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Energy savers that don't make savings

An energy saver is a small device sold by several brands with the promise that it will help you waste less electricity. When you reduce waste in your consumption, you should notice the difference in your bill. But is there any truth in this?

What is an energy saver?

Although there come in all kinds and colours, they are usually small devices that include their own plug. They resemble a mobile charger, although they are usually somewhat larger and more colourful. They are also usually cheap: The best-selling models range from 5 to 35 euro.

But we insist: Behind this generic concept there is a little bit of everything.

What energy savers marketed by different brands have in common are their two main hooks:

1. They could not be simpler to install: Just plug them in

2. They promise savings on your electricity bill

Given this information, the success they enjoy with a large part of the population is obvious. But, is what they promise actually a reality?

 

How does an energy saver work?

An energy saver is a device that claims to use the latest technology to eliminate excess energy generated by power peaks produced by some appliances.

This excess or residual energy is the so-called reactive energy. Unlike active energy, it cannot be consumed and it is of no use to you at all. It is generated in appliances that have motors (fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.).

Its external appearance does not indicate that we are dealing with a particularly complex gadget and, indeed, an energy saver is fundamentally a capacitor.

Without going into technical details, what this capacitor does is capture the residual energy and redistribute it within the system in such a way that it is actually consumed (active energy). That is, they minimise reactive energy and voltage rises.

 

“Appliances called energy savers promise to eliminate excess or residual energy so that your home is more efficient.”

 

Is an energy saver at all useful?

Manufacturer promises are one thing but reality is another. Are these energy-saving appliances really going to help us reduce our electricity bills?

The main problem with energy savers is that households are being sold a solution that is actually intended for industry.

Reactive energy exists, of course, but it will be minimal in your home. As for voltage rises, in stable networks such as in cities, they should not be a cause for concern to you. However, reactive energy does play an important role in industrial systems and therefore these use capacitor batteries, i.e. the 'professional' version of the energy savers we are talking about. Bigger, more powerful and much more effective.

In addition to its quantity, there is another fundamental difference between the reactive energy that your house can generate and that of a business or industry: There is no charge for domestic reactive energy, so it does not affect your bill (in industry it is included in bills).

In conclusion:

  • For your energy consumption (kWh): It is true that this residual energy saving system is used in industrial settings (with an "energy saver", i.e. capacitor batteries). But at home, the level of savings is negligible.
  • For your contracted power (kW): Each electronic device requires a certain amount of power and this is unalterable, regardless of whether we install an energy saver.

 

“The science behind an energy saver is real, but it applies to industrial settings and is of no great interest at domestic level.”

 

So, how can I make savings on my electricity bill?

Healthy habits, energetically speaking

The first thing to be clear about is that there is only one way to save energy, and that is by not consuming it.

For example: Leaving appliances on stand-by can cost us about 5 euro a month.

The lighting of your home is also significant: An LED bulb can last about 50,000 hours, while traditional incandescent ones do not reach 1000.

Think of it this way: The energy you don't use can't end up on your bill.

Supporting home automation

Home automation is the intelligent control of your home's electronic devices specifically the on and off controls. It is increasingly essential to use this technology for our benefit as it reduces consumption times and minimises the impact of forgetfulness.

Motion sensors, automatic switch off or a direct request to Alexa, anything goes to make savings on your electricity bill while contributing to the well-being of our planet.

Only pay for the power that you need

Power is like many things in life: Too much is just as bad as too little.

We recommend this advice on how to understand power supplies and request only what you need.

Choose a tariff that suits you

The days when you had to adapt to your tariff are long gone. Now it works exactly the other way round: Your tariff adapts to suit you.

It doesn't matter how many healthy habits you adopt, you will continue to consume energy… and that's why it's important that this energy is as cheap as possible.

Check our tariff catalogue and find which tariff is best for you:

Consulta nuestro catálogo de tarifas y encuentra lo que te conviene:

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