Energy rating tags Vs Prize tags: both matter

Efficiency label Vs Prize tag

Energy efficiency labels Vs Prize tags: why are both important

Efficiency label Vs Prize tag

– Energy efficiency labels –

If you have recently bought a home appliance like a dishwasher or a washing machine you most probably know what an energy label is.

If not, you must know that the energy efficiency labels aim to be a clear and simple indication of the energy efficiency of product at the point of purchase.

The ratings on the energy efficiency labels go from A+++ to D (A+++ being the most efficient and D the least efficient). 

Those ratings are defined by the EU for each type of appliance (e.g. fridge, tumble drier,…) through a number of different tests and criteria. This means the ratings can only be compared between one type of appliance (e.g. fridge to fridge).

Eco labels

– Prize tags –

And, well, when it comes to the prize tag, the more efficient the appliance the bigger the prize will be. This is because the energy efficient appliances use less electricity and water than those less efficient appliances.

energy efficient appliance prize

– The dilemma – 

The dilemma is: Is it really worth to buy a more expensive but also more efficient appliance or should I buy the less efficient but more economic appliance? 

The answer is: Depends on how high the prize tag is. 

Let’s have a detailed look.

Buying and energy efficient appliance: Payback period

Appliance payback period

You have to choose between two fridges:

– Fridge A: It uses 252 kWh per year and it has a prize tag of 899 euro

– Fridge B: It uses 174 kWh per year and it has a prize tag of 1159 euro

Fridge B it is more efficient but also 260 euro more expensive that Fridge A so, which one do you choose?

The only way to make an informed decision is to figure out how much electricity you would be saving per year by choosing fridge B, and then calculating how many years it will take for those savings to compensate the initial extra 260 euro.

We know that we are paying 0,217 euro per kWh (do you know what a kWh is?) so for us that means that

 Fridge A will have a yearly electricity bill cost of  252 x 0,217 = 54,7 euro

– Fridge B will have a yearly electricity bill cost of  174 x 0,217 = 37,8 euro

For us, there is a difference of 16,9 euro per year on electricity cost between the A+++ and the A++ fridge.

That means that if we buy the A+++ we will be paying an extra 260 euro but we will be recovering that amount due to the lower electricity bill within 260/16,9 = 15,4 years…

Well, in this case the payback period it is far too long because nowadays a fridge does not last 15 years.

That means that for us it makes more sense to buy the cheaper and less efficient fridge.

Conclusion

– Cost – 

From the cost perspective, you really need to know how much you are paying per kWh before making an informed decision. 

Do not just buy the more efficient but more expensive appliance by assuming that lower energy or water consumption will compensate for the higher prize tag.

– Environmental impact – 

From the environmental perspective, of course that it would make more sense to buy the most efficient appliance but here comes into play the prize tag. 

The appliances manufacturers and the distributors need to make sure that the prize tag it is reasonable. 

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If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Water usage calculator

Easily calculate your water consumption

Water usage calculator

Calculate your water consumption using an online calculator

Do you know how much water is your household using daily? 

Is it 50, 100, 200, 300 or even more litres a day?

It may come to a surprise to get to know how much water we are using every single day and how much of that water it is being wasted.

Many of us are lucky enough that our water cost it is relatively low, it may amount to just one or two euro per 1000 liters of water, but that doesn’t mean that we should be wasting water.

Simple water consumption calculator

If you want to find out how to know how much water you are using, first have a look to this post.

If you already know how much water your household is using, use the calculator below to find out how much money you are paying per year and how much could you have by reducing your water consumption.

 

Shower water consumption calculator

The fist step towards reducing our water consumption it is to be aware of where and how much water we are using. It is quite common to see advice like, reduce the length of your showers and save water but there is more to it.

If your shower head water flow rate it is very high, you may be wasting water. Instead of reducing your shower length, it may be enough with reducing the water flow.

 

Tap water consumption calculator

The same principle applies to our water consumption in other areas, like the tap water consumption. 

Do you need to consume 6 liters per minute to just wash your hands?

Do you need to consume 6 liters per minute to just clean your teeth?

It is both important to control the time using water and the water flow rate as both factors determine how much water we use.

 

For more useful water consumption calculators, have a look to our water consumption calculators page.

Reduce your water consumption and save money

If you are interested on learning how to reduce your water consumption and save money, click on the video below and let us show you other ways to save water and reduce your utilities cost.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

How to read a water meter

Learn how to read a water meter and save water

Learn how to read a water meter

How to read a water meter

A water meter it is a device that measures and records how much water it is being consumed over a time.

Every time that we use water at home, the amount of water being consumed it is accounted by the water meter and the reading on the water meter it is used by the water providers to invoice us for our water consumption.

Most of the households have a water meter and every so often someone is coming to get the readings. 

This is what most of the people knows about water meters but for those with a little more of knowledge and awareness the water meter can be a very useful tool to learn about our water consumption habits and find out ways to reduce our water consumption.

» Do you know how much water you are using every time you are having a shower?

» Do you know how many liters per minute you bathroom tap is consuming?

» Are you wasting water without knowing it?

If you want to learn how to read a water meter and decrease your water consumption, have a look to this video from the Youtube Effiworkx channel.

In this video where we are explaining not only how to read a water meter and what a cubic meter of water is but also how this knowledge can translate into reduction our water consumption.

Water consumption calculators

For those which access to the water meter, it is quite simple to figure out the daily water consumption and the total cost. 

The calculator below calculates the water cost per year based on an average daily consumption.

 

For more useful calculators, have a look to our water consumption calculators page.

Reduce your water consumption

Now that you know how to read a water and what a cubic meter is, if you are interested on learning how to reduce your water consumption and save money, click on the icon video below for valuable tips and adivce.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

What is a cubic meter of water?

What a cubic meter of water is

What is a cubic meter of water?

How much is a cubic meter of water

A cubic meter (m3) of water is the equivalent to 1000 liters of water.

1m3 = 1000 liters

The cubic meter is the measurement unit used by the water providers to calculate the water cost based on an agreed cost per cubic meter. 

Most of the houses have a water meter which measures the amount of water being consumed and if we are able to understand the value displayed by the meter we can calculate the water cost by ourselves.

As an example, the water meter below is showing a water consumption of 1,214 cubic meters (m3) which is the equivalent to 1214 liters.

1,214 cubic meters x 2 euro per cubic meter = 2,5 euro (approx.)

Water consumption calculator

For those which access to the water meter, it is quite simple to figure out the daily water consumption and the total cost. The calculator below calculates the water cost per year based on an average daily consumption.

 

For more useful calculators, have a look to our water consumption calculators page.

Reduce your water consumption

If you are interested on further increasing your knowledge and learning how to reduce your water consumption and save money, have a look to the ideas that we share in this video:

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

How to install a water saving tap aerator

water saving tap aerator

- How to install a water saving tap aerator -

Reduce your water consumption and save money

Water saving tap aerator

We have reduced our bathroom tap water consumption in hundreds of liters every year by installing an inexpensive water saving tap aerator.

Most of us understand the importance of saving water so we do our best to close the water taps while not in use and teach our children that water it is very valuable and must not be wasted.

Still, as a parent, I have came to realize that very small children (and some adults) may not have yet enough awareness so we need to take a more active role into making sure that water is not being wasted.

Because of the strong water pressure at home, our bathroom tap was using much more water that necessary for just simply cleaning the hands or brushing the teeth. We were wasting water and money!

Water saver tap aerator: Cheap, easy to install, big savings

I came across a water saving tap aerator that claimed to use only one liter of water every 3,8 seconds and had very good reviews so I decided to give it a try.

If you also decide to install a water saving tap aerator, my advise is to look for aerators that specifically describe the water usage (for example, one liter of water every 5 second) and to avoid those which make claims like ‘save up to 30%’.

We recently purchased a water saving shower head that claimed to save up to 30% of water. Well, it is actually saving us 1% of water so that means that we have wasted 30 euro that we could had used to buy something else.

In any case, the water saver tap aerator has been a great investment: Low cost, easy installation and big water and money savings.

BeforeAfter
1 liter every 6 seconds1 liter every 15,5 seconds
10 liters per minute3,8 liters per minute
5 minutes per day = 50 liters per day5 minutes per day = 19 liters per day
50 x 330 days per year = 16,500 liters per year19 x 330 days per year = 6,270 liters per year
16,500 x 2 euro per cubic meter = 33 euro/year6,270 x 2 euro per cubic meter = 12,5 euro per year

A saving of 25 euro a year it is actually a very good result because the cost of purchasing a tap aerator it is quite low.

Still, the amount of water saved is astonishing which really makes it a worthy investment for any family.

On the video below we are walking you over the whole process of installing a tap aerator, which is quite a simple process that anyone can do.

We hope to convince as many people to install water saving tap aerators because we really believe that it is a simple but very positive way to save both money and water.

Reduce your water consumption

As we are within the water topic, you may be interested on learning how to reduce your water consumption and save money on your water bill. 

Just click on the video below and let us show you other ways to conserve water.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for water saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our water usage calculators to become aware of your water consumption, the water costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Water usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

How to reduce your bathroom water consumption and save money

Reduce bathroom water consumption

How to reduce your bathroom water consumption and save money

Reduce bathroom water consumption

Have you ever wondered how much water do you use during your daily bathroom activities?

It may actually come to a surprise to realize the high amount of water that we use for bathing and showering. So, even if our water bill may not be that high, it is worth to try to cut the amount of water we waste.

We call it to wasted water because we may be able to achieve the same results while using less water

Let us show you what we are talking about and how you can reduce your bathroom water consumption and conserve water.

How to measure your bathroom water consumption

First you need to know how much water you are using and then you can decide if you are wasting water and where you can start saving water.

You need to start by finding out what the water flow of your water taps and shower head is. For that, you can just use a bucket and time how long does it take to get it filled to the one liter mark. 

The time it takes to fill up the bucket to the one liter mark let’s you know how much the water flow is. For example, the tap delivers 1 liter of water every 5 seconds or the shower head delivers 9 liters per second.

For more information about how to measure the water flow rate, have a look to the video we have added below. Also, this site provides a very good overview and the difference between water flow and water pressure.

For measuring the toilet water usage, you will need to take the water meter readings before and after flushing the toilet. The readings will let you know how much water your toilet is using, for example, 10 liters per flush.

Again, for more information about how to read a water meter, have a look to the video we have added below.

And as example, in our case, this are our water flow rate results:

Water usage
Shower Head1 liter every 5 seconds
Sink Tap1 liter every 5,5 seconds
Toilet liquid waste3 liters per flush
Toilet solid waste7 liters per flush

It is shocking to realize how much water it is being used in just a few seconds, specially while having a shower.

Know that we know how much water you are using per second or every time that you flush the toilet, the next step is to gather some additional information: 

– For how long and how often are you taking showers. Does everyone at home spend the same time under the shower?

– An approximation on how many times the toilets are flushed per day. 

– An estimation on how long you are using the water taps during the day.

And with all the information you have collected, you can already estimate your water usage and water cost. 

In our case, for our household, this are our results:

Bathroom DayMonthYear
Total water usage3209600115,200
Total water cost0,721,2253,4
Water usage estimationDayMonth YearTotal water cost
Shower100 30003600079,2
Bath7522502700059,4
Tap water8224602952064,9
Toilet liquid waste4513501620035,6
Toilet solid waste18540648014,2
Water usage estimationTimeWater usage
1 x quick shower2,5 min12 liters
1 x long shower13 min66 liters
1 x children bathn/a100 liters
1 x day of tap water15 min82 liters

After estimating how much water and money we are spending and where we are spending it, we got to know that our water fixtures are using a considerable amount of water in just a few seconds.

With that information, we started checking if it was possible to (reasonably) reduce the water flow through a cost effective solution.

Reduce your shower water usage

How to install a water flow reduction valve

After doing some research, we decided that installing an adjustable water flow valve it is an easy and economic way of reducing the amount of water we use while having showers.

With this valve we have managed to reduce the shower water flow from 1 liter every 5,5 seconds to 1 liter every 8,5 seconds without actually noticing any difference while having showers.

The advantage of the valve is that it is manually adjustable, so if some day we need to increase the water flow rate, we can do it without any effort. 

Or, if our small children are just playing with the water while enjoying their shower, we can decrease the water flow down to 1 liter every 10 seconds without them noticing any difference.

Additionally, the valve is discrete and unless you know it is there it is barely noticeable. 

For more details and specifications, clicking on the valve image below will direct you to the product in Amazon..

bathroom shower water tap with flow reduction valve

Reduce sink water wastage by reducing the water flow

Another solution that popped up by just having a closer look was that we could adjust the sink water flow rate by just adjusting the hot and cold water flow valves.

This way, we have adjusted the flow rate from 1 liter every 5 second to 1 liter every 9 second and even though the flow reduction it is noticeable, the truth is that the water flow was far to much and we were just wasting too much water.

1 liter of water every 9 seconds for cleaning hands, face or washing the teeth it is more than enough.  

Bathroom sink flow valves

Reduce water consumption by installing a water saving tap aerator

Old faucet models run on average of around 15 liters of water per minute while a standard aerator can reduce the water usage to as little as 6 litters per minute

Water saving tap aerators can reduce the water consumption even further and due to their low cost and easy installation are most definitely a water saving method to have in consideration.

We have installed a water saving tap aerator and the results speak by themselves

Before (no tap aerator)After (with and eco tap aerator)
1lites every 6 seconds1 liter every 15 seconds
10 liters per minute3,8 liters per minute
10 minutes per day = 100 liters10 minutes per day = 38 liters
100 x 220 days per year = 33,000 liters38 x 330 days per year = 12,540 liters
33,000 liters x 2 euro per cubic meter = 66 euro per year 12,540 liters x 2 euro per cubic meter = 25 euro per year

Have a look to the video below for more information. 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

Dual flushing toilets

The toilet flushing didn’t present any water saving opportunity for our particular case. Our house has a dual flushing toilet which is one of the most efficient solutions on the market.

Still, have in consideration that some very old toilet use considerable amounts of water, up to 15 liters per flush

If this is your case and you are thinking about investing into installing a new toilet, just take some readings, crunch some numbers and the result may help into deciding if the saving are worth the investment.

Dual flushing toilet water usage

Reduce your water consumption

If you are interested on further increasing your knowledge and learning how to reduce your water consumption and save money, have a look to the ideas that we share in this video:

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for water saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our water usage calculators to become aware of your water consumption, the water costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Water usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.