Do you want to make serious changes to slash your electricity use by half ?
The average Irish household uses around 4,200 kWh of electricity per year. To slash that by half will require meaningful lifestyle changes… but it can be done. And it could save you thousands of Euros over the next few years. Here’s how:
Ditch the fridge-freezer: 300 kWh
A fridge-freezer typically consumes around 300 kWh per year. By unplugging it, you save this entire amount. At first, this might sound like a crazy idea. And for most people, going without refrigeration will require some diet changes. But perhaps not as extreme as you might assume. And it could even benefit your health, too.
All-Cupboard Meal Examples:
Bowl of fresh fruit, oats flakes, nuts, honey, and water. Black coffee to drink.
Salad of hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, tomato, avocado. Dressed with salt, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, and olive oil. Serve with crusty bread and olive oil. Herbal tea to drink.
Beans and rice with salt, chilli power, paprika, and freshly-ground black pepper. Water to drink.
Efficient Showers: 1036 kWh
Electric showers use a shocking amount of electricity – about 1 kWh every seven minutes! So just 21 minutes of showering per day can add up to 1095 kWh per year!
The good news is that electric showers provide a great opportunity for energy savings. Here’s how:
How to make a 96% energy saving with your shower
- Set your shower to medium power.
- Adjust the water flow down to get a comfortable temperature
- Run your shower for 15 seconds to soak yourself and your sponge in warm water
- Wash yourself
- Run the shower again for 30 seconds (warm) to get rid of the suds
- And 15 seconds (cold) to get rid of any remaining suds and close skin pores
This consumes only 0.054 kWh, versus 1.43 kWh for a 10-minute shower on full power.
Assuming a household that currently uses 3 * 7-minute high-power showers switches to the method above, the saving annual savings will be 1036 kWh per year.
A Toast to Bread – 73 kWh
A toaster uses around 0.033 kWh to toast one slice of bread. So a household eating 6 slices of toast per day will use about 73 kWh for toasting over the course of a year. Therefore, the household could save 73 kWh over the course of a year by switching from toast to bread.
Choose the right pasta shape and other cooking tips – 65 kWh
Simmering pasta for 12 minutes on an electric hob uses around 0.2 kWh. But extra-small pasta shapes cook in about half the time, for a saving of 0.1 kWh. The same applies to other foods that you boil, like potatoes. Cut potatoes up small (ideally not just in half, but in eighths or even sixteenths) to cook in half the time.
For bonus savings, turn the hob off a minute or two before your food is fully boiled. The water will retain its heat and continue cooking for a few more minutes without using extra energy.
When you drain the pot, pour the water onto a plate. This will heat your plate at no extra energy cost. You can also use a plate as a lid for the pot. This both keeps heat in and warms an additional plate for you.
Kettles are especially hard on electricity. Measure out the water you need before boiling the kettle, so you’re using no more electricity than you need to. But just be sure to cover the elements. Take the kettle off as soon as the water is hot enough for your needs. There’s no point leaving it on a rolling boil while your electricity goes up into the air as steam. Finally, once you’ve finished with the kettle, put some cold water from the tap into it to soak up the residual heat in the elements. This will pre-warm the water, so it takes less time to boil next time.
Don’t tumble dry – 390 kWh
A single tumble dryer cycle use around 5 kWh of electricity. So if you’re serious about saving electricity, the tumble dryer simply has to get the chop. A simple clothesline is the best option efficiency-wise. But if outdoor drying is simply not an option for you then:
How to dry clothes efficiently (if outdoors isn’t an option)
- Spin clothes at a high speed to remove as much water as possible
- Hang the clothes on an indoor rack or radiator
- Run a dehumidifier in the room to prevent damp
This combination uses around 75% less energy than a tumble dryer. Resulting in an annual energy saving of 390 kWh for two loads of washing per week.
Go light on the lights – 110 kWh
We’re well into the 21st century, and I hope that by now you’ve swapped incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient models. But the upgrade from CFL to LED can slash lighting energy consumption by half again.
It’s also worth taking a walk around your home to identify rooms that are using more light than needed. Are some rooms 50% or 100% brighter than they need to be? If so, swap large bright bulbs for smaller ones where possible.
Together, these changes could save you around 110 kWh per year.
Show your electric doorbell to the door – 26 kWh
An electric doorbell consumes about 26 kWh of electricity per year, just sitting idle. Replace with a knocker or an physical bell with a chord.
Electronic device downsizing – 100 kWh
Do you use a desktop computer to watch videos or films? Unplug the computer tower and use a Chromecast to play videos to the computer monitor. Or simply watch on a tablet. In general, the smaller the device, the more efficient it will be. So swap desktop computers for laptops, and laptops for tablet computers where possible.
Total saving: 2100 kWh
Equal to 50% of the average home electricity consumption in Ireland.