Energy saving is a very concrete theme that affects all of us. Here are our suggestions to reduce costs on the bill, make use of the Eco bonus and have less impact on the environment.
From the correct thermal insulation for your home, to the choice of LED bulbs, from the rules for requesting tax deductions on the best use of appliances and even directions on how to dress, here are the things you need to reduce energy consumption.
They have become an important goal, especially after we have become aware of some factors:
– Depletion of resources to produce energy, particularly fossil fuels.
– Global warming derived from gas emissions, linked to the high consumption of hydrocarbons.
– Political problems and security of supply due to inequalities between rich and poor countries.
In everyday life, a few simple actions allow everyone to contribute to reducing their energy consumption, with the consequent savings in the bill. Here are our suggestions on how to reduce your energy consumption and therefore the emissions of greenhouse gases.
How Much Energy do We Consume?
The problem upstream is: Do we really know how much energy we consume? According to statistics it seems that the answer is no: //www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/06/do-we-consume-too-much/376877/
Without an energy monitoring device, it’s really hard to understand. An excellent idea is to get one. You can also find it on the web. There are many home automation solutions that can tell you how many kW you are consuming.
You can also do an energy audit. We need to be aware of the energy consumption of the house in order to intervene and make possible adjustments. It is like a medical check-up: afterwards, you are inevitably safer.
Correct Isolation is Important at Home
To find out where heat leaks in the house and possibly proceed with insulation, you can do a thermography. It allows to understand what is the real state of insulation and heat loss of your home.
In terms of heat dispersion, consider that it is important to check the state of the fixtures and walls:
– Isolate all the losses in the house. Even if you do not think so, there are thousands of places, cracks, drafts from the windows from which the heat “runs away.”
– Double / triple glazed windows (do you know what are their pros and cons?). Glasses and doors are the main ‘escape routes’ of the heat accumulated in the home. They are the best investment, both for protection against cold and heat and for outside noise. But if you have an old-fashioned house, the advice is to seal it as much as possible, even in areas around the glass. Doing this will help you deduct 55% of the expenditure.
– Efficient heating. Evaluate the most suitable solutions to lower the costs related to heating. Unlike the centralized one, the private boiler is the best solution to keep gas consumption under control, adapting it to your needs. In case the condominium heating system is centralized, explored savings forms of heating such as district heating, even if it were a battle in a condominium, it is worth fighting for. Also, the adoption of “calorie-count” valves allows to pay real consumption. Similarly, consider replacing the old plants with new ones more efficiently, thanks to the 65% Eco bonus for energy saving measures, you might agree.
– Smart thermostat. Install a thermostat of the latest generation, even in the case of central heating that can manage the switching on and off of the heating system at home, avoiding waste, especially when you’re not at home.
– Shutters. Take the nightly habit of completely lowering the blinds or tightening the shutters to increase the barrier effect.
Energy Saving at Home: Good Habits
Here are some practical steps that should become good habits:
– Use the curtains intelligently to retain the warmth of winter or cool in summer. For example, if your home receives sunlight for a few hours a day, know that this is a true means of heating. Pull out the curtains to let in as many rays as possible. Keep them well closed in summer to shield the direct sun.
– Dress up according to the season also when at home. If you wear a nice sweater, you will not feel the need to regulate the heating in tropical temperature. Having warm, well-covered booties and you will be in total comfort.
– Do you often use the oven? You could behave like the ancient populations did: turn off the heat, go to the kitchen and stay around near the oven. It will be intimate and the scent of your delicacies will help to warm you up.
– Do you use gas stoves? Prefer the use of the pressure cooker and cook the food always using special lids.
To save energy at home you will need to observe some simple rules, starting with home lighting:
– Use energy-saving lamps, but better still, convert directly to LED lamps that are the future of low power consumption. Consume 80% less and last 25 times longer than incandescent ones.
– Choose light bulbs based on your actual needs while avoiding excessive lighting levels.
– Do not forget lights that are turned on around the house.
– Avoid artificial lighting in broad daylight or with sufficient natural light.
Saving part of the electricity consumed by household appliances is very important. Just a few precautions are enough.
Every time we turn off the TV with the remote control our appliance goes into stand-by mode that is waiting for us to turn it on again. Spy of this function is the ‘red light’ that stays on.
This means that our appliance continues to consume current: from 4 to 12 watts / h to be exact. It may seem a little, but in a year and multiplied by each appliance, they become 30-90 kWh of electricity consumed. So, it is also advisable to always switch off the stand-by of these appliances.
Not only that, but when we go to buy new ones, let’s make sure they have a mechanical switch that allows it to be turned off completely without having to unplug it, which can become a problem for a dishwasher or an oven.
As a rule, it is better to switch it off during the night and when not in use, alternatively it is a good rule to activate the standby or wake mode. Even turning off only the screen ensures some energy savings.
Think that a PC in stand-by can consume even more than 20 watts per hour, while when turned on, it consumes 1 kWh. That’s why, it is absolutely essential to switch off the computer completely if you do not use it for more than half an hour.
You can opt for a laptop that is lighter and more efficient than a desktop. In the latter case, energy savings for the same performance are up to 66%.
– The Electrical Outlets also Consume
How many times do we leave more than necessary our computer and cellular gadgets even if we know that they consume energy, though turned off? It could be a stand-by killer for you to improve energy efficiency. It automatically interrupts the supply of electricity when the devices have finished charging or are switched off. I talked about that here
If you do not want to buy it, always disconnect the plugs when not using a device. It will be easier if you use multi-sockets, so you can simultaneously deactivate multiple devices.
By connecting all the sockets that you normally use (PC, transformer, printer, router and so on), at the end of the day, you can turn off the switch of the company. Everything will be disconnected in a single gesture, even those lights that consume current unnecessarily.
If you decide to equip yourself with a multi-socket with the lightning-saving fuse in addition to the switch, among other things, you will improve your security, especially when you plan to stay away from your computer for a while.
In fact, in the event of a sudden increase in electrical voltage, as usually happens with thunderstorms, the salvo fulmini fuse jumps, making sure that it does not pass electrical current, protecting you from burns, short circuits and other unhappy events.
– Small Appliances
It is essential to remember not to leave small electrical and electronic devices attached to the sockets, even if they are not turned on. There is always a small consumption.
Then, use them only as long as necessary (unplug the charger after use, turn off the TV when not needed and avoid the simultaneous use of multiple devices).
– Large Appliances
The categorical imperative is to avoid any form of energy waste. Not only will this help us keep an eye on the bill while saving on electricity costs, but it will guarantee our appliances long life and optimal performance.
Oven, washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher are the ubiquitous home appliances. If we have to change or buy one of these appliances, we opt for the modern models with the highest energy yield, namely the A ++ class. The investment will be largely rewarded over time with significantly lower consumption.
Another measure is the usage temperature of expensive devices such as water heaters and air conditioners. If you use the water heater or the heat pump water heater, it is good to set low temperatures, better on 60 ° in winter and 40 ° in summer.
Do without it, if possible and resort to more natural methods of cooling the house (more insulation, insulation by roof garden, use of green to lower outside temperatures) or be careful and use the air conditioning in an intelligent way.
To improve the performance of our appliances, we remind you to weigh their use always, according to the real needs and perform proper cleaning and maintenance. Here are the basic rules to lower the energy consumption of household appliances:
– Do not wash at half load for washing machine and dishwasher, water consumption will also
– Do not place the refrigerator near heat sources.
– Do not open and close the fridge or freezer door continuously.
– Always keep the washing machine, dishwasher and air conditioner filters clean.
– When possible, dry the laundry in the open air or on the clothesline instead of in the dryer.
– Do not open the oven door continuously, avoiding unnecessary heat loss.
– For cooking food use the pressure cooker or pans and pots with a lid.
In addition to these general indications, it is good to remember that the use of electric heaters and fan heaters is not recommended: they consume a lot and return a little lasting heat.
Time Slots and Best Time of Use
If your contract provider provides for a two-hour charge rate, set the washing machine and dishwasher timers in the least expensive time slots (for example after 7 pm and up to 8 am).
The most common electrical appliance in our apartment buildings is definitely the elevator. The annual consumption of a lift is not exactly a small thing. It is a good practice, even for your own health, do not use it if you live within the first 3 floors and still go downstairs.
How to Save Energy at Home: Heating
Likewise, it is possible to adopt equally valid measures to reduce heating costs, especially in winter, when bills inevitably tend to swell.
The first thing to do, in this sense, is to reduce as much as possible the heat dispersion at home and ensure the heating system is perfectly efficient, through proper maintenance and periodic control of the boiler. To this end it is appropriate:
-Check that there are no air residues in the radiators by using the appropriate valve
-Set the home temperature up to a maximum of 19°
-Lowering the internal temperature by 1 ° means reducing consumption by about 6%
-Do not cover the radiators with cloths or curtains that would reduce their efficiency
-Check the boiler once a year. In addition to being imposed by law, periodic boiler control is the
best way to guarantee your system fully efficient.
Eco Bonus, Energy Saving and Deductions
Do not forget that the Eco bonus allocated by the Government since 2011 for the energy redevelopment of homes have been renewed, so until December 30, 2017 and the hypothesis announced by the Minister of Economy and Finance is to be maintained until 2018, with a probable reduction in percentages (today 50-65%) starting from 2018.
Tax Concessions on Energy Saving
At the moment, it is possible to enjoy the state incentives foreseen for all the interventions of:
- Reduction of energy needs for heating
- Thermal improvement of the building
- Replacement of winter air conditioning systems
Change of Energy Supplier
It will be useful to have a look at the offers of various suppliers in order to choose the most convenient tariff for electricity adapted to our needs.
To save on energy costs, it is necessary to select and compare the offers of various suppliers on the free or tied market.
For orientation, you can surf on specialized websites and online portals with the precise objective of providing a comparison tool that guides the consumer to the choice of the best energy plan (e.g. Sostariffe, Facile.it, Altroconsumo).
Choose an energy manager in a more ethical way, selecting the one that produces 100% green certified energy and therefore only from renewable sources. One that offers products designed to save energy in a responsible way (in this sense NWG Energia with products like LuceAmica is the perfect synthesis for a supply of energy that comes only from renewable sources, but at extremely competitive prices) is an effective way of saving energy, changing our lifestyles and adopting more sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior.
Energy Savings Explained to Children
It is important to involve children in home management and explain to them how important energy savings are.
They will be able to learn a virtuous lifestyle without effort, which they will always apply, even as adults.
For example, asking them to learn how to set the thermostat. It will be interesting to ask their proposals on the home temperature, at what level they feel good and to which they are cold, without leaving management only to adults. Also, in the preparation of daily meals, explaining what you are discarding, which bin goes and how it can be reused.
Some Truths to Make Him Better Understand Why Electricity is Important
Go to the library to get some books suitable for young people talking about energy and electricity, explaining how it is produced and what it is used for. Knowing is already a first step towards a virtuous and ecological behavior.
Propose a game to remain without electricity once in a while, to understand what it is for. It will be a bit of an adventure, even just trying to get ready to go to bed in the dark.
Proposing walks, outdoor games and outdoor sports are healthy habits that help their well-being and stimulate them to live without electricity in their free time. It will also help them to have greater contact with nature.
Prefer public transport or bike and limit the use of the car. Emphasize the polluting aspect of transport and how they use energy in the form of fuel to move, while the muscle strength of your legs is certainly better. You can make adventure games on the paths to follow, asking in turn to study a different path to go in the same place.
Here are some behaviors to keep with children of all ages to learn the value of energy, so that the energy savings explained to children become an easy thing.
Only by abandoning bad habits, we will consume less energy, safeguard our pockets and weigh less on the environment and follow our advice!