the light (warm white 2700–3000 K, white 3500 K, cold white >4000 K). Warm light is usually chosen for living rooms, and cold light for office spaces. If you want a bulb that can be dimmed, check the label to find out if your chosen energy saving light bulb or LED bulb can be dimmed.
    • The shorter the service life of a lamp, the worse its environmental impact. The service lives of lamps: normal incandescent bulb – 1,000 hours, halogen bulb – 500–3,000 hours, energy-saving bulb – 6,000–20,000 hours, LED bulb – 25,000–50,000 hours.
    • You should choose a model with a higher expected number of on/off cycles rather than a normal energy saving light bulb for places where you switch the light on and off more than three times a day.
    • When you buy light bulbs to be used outdoors or in a sauna, you should check that the ambient temperature is marked on the package, because not all energy-saving and LED bulbs tolerate extreme temperatures.
     
  • Heating

    Wasting energy on unnecessary heating is a common occurrence – we heat empty rooms and maintain room temperatures when no one is at home.

    • The heating costs of a building depends on its size, architectural design, heating system and so on. Compact rectangular buildings are the most energy-efficient.
    • Excess heating can be detected and reduced with the help of various energy saving devices. Automation of the heating system can save 5–25% on energy costs.
    • Having a comfortable internal climate in rooms means keeping an air temperature of about 18–22 °C during the heating season. In order to maintain temperatures like this in Latvia, rooms have to be heated on average for eight months a year.
    • If your radiators have thermostats, a reduction of temperature by 1 degree will reduce your heating costs by 5%.
    • Heating costs can be reduced by installing thermostatic valves on radiators, regularly ventilating the radiators and keeping their inner surfaces clean of scale.
    • At Latvia's latitude, solar panel systems using solar energy can meet about 40–70% of the need for heating household water.
    • Because they use heat from the environment, the amount of heat or cold generated by heat pumps is many times greater than the amount of electrical energy used – the ratio is expressed as a coefficient of performance (COP). Heat pumps generate 2–5 kWh of heat per kWh electricity consumed, so their average COP is 2–5.
     
  • Insulation

    The majority of buildings in Latvia are not energy efficient. The annual heating requirements of an average building range from 160 kWh/m² to 260 kWh/m².

    • Insulating the whole building and replacing doors and windows will cut your heating costs by up to 50%.
    • Wall insulation may result in a 16–30% saving on energy costs, as additional insulation of the outer walls will save you an average of 50–120 kWh for each 1 m² of wall a year.
    • Roof and attic insulation may result in a 5–23% saving on energy costs, as insulating the area under the roof will save you an average of 40–80 kWh for each 1 m² of insulated area a year. Insulating the roof and the attic of an old building will usually lower thermal conductivity from approximately 1 W/(m2K) to as little as 0.15—0.2 W/(m2K).
    • Cellar insulation may result in a 6–12% saving on energy costs, as insulating the basement or cellar ceiling will save you an average of 50 kWh for each 1 m2 of insulated area a year. Attention should be paid to cellar windows and adequate ventilation; in a non-heated cellar, heating and cold water pipes should have at least 50 mm insulation.
    • Excellent results in lowering heat losses from buildings can be achieved by sealing old windows, replacing broken glass and badly hung doors or installing new triple-glazed windows and well insulated doors and balcony doors. This may save almost 15% of the heat consumed, because replacing wooden windows with triple glazed windows will save you an average of 200–300 kWh for 1 m2 of window. Installing a heat recuperation ventilation system could save you 900 kWh a year at an air replacement rate of 0.4 times per hour. The electricity consumption of the ventilators must be added to this.
     
  • Energy saving devices

    We often have appliances on standby in our homes at the time we don't actually use them. The energy consumption of older appliances may be so excessive that they should be replaced with newer ones.

    • The energy consumption of various appliances can be checked using meters and monitors, which allow us to analyze the energy use of the appliances and find ways to save energy. Such devices include thermometers, electricity and gas meters, socket meters, electricity consumption monitors and thermal cameras.
    • Special direct energy saving devices have been designed for the specific purpose of saving energy at home. These include extension cords with a switch and remote switches, programmable thermostats, standby mode recognition devices, door/window sensors and home automation that in addition to other convenience and security services allow you to check the energy consumption in your home from any place in the world.
    • Energy can also be saved using indirect energy saving devices. These include light intensity regulators, timers, motion or infra-red sensors and twilight sensors; some of these devices have other purposes but indirectly they also help save energy.

    Information on the energy consumption of various household appliances is available from their energy label. When choosing a new appliance for your home, check the energy label – the higher the rating (A+++ or A++), the less energy the appliance uses.