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Let's check five tips to reduce electricity bill!

Vai iespējams apvaldīt veļasmašīnas apetīti? Pārbaudām piecus padomus, kā samazināt elektrības rēķinu!

Daily life in today's electrified world is not imaginable without various electric appliances, which take care of our daily needs, comfort and entertainment. Electricity prices are constantly fluctuating, and other daily expenses are growing accordingly, thus making us seek more actively ways to save without losing the usual comfort. At the same time, there is always a question – how much energy do we “let go through the chimney” due to inefficient household management?

Urged by this question, experts of the energy company “Enefit” conducted an experiment by calculating the potential annual savings a household could gain by following five common energy saving tips.

This time, replacement of usual bulbs by much more efficient LED bulbs, which has become the classics of energy efficiency, was not considered. Experts are exploring the impact on electricity bill caused by changing habits and more efficient household appliances and considers, whether it is worth the trouble.

1. Daily habits must be adjusted to the fluctuations of electricity prices

More and more people choose the dynamic energy product, where electricity price changes hourly along with the fluctuations of exchange prices. It makes sense, if the user adjusts electricity consumption by consuming more electricity during the hours of lower electricity price and less electricity, when the price is rising. In this model, electricity price is closely related to the habits of society – when everybody is home and actively operates electric devices, demand for electricity grows, and so does the price. Whereas, during the night-time, price may drop even by 10 times compared to the hours of active consumption.

According to the calculations, switching on dishwasher or washing machine with timer, for example, at 5:00–7:00 in the morning instead of the evening after business hours results in annual saving of approximately 30 euro. This number is not very high, however, when combining with other efficient solutions, the gain is significant. Other question is – are you ready to wake up with the purring of washing machine on Saturday morning at 5:30.

Conclusion: this method is efficient only with most energy-consuming appliances, the time for use of which may be freely chosen.

2. More pluses by energy efficiency class A mean more gainful appliance

If you have decided to purchase an energy-efficient appliance – congratulations, the environment is grateful to you! However, family budget may have a different opinion. When adopting decision on purchase of appliance of class A, A+, A++ or A+++, relation between potential gain and investment in purchase should be assessed.

Each + following A or every following energy-efficiency class annually means a couple of euro on average. Simple mathematics is what follows. If difference in prices of appliances of various energy-efficiency classes is a couple of tens of euro, saved energy will certainly be your gain. For example, when choosing A++ refrigerator instead of A+, such investment will be recovered in four years. But, when choosing instead of A+ an A+++ refrigerator, when the difference in prices exceeds 50 euro, the saved energy will cover the difference in prices only after 15 years. The question is – will your refrigerator last that long?

Conclusion: saving must be assessed within the context of investment in the purchase of the appliance.

3. Electric appliance in standby mode secretly “sucks” electricity.

Various electric appliances in standby mode consume approximately 10% of the annual consumption of the entire household. Television, microwave oven, washing machine or other appliance, when switched off, but connected to power supply, keeps consuming electricity – just a little, but anyway. How significant is this hidden consumption?

The most insatiable electricity vampire is wi-fi modem – by disconnecting it from power network, when you do not use it, you can save 86 kilowatt-hours annually. Second place is convincingly taken by game console, which secretly "eats" 43 kilowatt-hours every year. But top of the most insatiable appliances in the shared third position is closed by microwave oven and dishwasher consuming 26 spare kilowatt-hours annually. When adding to this "company" comparatively harmless computer, monitor, television and washing machine, appliances with poorer appetite, potential annual saving would reach 222 kilowatt-hours or approximately 34–35 euro – monthly electricity bill of average household. Furthermore, each home has many various appliances, which may make the numbers even more impressive. Therefore, it is recommenced to disconnect from the socket the appliances, which are not constantly used. Of course, it would not be too conveniently to disconnect television or microwave oven every time, but there is a good solution – distributor with additional switch, which allow to switch off several appliances at the same time.

Conclusion: this method may provide significant saving, but it will require additional discipline to remember to disconnect appliances from the network.

4. It is better to run washing machine full, but electric kettle – half-empty or each item has its individual energy efficiency.

We thing about this rarely, but, if we used home appliances only to the extent absolutely necessary, it would help to reduce the electricity bill. For example, up to 90% of the energy consumed by the washing machine is used for heating up the water. Thus, when washing your clothes in 40 degrees, you will consume half of the energy compared to washing in 60 degrees, and use of modern detergents will help make you clothes clean anyway. Collection of dirty laundry is also a reasonable option – two cycles of running half-empty washing machine will consume more energy than one full cycle. Giving up two washing cycles weekly results in 15 euro saving annually. To make it short, no need to run it empty!

While the amount of water boiled each time in electric kettle should not exceed the one you are planning to use. Electric kettle is one of the most powerful devices of the household, and energy consumption thereof is directly related to the volume of water to be boiled. When boiling full kettle twice a day, you annual spending will be 25 euro; when reducing the volume of water by half or more, electricity costs for the operation of kettle will decrease accordingly.

Conclusion: maybe each appliance separately does not provide impressive saving, but using them reasonably results in significant amount.

5. Oven may be switched off before food is fully cooked

Many people cook meals at home, and various kitchen appliances form majority of the total electricity consumption of the household – electric range and oven are the biggest “sinners”. One of the solutions for saving electricity during the cooking process is use of heat inertia: electric oven or surface of range will be hot well after switching them off. Usually it keeps sufficient heat for at least 10 minutes, therefore you can try to switch it off before food is fully cooked. We have to admit, these 10 minutes will result in small saving. If you fry something on a pan every day for at least half an hour, switching off the range for the last 10 minutes will result in gain of 20 euro annually. In case of oven, gain will be lower, since it is unlikely that you use it every day.

Conclusion: this is a good method for the thriftiest people, but not suitable for cooking every product, and saving will be comparatively modest.

What would be the saving of the most scrupulous electricity savers, when following all the aforementioned tips? With the equipment of appliances as described in these examples, gain would be approximately 120–130 euro annually. Is it much or little – opinions on that point will probably differ. However, comparison with 3-month electricity bill of a small home sounds impressively enough to motivate even idlers to revise their most ineffective habits and, possibly, change any of them in favour of saving and feeling of job well done.