Saving energy at home: less showers, adequate ventilation

Status: 02/07/2022 08:12

Economy Minister Habeck asked the Germans for shorter showers – to save energy. But does it really save a lot? Where can you most effectively reduce your energy costs? Overview.

Almost two-thirds of Germans shower at least once a day. The average daily shower time is eight to twelve minutes. The NRW consumer advice center has calculated that around 20 percent of our heating energy consumption is used for hot water.

The cost is around 100 euros per person per year, says the head of the energy efficiency group Reinhard Loch. “If I take a shorter shower, I use correspondingly less energy, for example five minutes instead of seven uses about 30 percent less energy,” says Loch.

You can also save money by lowering your shower temperature by a few degrees. Reinhard Loch lists: “We beat a shower of water at a temperature of about 40 degrees; for this, we first need to heat the cold water from ten degrees to 40 degrees, which is 30 degrees. If I am satisfied with 37 degrees, ie three degrees lower, I save about ten percent of my energy on hot water. ” An expert from a consumer clinic recommends washing your hands with cold water and using economical shower heads. This saves a lot of energy.

Experiment with “smart shower heads”

The research project RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the University of Bonn, together with the Center for Advanced Internet Studies, investigated how ‘smart shower heads’ can reduce consumption. In a field experiment, the group received so-called real-time feedback on water consumption when showering using a specially equipped shower head. The shower head changed color depending on the water used. In this way, the consumer could see how many liters he has already consumed.

This information prompted respondents to take shorter showers. 29 percent of energy could be saved. “Our study shows that the use of behavioral economics interventions can be an opportunity to sustainably use limited resources,” says Mark Andor, head of the RWI research group.

A quarter of the energy used by TVs and computers

On average, we use 14 percent of a home’s energy for hot water and 14.5 percent for electricity. Electricity can be saved in various areas of the household. More than a quarter of electricity consumption comes from information technology such as televisions and laptops, followed closely by refrigerators and freezers, which are commonly known as big energy eaters.

Light uses about five to ten percent of our electricity, says Reinhard Loch of the consumer center. “If I keep turning it off, you’ll be able to save a few percent,” says Loch. A consumer advisory center recommends using LED lamps to illuminate the workplace as they only use one sixth to one fifth of the electricity compared to incandescent or halogen lamps.

Wash better without drying

It is also worth thinking about buying new electrical devices. “Especially for refrigerators that are more than 20 years old, it usually pays off. However, televisions are usually purchased in larger sizes; this often eats up savings again, ”says an energy expert.

Washing machines are not that important anymore: “We now use little energy to wash. Less saving pays off here. But you should set the washing temperature low (30 or 40 degrees) and not use the dryer, ”says Reinhard Loch. The famous TV standby button is also not a big factor. “Thanks to modern appliances, the standby consumption is very low, less than one watt. It’s not worth turning it off. “

The greatest savings potential when heating

There is the greatest savings potential for heating. On average, we use about 70 percent of our energy consumption for this. According to the consumer center, even with slight changes in behavior and investment, it is possible to save heating energy and costs. On the website Verbraucherzentrale-energieberatung.de, he writes: “For example, switch off the heating at night or when you are not at home. You are supported in this by digital systems such as “Smart Home”. Modern technology and good insulation allow the savings stock to grow even more ”.

Correct ventilation is important. Short cross ventilation with opposite windows and wide-open interior doors is the most effective method of air exchange. Tilted windows should be closed again after a while to prevent the windows from heating up.

But sometimes it’s also easy to save energy: if you constantly use the pot lid while cooking, you can save up to € 20 in electricity costs per year; so the calculation of the consumer center.

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