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How to reduce energy consumption? Here are 22 tricks you can do at home.

In the previous articles about energy, we have seen that the demand of energy raw materials constantly grows because of many reasons we cannot control, but also that 8% and 10% of the annual consumption of a European family is due to the standby of household appliances that are not switched off. 

There are many actions that can be done to reduce the consumption of energy and energy raw materials. 

Some activities are very simple and can be adopted immediately, with no investment or minimal investment. And today we will deal with this topic. 

How to reduce energy consumption? Here 22 tricks you can do at home. 

  1. Turn off the lights in the rooms when you are not in. It seems like a stupid thing, yet it is the little distractions that, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, make the electricity meter running. Also be aware of hidden lights, such as built-in LEDs in kitchens or cabinets.
  2. Buy efficient light bulbs: prefer LEDs that have a longer life and efficiency and, if you can, dimmable LED lamps that allow you to manage the intensity of the lighting and then reduce it when not needed.
  3. Buy energy-efficient and water-saving devices for your home.
  4. Always turning off appliances when not in use: sometimes, unfortunately, turning them off is not enough because they remain in stand-by, like the TV. In this case, the solution is to connect the appliances to multiple sockets that have the ability to switch on and off (i.e. to open and close the electrical circuit). In the event that the appliances are directly connected to a switch that opens and closes the circuit, keep the switch off or voltage zero when not in use.
  5. The modem also uses a considerable amount of energy: turn it off if you are not at home. And in general, connect devices to the socket only when you need to use them (except for those that must always remain connected such as the refrigerator, boilers or safety lights).
  6. Do not leave mobile phone, pc and other chargers connected to the electrical socket: each charger consumes 1 kWh every 1000 hours of activity, whether it is connected to a device to be recharged, or alone. It seems little, but multiply by each charger owned by each person living in the house.
  7. Use appliances correctly. Close the fridge and freezer doors well and do not put hot food or products inside. Use the dishwasher with a full load and prefer the ECO programs that minimize the amount of water and energy. Same goes for the washing machine, but in this case check the possibility of washing at low temperatures and avoid spinning if not necessary.
  8. Mixing hot water correctly avoid wasting energy, whether it is produced with an electric water heater (less efficient option, although modern water heaters use much less energy than those of 30 or 20 years ago) or via a gas boiler.
  9. Avoid water waste, especially if you have an (electric) autoclave that is activated every time you open - voluntarily or not - a tap or refill the toilet cistern.
  10. Always turn off the gas in the kitchen when you are not using it: you will avoid waste in the event of small leaks or accidental ignition of a stove.
  11. Keep the internal temperature of the house under control: even in winter do not keep the heating too high, rather wear something suitable with the internal temperature. The World Health Organization says that the ideal temperature to maintain inside homes is 20 degrees centigrade.
  12. Make sure that the heating or cooling of your home is activated only when you are at home or about to return. Do not keep the heating or cooling on if you have the windows open and reduce drafts, with comfortable draft excluders or a little silicone, waiting to better insulate your home.
  13. Have the boilers and heating and cooling systems constantly maintained to make them work as efficiently as possible: sometimes cleaning the nozzles or other small precautions is enough to make our household appliances work better.
  14. To cool the house in the summer, keep the house in dim light by lowering the shutters or half-closing the shutters or using screening curtains in the external parts of the house or, where possible, using vegetation. Plants are also useful indoors: aloe, pothos, various species of ferns and ficus, spatifilium, sanseveria and other indoor plant species, in addition to purifying the air and reducing some domestic pollutants, allow also to mantain the internal temperature.
  15. Put a fan in your bags: it is not enough but it helps, especially on certain occasions.
  16. Avoid food waste: every time we throw away food, we are also throwing away all the raw materials used to produce, transport and store it.
  17. If your physical conditions allow it and you are not carrying heavy weights, limit the use of the lift: taking the stairs also helps your health. Even on the condominium stairs, avoid wasting energy, using the lights incorrectly and using LEDs.
  18. Walk, use your bicycle and public transport whenever you can: you will reduce the consumption of petrol, diesel and gas / methane, especially where you can walk, where there are pedestrian areas and cycle paths and always when the option of means public is possible and today it is certainly convenient. And if you really have to use the car, try to share it or use a car sharing system. Today the cities are plenty of options.
  19. Put the PC in stand-by when not in use (there is also the possibility of programming stand-by after a certain period of time of inactivity). If not necessary, avoid using the webcam during online meetings. Emails also consume energy: periodically clean your mailboxes, emptying the trash (usually done automatically) and the spam folder, reduce the number of unread emails and, if the unread emails are now useless, delete them. Evaluate if all the emails you receive are essential: we often subscribe to newsletters that we never read!
  20. If you want to listen to music, look for sites that allow you to listen to it from audio and non-video files: this is because video files consume much more energy than audio files.
  21. Ask yourself if you really need all the household appliances you have at home: even if many appliances consume little and are little used, they contribute to your total consumption. Ask yourself if you really need an electric grater or an electric knife or an electric pencil sharpener. Turning to appliances that are more relevant to consumption, evaluate if you actually need a new device before buying it.
  22. Reduce the consumption of disposable plastics and, whenever possible, prefer other materials or recycled plastics: virgin plastic is a compound of petroleum.

Following all these guidelines on a daily basis is not easy (I am also not a good follower of these rules) but it is important for the environment and for our pockets to get used to using energy efficiently.  

Leggi l'articolo precedente: il dilemma dei consumi energetici. 


Vania Statzu

Environmental Economist MEDSEA

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