An average Walloon household consumes 3,500 kWh (kilowatt hour) each year, excluding the production of hot water and heating. Certain devices are obviously more energy-consuming and weigh heavily in this count, without necessarily knowing which ones.
For the curious, it is possible to monitor the consumption of many electrical appliances in your home using a wattmeter. What to detect the greedy devices in electricity. Once known, the consumption of the device will be multiplied by the number of hours of use per day, times the number of days of use per year, before dividing the whole by 1000 (to convert from watts to kilowatts ). We will thus obtain its annual consumption in kWh, which it suffices to compare to its total consumption.
Consumption (in watts) X hours of use per day X days of use per year/1000 = annual consumption in kWh
The current price of kWh can exceed 50 euro cents with some suppliers, for every 2 kWh earned, it is about one euro that we will not spend.
Now on the hunt for watts!
Bulb, an informed choice
It is probably the fastest profitable investment: replacing an old bulb with LED can make a big difference.
Take this old chandelier with 3 spotlights, which you had never paid attention to. A bulb breaks and above the base you read “50 watts”, i.e. 150 watts for the complete chandelier.
One hour of ignition per day therefore corresponds to 55 kWh over a year. The equivalent with three 7-watt LED bulbs will only consume 7.5 kWh per year. Savings: 24 euros.
The fridge, so greedy
If your budget is substantial, look at your major appliances. We will start with the oldest devices, the reduction in power consumption being a constant improvement.
The fridge, in particular, is replaced in the long run and eats up the watts. For an old fridge-freezer, we can reach 500 kWh/year. Recent inefficient fridges (energy class F) can halve this consumption and the best ones will drop below 150 kWh/year.
Don’t forget to defrost your freezer to avoid overconsumption.
The (flat) screen saver
The TV also takes advantage of technical advances to make do with less electricity. The first LCDs panic the meters at more than 100 watts where the latest LED and OLED screens can reduce this figure by two.
Please note: manufacturers tend to offer larger and larger screens. Replacing a small LCD with a huge LED won’t save you as much as hoped.
Also monitor standby consumption, especially if your TV is connected to the internet.
The clothes dryer is an extremely energy-intensive device to keep an eye on. If it is of the old generation with evacuation, a hundred cycles per year will be able to consume 500 kWh. For a recent condensing device, we can hope to go down to 200 kWh/year.
Even better: as soon as the good weather arrives and if you have the possibility, drying your laundry outside consumes very precisely 0 kWh. Unbeatable.
To dry indoors, consider ventilating the room to evacuate humidity.
If you need to change your hobs, the choice may be between halogen or induction. The second displays a higher instantaneous consumption, but reaches the desired temperature more quickly.
Over one year, the average consumption of halogen will reach 260 kWh compared to 210 kWh for induction, according to calculations by Homegrade, the former Brussels Energy House.
Be careful when choosing, all your cookware must be induction compatible.
Even the most resistant to the cold sometimes crack for a little bit of electric heating in the bathroom or shower.
Example with an oil-filled radiator that can consume 2,000 watts to heat the atmosphere. Half an hour of use 6 months in the year will be equivalent to 180 kWh on your statement.
We will take care here to size the device to the size of the room and to find out about the announced consumption to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Leave your charger plugged in
What about my phone charger, if I forget it in the socket all year round? If some devices consume power in standby, the latest chargers have become smarter. They consume nothing… or almost nothing if they are plugged in without supplying anything.
On a power strip with 5 unused chargers (smartphone, camera, game console), our power meter showed 0.3 watts, or 2.6 kWh over a year.
Better to tackle other positions as a priority, even if every gesture counts.
For lack of a plug, long live the batteries
The electric battery is resisting and its rechargeable version offers an attractive alternative for large consumers.
The old generations using nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or antique nickel-cadmium (NiCD) are outdated compared to Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion).
More expensive, it allows recharging at any time without degrading the battery, has a longer life and can reach 1.5 volts on certain AA models (compared to 1.2 volts for NiMH), a necessity for some devices.