How to stop the increase in energy bills? This is probably the question that many Belgians ask themselves, when difficult winters are announced. We contacted the non-profit association Ecoconso, which offered us 10 simple actions that allow us to save €2,600 per year*.
1. Cut the heating at night and during absences: 1020€/year
Turning off the heating during these periods reduces annual gas consumption by 20%. The saving is therefore 3400 kWh, or €1020 per year.
2. Use an economical shower head: €378/year
We can forget it sometimes but a shower is not only water, it is above all hot water. And using an economical showerhead will make you use less hot water. According to our experts, it will consume 6 liters of water per minute instead of 15
3. Reduce heating from 20° to 19°: €286/year
The measure will hurt the more cautious among us, but lowering the temperature by one degree allows a saving of 7%. Considering the first measure (17,000-3400 kWh = 13,600 kWh), this proposal saves 7% on 13,600 kWh, i.e. 952 kWh at a price of €286.
4. Install a timer on the electric water heater: €245/year
Is it necessary to constantly heat water that is not necessarily always used? This is a common sense measure. A small timer saves you 700 kWh of electricity per year, or €245 all the same.
5. Do not use the electric dryer half the time: €175/year
At 2.7 kWh consumed per cycle and 180 cycles per year for an average household, the saving of 500 kWh will save you €175, that’s still it!
6. Use power strips with switch: €161/year
It is perhaps one of the easiest gestures to apply: pressing the switch on a power strip when the television, the decoder, the speaker or the hard drive are not working. A saving estimated at 230 kWh/year which of course depends on the number of devices you plug in that you can therefore unplug.
7. Sealing a door that lets cold air in: €150/year
This is the principle of small-scale insulation: the small trickle of cold air that passes under the door can cost you 150 euros in energy efficiency for your home. All that remains is to close the gap.
8. Do without auxiliary electric heating: €140/year
Electric heating as a backup during the harshest periods of winter is very efficient but also very energy-intensive! Its 2000 watts saved for 1 hour a day for 100 days will save you 200 kWh, or 140 euros.
9. Take a shower rather than a bath: 70€/year
It’s a little pleasure that you can’t refuse, unless you want to save 70€ per year. Taking a bath once a week rather than a 5-minute shower will consume more hot water: around 100 kWh more over a year, or €70.
10. Wash linen at 30° C: €35/year
Your washing machine may offer you 60° or 40° as your initial wash temperature, but choosing the 30° wash can bring you 50 kWh of electricity, or 50€.
*Ecoconso provided us with 10 gestures which allow a saving expressed in kWh of energy (either in electricity or in gas). We have valued each kWh of electricity at €0.70 and that of gas at €0.30, as indicated by the professor at the Ecole Polytechnique of UCLouvain and energy specialist, Francesco Contino. Note that the energy saving is based on the average consumption of a household (3,500 kWh/year of electricity and 17,000 kWh/year of gas). It will actually be different for each household depending on the insulation of their home, their actual consumption, the number of electrical appliances connected, etc.