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How to save electricity

Every case is different but the chart below can give you an idea on where the average household uses electricity the most and where to focus if your aim is to save electricity at home.

Two pie charts showing what home appliances and devices are using the most electricity at home.

In this page we are sharing the best tips and advice to save electricity at home and reduce the cots of your electricity bills.

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.

LED light bulb electricity usage

The table below shows the total cost of having to buy the bulbs and the electricity cost over their lifespan. Have in consideration the following:

> The more efficient, the more expensive buying a light is. This may change in the future but for the moment the initial cost of having to buy the bulbs is an important factor.

> For the calculations ,we are assuming that over 10 years*, the bulbs will be used for 12,500 hours

>  For the calculations, we are assuming that we have to the electricity provider we have to pay 0,17 euro per every kWh** that we consume.

Bulbs electricity cost over time

If you would like to easily calculate the electricity usage of your bulbs, click on any of the icons below to use our online bulbs electricity usage calculators.

Incandescent bulb electricity usage calculator icon
Incandescent bulb electricity calculator
LED bulb electricity usage calculator icon
LED electricity calculator
CFL bulb electricity usage calculator icon
CFL bulb electricity calculator
Fluorescent bulb electricity usage calculator icon
Fluorescent bulb electricity calculator

Not everybody it is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts or Kilowatt hours so if you would learn more about them, have a look to this YouTube video that we have prepared about this topic.

What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh)

Or you can have a look to this electricity measurement units calculators to get a better understanding of:

> What is a Watt (W) and how to transform Watts into Kilowatts

> What is a Kilowatt (kW) and how to transform Kilowatts into Kilowatts hour

> What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh) and how to transform Kilowatts hours to other units

> What are Power (P), Voltage (V) and Current (I)

Watt (W)
Watt (W) wattage calculator
Kilowatt (kW)
Kilowatt (kW) calculator
Kilowatt hour (kWh)
Kilowatt hour (kWh) calculator
Power, voltage, current
Power, voltage, current calculator

Standby 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.

Standby Power Consumption

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

Switch your devices off while they are not in use

If your appliance or device has an ECO function, make sure that it is enabled

Use a power strip to power off several standby devices with the flick of a single switch

>Use a smart power strip to measure and control the standby loads

Use a visually friendly smart socket to avoid unnecessary standby times

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 you need to very very careful, you must be sure that the cost of buying that new appliance it is not higher than the energy savings it will bring.

Appliance payback period

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

> The more efficient fridge, A+++, is more expensive but uses less electricity.

> The most economic fridge, A++,  is cheaper but uses more electricity.

> Assuming an electricity cost of 0.17 euro* per kWh, the yearly electricity cost of the most economic fridge is much higher than the electricity cost of the most efficient fridge.

> Still, given the purchasing cost of the most efficient fridge and the yearly electricity cost, it does take 20 years to recover the initial investment of buying the most efficient fridge.

Fridge electricity class

If you would like to easily calculate the electricity usage of your home appliances, click on any of the icons below to use our online appliances electricity usage calculators.

Fridge electricity usage calculator icon
Fridge electricity calculator
Freezer electricity usage calculator icon
Freezer electricity calculator
Dishwasher electricity and water usage calculator icon
Dishwasher electricity calculator
Washing machine electricity and water usage calculator icon
Washing machine electricity calculator

Still, if you want to know the exact electricity usage of your appliances, your best option is to use a plug in power meter to measure the electricity consumption. 

Clicking on the image below it will redirect you to the Amazon page where you can have a look to the specifications of the power meter we use for our measurements.

All of our house appliances and devices like the washing machine, the dishwasher, the TV or the printer are plugged to a wall socket. 

So, with a power consumption meter we can determine how much electricity our appliances or devices are using and, more importantly, we can measure the electricity usage over a period of time.

A plug in power meter displaying the power usage of a device

Tumble dryer 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 usage saving of up to 20%.

Tumble dryer electricity usage

If you would like to easily calculate the electricity usage of your tumble dryer, click on any of the icons below to use our online tumble dryer electricity usage calculator.

Tumble dryer electricity usage calculator
Tumble dryer electricity calculator

Use less hot water

Heating water uses a significant amount of electricity. Still, it is possible to enjoy a nice hot shower without unnecessarily wasting hot water. 

Also, it is possible to have nice hot water to wash our hands, face or teeth without having too use tens of liters per minute.

Just install a very inexpensive water saving tap aerator.

Install water saving tap aerator

Or, also, decrease your shower water flow by installing an also very inexpensive flow reduction valve. 

How to install a shower water flow regulation valve

If you would like to easily calculate the electricity usage of your water heater, click on any of the icons below to use our online water heater electricity usage calculator.

Boiler electricity usage calculator icon
Boiler electricity calculator

Heat losses

No house it is 100% efficient and one way or another some of the heat will be wasted through the roof, through the walls,…

Still, we should keep an eye on unnecessary sources of heat losses and prevent them when possible. It may be enough with adding some insulation to our wall heaters or covering our old windows with some inexpensive window film.

There are many possibilities to reduce our electricity consumption by decreasing our heating consumption without having to spend large amounts of money.

Insulation Vs No insulation

Note that it has been estimated that around 25% of all the heat loss from an average house it is lost by draughts so looking after draught proofing windows and doors has a big influence on reducing energy consumption.

Finding a heat loss under the door by using a thermal camera

For more information on how to find heat leaks at home using a thermal camera, have a look to this video that have prepared about this topic.

How lo look for heat leaks at home though thermal imaging

Use your appliances efficiently

Nowadays it is not that expensive to buy energy efficient appliances, like dishwashers or washing machines, that use much less electricity than older appliances. 

Still, it is proven that for getting the most from our energy efficient appliances we must use them correctly.

We have put our own home appliances to the test and compared the results between using an standard program or the ‘ Eco’ program. 

Out of our tests, we have noticed than we use the ‘Eco’ programs the cycles take much longer, well over three hours, but we are saving both in electricity and water.

Washing machine ECO function button

Now, the question here is if it is worth to wait for over three hours for the dishwasher or the washing machine to finish one single cycle?

Well, it depends on the perspective. Even if you only use once your dishwasher and washing machine per week you will still be saving electricity. Maybe it is only 10 cents per cycle but if we multiply those 10 cents per hundreds of cycles per year, then we are already speaking about savings worth to consider.

Standard Vs Eco cycles

For those of us who use the dishwasher and washing machines around 5 times per week, we are already speaking about saving 40 liters of water every week and around 1600 liters of water every year.

From the economic perspective, for those of us who pay 2 euro per cubic meter, 1600 liters only amount to save 2,5 euros per year. But from the environmental impact perspective, if we multiply 1600 liters by thousands of households, using the ‘Eco’ function really makes a big impact into reducing water usage.

In our house, we always use the ‘Eco’ programs and having to wait 3 hours does not bother us because we have just adjusted our daily routines a little bit. A little bit of awareness and a broader perspective really makes the difference.

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