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The 5 best tips to save electricity at home

If you can bring down the cost of the electricity bill, there is no excuse. You can’t stop the cost going up by being half-hearted. There are many little things we can all do to save energy and also money (and help the planet as well).

Saving electricity is within everyone's reach. Note down these 5 tips and start saving on your bill today.

 

1. Adjust the electrical power rating to your needs. No more, no less

An important part of what you pay in your monthly bill is the contracted power rating. A fixed cost that increases according to the kW you have contracted. Having too much is an unnecessary expense, but not really having enough can complicate things. How do I get it right?

The power you have is determined by the number of kilowatts (kW) that the electrical grid gives you simultaneously. If you have never had the trips go on you, even with the heating, oven and washing machine on at the same time, maybe you have the leeway to lower your power rating. But be careful, it is not a question of living on the edge either. Going short may mean you have to raise it again and this has costs attached.

Your distribution company (the one that corresponds to you according to the area in which you live) will charge you approximately:

  • Around €11 to lower your power rating, no matter how much you lower it.
  • About €45 for each kW rise in your power rating.
  • In addition, depending on your distributor, they may charge for other procedures or deposits.

In the content we leave you below, we help you make the right decision in relation to the power you contract.

2. Go for rates which vary according to the time

They are the best way to save for almost every household. Including yours if you are able to concentrate at least a third of your consumption in off-peak hours.

We all know that energy is cheaper when there is less demand (for example, at night). But we are not aware that, in general and without thinking, we usually consume 50% of all energy during off-peak hours.

 Thus, switching to a tariff with hourly discrimination can help us save many euros a year on our electricity bill without any effort at all. Whether you are in the free market or in the regulated market.

In the regulated market, the PVPC Tariff, it is not possible to know what the price of energy will be next week, but with this tool, you can check tomorrow's price. And while you're there, check the big price difference between peak hours (from 12.00 to 22.00 in winter and from 13.00 to 23.00 in summer); and the off-peak cheaper ones (from 22.00 to 12.00 in winter and from 23.00 to 13.00 in summer).

The free market offers you all kinds of à-la-carte rates in which you decide which hours are the cheap hours. But the big news is about rates like the Tempo Happy Rate where you choose a few hours in which consumption is free.

"Only 30% of consumption is necessary during off-peak hours to start saving with an hourly discrimination tariff".

3. Choose efficient appliances (and use the others wisely)

If you have to change an appliance, choose those with more efficient energy labels, such as A+, A++ or A+++. Although they cost a bit more, they work out cheaper in the long run because of the energy they don't consume. Other things you can do are:

  • Fully load the washing machine and dishwasher. And if you don't need very hot water, washing at 40º instead of 60º saves up to 55% energy.
  • Induction hobs consume less than ceramic or gas ones.  You can also save by using the correct diameter pans, putting the lid on or cooking with a pressure cooker.
  • The refrigerator is the appliance that consumes the most. Regulate its interior temperature to between 3º and 7º, do not allow it to build up frost and make sure you keep its rear part ventilated and dust-free.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs. The price difference will be compensated for by their longer life and energy savings: up to 50% less consumption in CFLs and 80% in LED lighting.
  • Turn off any devices in stand-by. The television, the computer, mobile chargers, the hot water heater… even the air conditioning units are energy vampires if they remain plugged in. Turning off devices that then aren’t really off adds an extra 10% consumption to your annual bill.
"A well-maintained efficient refrigerator consumes up to 40% less energy - more than €250 in savings per year."

4. Improve the thermal insulation of your home

Good thermal insulation is the best way to prevent euros from escaping from your home. The goal is to maintain a comfortable temperature without paying too much, both in summer and winter.

A well-insulated home can save you up to 30% in energy depending on each case. Do you have any heat leaks? Don't wait to fix them. Investing in improvements pays off in a few years.

  • Walls. If you don't have neighbours to protect your walls, consider applying an insulating layer. You can do it inside, outside or by injecting insulation inside the wall itself.
  • Windows. Double-glazed systems reduce any heat loss by almost half. In addition, they prevent uncomfortable drafts.
  • Ceilings and roofs. The roof is where most heat is lost, both in individual homes and buildings. It is essential to protect them with good insulation.
  • Services. Insulate water pipes well so that the heat does not dissipate before reaching the tap or radiator.
"By taking care of your house’s insulation, you can reduce the heating bill by up to 30%."

5. Take advantage of a smart home

Efficient air conditioning systems, presence sensors for lighting, installations that raise and lower blinds, etc. Home automation provides comfort, quality of life and significant savings.

Smart control systems can save up to 50% electricity consumption by optimising the management of lighting, hot water, heating and air conditioning.

Without going that far, a simple programmable thermostat also generates considerable savings by adjusting the temperature to our different needs: day/night, weekends, trips away, etc.

"Home automation not only improves our quality of life, it also helps us make savings."

The ideal temperature for a home ranges between 20-23ºC during the day and 15-17ºC at night. Schedule the time the heating comes on to just before you get up or arrive home. You will see how it is enough to feel comfortable.

And for people who feel the cold, if you are aiming to make savings, it is better to put on an extra layer than to increase the temperature a couple of degrees.

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