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Want to reduce energy costs? 10 smart saving tips!

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Published: 19/02/2020 | Update: 18/03/2020

Want to reduce energy costs? 10 smart saving tips!

Saving a lot on your energy bill unfortunately requires a big investment. It’ll take a few years before your effort pays off. Not (yet) ready to put in a lot of time? Luckily there are energy savings tips aplenty so you can start saving on your energy bill almost immediately. Considering that most people know that you can save money by turning the heating down a centigrade or two, we’ve compiled a list of 10 less known saving tips that you can start with almost immediately!

10 saving tips to reduce your energy costs
  1. Use an energy consumption manager
  2. Set your boiler to eco mode
  3. Reduce the output temperature of your boiler
  4. Tackle standby consumption
  5. Use radiator foil
  6. Regularly ventilate your home
  7. Improve the decoration of your home
  8. Place insulating window film
  9. Attach draught strips to the windows
  10. Buy a water-saving shower head

1. Use an energy consumption manager

To get a better grip on your energy bill, start by connecting an energy consumption manager to your smart meter. An energy consumption manager gives you insight in your energy consumption and makes it easier to save energy, because you can immediately see the effect of your energy saving.

In a previous blog, we explained the operation and use of energy consumption managers in detail.

2. Set your boiler to eco mode

What many people don’t know is that boilers are often set to comfort mode by installers. In comfort mode, the boiler keeps the heat exchanger warm day and night. The advantage of this is that the boiler can immediately supply hot water.

Although this comfort mode is nice, it can also cost you a lot of gas and therefore money. By setting your boiler to eco mode, the water is only heated when you turn on the hot tap. Admittedly this will cost you a little more water and a few more seconds while the water heats up, but that doesn’t even come close to the benefits that it can have on the environment and your wallet.

Depending on your lifestyle and your boiler, these savings can quickly amount to around €50 per year. Turning on eco mode can vary slightly from boiler to boiler, but in most cases it can be configured through the display on the boiler. The user manual of your boiler describes how to switch off comfort mode, or ask the boiler installer when he visits you.

3. Reduce the output temperature of your boiler

Apart from providing hot water, the boiler also regulates the output temperature. The output temperature determines the maximum temperature the water may be heated to when the boiler is running at high output.

With most boilers, the output temperature of the water intended to heat your home is often set unnecessarily high. With modern boilers, the temperature is often set to a maximum of 80°C, while in older models it can even be as high as 90°C. In order to reach those temperatures, the boiler uses a lot of gas.

Most homes can be heated with a maximum temperature of 60-70°C, without any problems. If you live in a very well insulated house, a temperature of 45 to 55°C will be more than enough. With these lower output temperatures, the radiators will become a little less hot and it will take a little longer for your house to heat up in the morning. But it is a lot more energy efficient and can save you a lot of money, up to €100 per year.

The maximum temperature for tap water is often also set much higher than necessary. But be careful: because of the risk of legionella, it’s strongly advised to not set the output temperature lower than 60°C degrees. Just like setting the eco mode, you usually control the output temperature via the boiler’s display.

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4. Tackle standby power consumption

Without us noticing it, many electronic devices in the house still use electricity while they’re not in use. Think about your TV that’s on stand-by, smart phone chargers or your microwave. On average a household uses 500 kWh every year (about 10% of the total energy use) on standby consumption.

By actually turning off such appliances you can save over €100 euros every year. But with so many electronic appliances in your house, it can be quite a hassle to unplug each of them every time. If you have multiple appliances close to one another, a handy solution can be to plug them all into a power strip with an on-off button.

Really want to make it easy on yourself? You can insert smart plugs into existing sockets and plug your electronic devices into them. Seeing as smart plugs are controlled via your WiFi network or bluetooth, it’s possible to turn devices on and off remotely using your smartphone or tablet.

One of the best selling smart plugs at this moment is the HS100 from TP-link. This smart plug is available from €15 euros and connects to your phone via your WiFi network. Consequently, you can control your smart plug both indoors and remotely using an app.

In addition, you have the possibility to program use of the sockets, set a timer and program preset time schedules that automatically switch the smart plug on and/or off. It’s also possible to group together multiple smart plugs in your home and, for example, program them to all shut off at 12 o’clock at night. So you never have to worry about unnecessary standby power consumption again.

5. Use radiator foil

Radiators in the house radiate heat and make your home cosy. But radiators also give off heat towards the wall they’re mounted on. Particularly in poorly insulated homes, a lot of heat is lost to the outside through the wall.

To ensure that the heat radiation from radiators is reflected as much as possible to the inside, it is advisable to use radiator foil. This is a reflective silver foil that can be attached to the wall behind the radiator or directly on the back of the radiator. Depending on the type of radiator foil and the placement of it, radiator foil can reduce the heat lost through the back of the radiator by 75 to 95%.

As a result, your house will warm up more quickly and your boiler won’t have to work as hard. Milieu Centraal (Environment central) calculates that radiator foil saves about 10m3 gas per square meter (m2). That’s about €8 euros per year for every m2 of radiator in your house. You do the math!

6. Regularly ventilate your home

Every day about 10 litres of moisture enters the air in your home. Often in the form of steam through, for example, cooking, showering or washing up. Seeing as houses are increasingly better insulated, the natural ventilation via cracks and seams has decreased and the importance of opening the windows on a daily basis has increased.

By regularly opening your windows, you don’t only ensure that clean air gets in your house but you also indirectly save on energy costs. Although cold air coming in needs to be warmed again, the humidity in your house will decrease. Clean, dry air warms up much better than humid air, which leads to less energy needed to warm your house.

7. Improve the decoration of your home

You can save on energy costs by simply rethinking the way you decorated your house. Do you have a sofa in front of your radiator? Consider moving it somewhere else or move it ten centimetres forward. By doing this, you prevent all the heat from going into your sofa instead of warming your house.

Also, something as simple as changing your curtains can contribute to saving energy. Thick curtains hold warmth much better than thin curtains or blinds. Just make sure they don’t hang in front of the radiator but just above it. Otherwise lots of heat will get trapped between the curtains and the window, heat which will eventually disappear through the window.

Lastly, rugs aren’t just decorative. Rugs are also very functional as they hold onto heat and prevent heat from escaping through the floors.

8. Place insulating window film

It’s generally known that single pane windows hardly insulate compared to double pane windows or gas-filled windows. But replacing all your single pane windows with double pane glass is a very expensive undertaking.

However, there is a much cheaper alternative that has a similar effect to double pane glass: insulation film.

Insulating window film contains multiple layers of insulating material and you tape it against your original single pane windows trapping a layer of air between the window and the film. This measure can reduce the amount of heat lost through dissipation by up to 50% and thus increases the insulation value of single pane windows to that of double pane windows.

The application of the film works in a similar fashion as applying decorative window films but the result is nearly invisible. By applying insulation film to double pane windows you can increase the insulation value similar to that of gas-filled windows.

In this way, heat is less likely to be lost to the outside and you can save on heating costs.

9. Attach draught strips to the windows

Various places around the house can become draughty. Think about your mail slot, windows and doors that don’t close well. By using draught strips you close off nooks and crannies ensuring that warm air stays inside and cold outside. And keeping your house at a constant temperature requires less energy. Draught strips can quickly save you up to €60 euros a year!

10. Buy a water-saving shower head

Water-saving shower heads use about 50% less water compared to standard shower heads. On top of the reduction in water costs, households that use water-saving shower heads save around €50 on gas each year to heat the water.

A common misconception about water-saving shower heads is that they provide less comfort due to decreased water pressure. But through a clever mechanism in the water-saving shower heads, they provide the same pressure even with decreased water use. Resulting in savings on your energy bill!

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