THE SEVEN WORST ENERGY GUZZLERS

Are you burning a hole in your pocket? Here are a few tips on how to save money and the environment. Vattenfall’s energy advisor Lasse Ejeklint says that the biggest energy culprits are actually us, the consumers. “We leave appliances on, and this uses power unnecessarily. Clearly, convenience is not for free, but if we know the real price, both in terms of money and the environment, we can make informed choices.” 

STANDBY
“Actually, with modern appliances, it’s a myth to say that it’s expensive to keep appliances on standby. According to EU regulations, a new TV can only use 0.5 W while it’s on standby, which costs about 55 euro cents a year. It’s when the TV’s on and no-one’s watching that it’s a problem. Plus the fact that nowadays we have more of each type of appliance: a TV in every room, a computer for every member of the family. If all these appliances are left on, it gets expensive.”

WASHING MACHINE
“Make sure you fill the machine right up! All factory testing is done on a full machine, so your washing machine can cope with it. And you’ll save both water and detergent. Look at the energy label when you buy a new washing machine – energy consumption has halved in ten years!”

HEAT 
“Replace defective window seals. It costs about 55 euros to do but you’ll save just over 100 euros a year. Drawing curtains and closing blinds help insulate your home at night and when you’re not there. Another major consumer of energy is electric underfloor heating. It costs about 200 euros a year in a bathroom. A timer that switches the underfloor heating on when it’s needed could be a worthwhile investment.”

COOKER 
“Use a kettle to boil water for pasta! And put a lid on your pan, otherwise the heat will be lost. If you’re buying a new cooker, induction hobs are the most efficient because the heat is generated directly in the pan.”

FRIDGE/FREEZER
“Check the temperature! Fridges should be between 4 and 6 degrees and freezers minus 18. Every degree colder you keep your freezer increases energy consumption by 5 per cent! Also check that the magnetic seal on the door fits tightly: Put a sheet of paper in the door when you close it. If the paper doesn’t stay in, it could be a good idea to replace your old fridge with a new and more energy efficient model.”

SHOWER
“Get a clock and check how long you’re spending in the shower! If your whole family can shower for five minutes less every day, you’ll save around 110 euros a year.”  

HOT WATER
“A dishwater is the most energy efficient way of washing the dishes. But rinsing dishes in hot water uses more energy than the entire programme on your dishwater. Scrape off left-over food with a spatula instead. It’s also a good idea to fit water-saving devices on washbasin taps, kitchen taps and shower taps. A water-saving kit costs between 50 and 60 euros. An average family will recoup the money within three months.”

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