Energy savings in everyday life part 2: Check the temperature

Author: Pernille Manicus

Recommendations, good advice and admonitions about how we should save energy flies around – both large and small initiatives in everyday life can make a big difference – in individual households and on a societal level. The Nordic People’s Center for Sustainable Energy has been working with energy savings for decades, and we have laid down some of the easiest, some of the most effective and some of the more surprising tips for saving electricity.

Did you not read “Energy savings in everyday life part 1”? Click here to get to the article.

NB! As you read the article keep in mind that the cheapest, greenest and most reliable energy is the energy we don’t use.

Hurry in the bath – and turn down the temperature

We have to wave goodbye to the long, hot baths where we step out of the shower like steaming shriveled raisins. The production of hot water costs a lot of electricity, so right here there is really something to be gained. But if you occasionally forget the time when you stand under the shower, set a timer for 5-10 minutes. You can also set two: one for three to four minutes, after which you turn off the shower and soap yourself in, and then one for 10 minutes, when the bath is over. The temperature of the water also has a say in electricity consumption, so if you turn it down from 40 degrees to 36-37 degrees, that will also make a difference. Maybe it also helps to get out of the shower faster?

Short baths combined with a lower temperature of the water make a difference in the final picture, and if you want to see the difference, then you can make a comparison. As written in “Energy savings in everyday life part 1” you can see your electricity consumption right down on an hourly basis; daily and weekly at (or equivalent pages if you live elsewhere), and you will be able to see a difference on a day when the family takes long hot baths compared to a day when the baths are short and more lukewarm.

Temperature is decisive for electricity consumption – and this applies both when we take a shower, start the dishwasher and washing machine* and when we turn the thermostat on the radiator. If you want to save on electricity, turn down the heat; just a few degrees.

For example, if you lower the temperature by just one degree in the living room, it is estimated that you save five percent on your heating bill.

Energy savings_shower

Check the temperature

Now that we’re talking about temperatures and energy savings, when was the last time you measured the temperature in your fridge and freezer?

If you own a fridge or freezer where the temperature is not indicated, then a thermometer is an investment of around 50 DKK, which could potentially pay for itself in a short amount of time. The fridge should preferably be between three and five plus degrees for optimal food storage – no more, no less. As for the freezer, it must be at -18 degrees.

There is usually money to be made in the long run by replacing the fridge and freezer with more energy-efficient models, i.e. energy label A. … But whoa, where did the pluses go? In March 2021, the energy labeling on white goods was changed so that it now goes from A to G again. There were too many pluses, and the board was simply wiped clean. In addition, there are now far stricter requirements for the new energy labeling and the test is far more thorough and with new test methods.

BUT, remember that it shouldn’t all be about energy savings for the sake of the wallet. If your fridge and freezer work well for reasonable electricity consumption, keep them – the same applies to your other white goods as well. The production of new white goods constitutes a large part of the total environmental and climate impact.

Many times a defrost of the freezer and a main cleaning of the fridge can make a difference in electricity consumption.

You can also fill up the fridge/freezer with bottles of water (do it when electricity if cheap!). In this way, you will increase the mass inside the fridge and it will act as a battery, storing cold in itself.

If you want to find out more about the electricity consumption of individual white goods, you can borrow an electricity meter/energy meter/sparometer – they can usually be borrowed from the library, from your energy company or you can find it in department stores or on the internet. Then you get the opportunity to check how much power your white goods use – and when you have borrowed it anyway, you can check what your Wi-Fi, your microwave and your garage door use when it is on standby.

Last but not least, a very simple tip: the fridge/freezer work brilliantly when their doors are closed…so, open them, take what you need quickly and close them again! These appliances are very energy-efficient (especially the new ones) and our tests showed that they can hold the temperature for 24 h before losing a degree…but they need to be closed! So stop having a tour of the kitchen with the door open, when preparing a sandwich!

Share your experiences

If you yourself have good advice on saving energy or good experiences with systems and apps that help you keep an eye on electricity prices, you are welcome to leave a comment below so that others can benefit from your knowledge and your experiences.

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