By taking small steps at home, you can save energy and money and help to protect the climate by reducing your emissions.
Households generate roughly a quarter of all direct CO2 emissions produced in the EU today. And did you know that three-quarters of the energy used by homes across the EU is for heating and cooling?
Heating & cooling
- Don’t overheat your water. Set your boiler at a maximum temperature of 60°C to make it run efficiently and hygienically.
- Use the thermostat wisely. Did you know that your house won't get warm faster if you turn the thermostat up? This only influences the maximum temperature in your house.
- Close your curtains or shutters on hot days to reduce the sunlight entering your home.
- Keep cool with a fan. Fans use much less energy than air conditioners.
- Replace single-glazed windows with double-glazed ones. Double-glazed windows lose 50-70% less heat.
- Can't install double-glazing? Thick curtains or removable insulating window panels will reduce the flow of cold air into your home.
- Draught can be a big source of heat loss. You can save energy by sealing gaps around windows, or installing draught-proofing beneath doors. Even adding covers to keyholes and letterboxes can make a difference!
- Insulate hot water tanks, central heating pipes and wall cavities. If you can't install cavity wall insulation, fit insulating radiator reflectors on the wall behind your radiators.
In the kitchen
- Buy energy efficient appliances. In the EU, many everyday products such as fridges, dishwashers and ovens carry an EU energy label to help you choose an energy efficient model. The rating ranges from A+++ (most efficient) to G (least efficient). An A+++ dishwasher uses as little as half the energy used by a D-rated one, for example.
- Check your oven is properly sealed. If you have to replace your oven, go for an A-rated model – this could save you around €200 over its lifetime compared to a D-rated one.
- Avoid washing dishes by hand if you have a dishwasher. Modern dishwashers use less water and energy – and most have an ‘Eco’ mode – but only use it when it’s full!
- Only boil as much water as you need. If you have only left the hot water in a kettle for a few minutes, you don’t need to re-boil it.
- Fill up your washing machine. Don’t do a wash if you only have a few items of clothing. Wait until you have a full load – but don’t exceed the maximum permitted weight.
- Choose the lowest suitable temperature. These days, detergents are so efficient that they get most clothes clean at low temperatures.
- Skip the pre-wash cycle if your clothes are not very dirty.
- Avoid using a tumble dryer if possible. One tumble dryer cycle can use twice as much energy as an average washing machine cycle.
- Replace incandescent or halogen light bulbs with more energy efficient ones. One LED light bulb could save you over €100 in electricity costs over its lifetime of about 20 years.
- Switch off your devices. Internet-connected devices like smart TVs, printers and games consoles from 2016 or earlier can use up to 80 watts of electricity when on standby mode. You could use a single multi-socket power strip to switch them all off easily.
- Ask your energy supplier about installing a smart meter. Smart metering systems for gas and electricity could save you 3% of your energy use.
- Go for green power. Most energy suppliers offer 'green' electricity tariffs, which support the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. If your home has its own roof, consider fitting solar panels to generate some of your electricity.