Power saving tips.

05. March 2024

With a few simple tips and tricks, you can not only do something good for the environment, but also save money month after month: In our 10 tips for saving electricity, we reveal how you can fill your household budget with just a few small tricks.

1. LED and energy-saving bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs

Classic incandescent bulbs should no longer provide light in any household – they are real power guzzlers. If you want to save electricity, use energy-saving light bulbs. Or even better: LEDs. Although they are somewhat more expensive than energy-saving bulbs, they last twice as long on average. They are the most energy-efficient light source and more than 80 percent more economical than incandescent bulbs. In addition, LEDs develop their luminosity immediately after switching on, can be dimmed and can easily withstand many switching cycles – all properties in which the energy-saving lamp performs worse in comparison.

No matter how economical your light sources are: When you leave the room, switch off the light!

2. Unplug instead of standby: give your devices a rest

Have you pressed the red button on the remote control and the TV is off? Wrong! If a red light is still lit somewhere on the device, it is not completely disconnected from the power supply – and is still consuming energy. On average, devices in standby mode are responsible for ten percent of household electricity consumption – which can quickly add up to 100 euros or more over the course of a year. To switch the appliance off completely, disconnect it from the power supply: Pull the plug or use a power strip with a power switch. By the way: such power strips are available with a remote control – so you can send all your devices in the living room into retirement at the touch of a button from the sofa.

Charging cables for cell phones, tablets and the like also consume power when no device is connected. So always unplug them when you are not charging a device. And only charge until the battery is full – this not only saves power, but also extends the battery’s service life.

3. Goodbye energy guzzlers: get rid of old appliances

Old household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers have poor energy efficiency. If the appliance is ten years old or older, it is worth taking a critical look at its consumption. Even the former best energy efficiency class A performs poorly compared to the current best class A+++. Investing in new appliances often pays off in terms of electricity costs in the long term.

Old electrical appliances are real power guzzlers: for example, an A+++ class fridge-freezer consumes around 130 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, while an appliance 15 years older consumes almost three times as much at 360 kWh!

So be proactive when buying a new appliance: if you buy a new appliance, a smaller fridge may be enough, for example. This will save you twice: on consumption and on the purchase price. Also consider whether you really need all the appliances: A fridge with a freezer compartment may be able to replace the freezer and the tumble dryer can be done away with altogether (more on this in energy-saving tip 9).

4. Put the lid on: reduce electricity consumption when cooking

As we all know, there is a lid for every pot: you should always use it when cooking. This way, less heat escapes from the pot and the contents heat up more quickly. Place the pot on a hotplate that is the same size as the pot or smaller. Induction hobs are generally more economical than electric hobs.

Tip for all electric hob users: Heat the boiling water in a kettle – it’s quicker and saves electricity.

There are also helpful energy-saving tips for the oven:

  • Reduce the preheating time or skip it altogether.
  • Use the convection function instead of top and bottom heat.
  • Leave the oven door closed as much as possible during use.
  • Use the residual heat of the oven instead of heating fully until the end of the baking time.
5. Cool smartly: Save electricity in the fridge and freezer

With refrigerators, it’s all about the right placement: Place the fridge and freezer in as cool a place as possible. A lot of heat is generated directly next to the oven, hob or heater, which the refrigerator has to fight against. The freezer and fridge also have to “cool down” against the heat every time you open the door: Reduce the time the door is open to a minimum. Think about what you want to get out before you open the door. Keep your fridge tidy so that you can find the food you need quickly. When you put away the groceries, first prepare the fridge containers, preferably sorted by fridge compartment, and then quickly put the products in the fridge. Allow leftover food to cool before putting it in the fridge or freezer. Incidentally, a full fridge cools more efficiently than an empty one.

The layer of ice that forms in the fridge compartment significantly increases electricity consumption – and therefore your electricity costs. Therefore, defrost the appliance regularly – this also makes sense for hygiene in the kitchen, as you can clean the interior particularly well after defrosting.

6. Wash correctly: turn your dishwasher into an energy saver

A modern dishwasher cleans dishes more efficiently than it would be possible to do by hand in the sink. However, this only applies if you load the appliance fully. Sometimes it’s worth playing a little Tetris to get a few more cups, plates and pots into the machine.

The specified energy efficiency class of your dishwasher only applies to the eco program. If you use the fast program, for example, the power consumption is much higher: the appliance needs most of the energy to heat the water. The eco program runs for longer because the water is heated less, but the detergent takes longer to work – the result is the same. In addition to electricity, you also save water in the eco wash cycle! It’s worth waiting a little longer for clean dishes.

7. Wash cleverly: Stay cool when doing the laundry

Prewash and boil wash program at 90 degrees: What our grandma took for granted is no longer necessary today. Even heavily soiled laundry is hygienically clean at 60 degrees thanks to modern washing machines and detergents. For most wash cycles, 30 or 40 degrees without pre-washing is perfectly sufficient – this reduces electricity consumption by at least 50 percent compared to washing at 60 degrees. This not only protects the environment and your wallet, but also your textiles!

One wash cycle at 60 degrees per month is enough to keep the washing machine clean and counteract odors.

8. Fresh breeze: Dry your laundry in the air

Laundry dries quickly on the clothes horse or washing line, especially in spring and summer: you can leave the tumble dryer out – because it saves electricity. If you have a garden or balcony, put the washing out. Many households with just one or two people manage without a tumble dryer at all. If you opt for a tumble dryer, buy a modern appliance with the highest energy efficiency class – the differences in electricity consumption are enormous! A few degrees less: lower the water temperature

Warm water requires electricity if it is heated by an instantaneous water heater, for example. There is also potential for saving electricity here: if you wash your hands thoroughly with soap, cold water is sufficient. Reduce the water temperature when showering – it’s also better for your skin!

If you want to mop the floor, run cold water into the cleaning bucket: With a dash of cleaner, the result will turn out brilliantly, as many cleaning agents are designed for cold water and lose their effectiveness in hot water. However, washing-up liquid is the exception: the grease dissolving power only unfolds in hot water. Even if you use natural cleaning agents such as lemon, vinegar or soft soap, hot cleaning water is the better choice.

10. Laptop instead of PC: How to work and surf more energy-efficiently

Do you work on a desktop PC or laptop at home? As laptops are designed for a long battery life, they consume significantly less energy. Tablets and smartphones are even more economical. So if you use a laptop or mobile device, you can answer your emails from the comfort of your couch, save electricity and money and protect the environment.