8 home energy saving solutions to slash your consumption and curve soaring costs.
Over the past year energy costs have soared and, unfortunately, are predicted to continue to do so. The CBS (National statistical office of the Netherlands) has stated that the average household will be paying 86% more for energy this year than they did in 20211. This severe increase is the cumulative effect of our current turbulent global climate, ranging from the impact of Covid-19 to the sanctions on Russian oil triggered by the invasion of Ukraine in February. All of which has clearly exposed an unhealthy dependence on unrenewable fossil fuels, a source widely recognised to no longer be a viable source of energy if we are to successfully tackle climate change.
We have reached a tipping point with regard to peak global energy prices and pressure on our environment, meaning the moment to collectively slash energy consumption is now. Local governments are recognising this too. Amsterdam exemplifies this critical shift, having this month agreed on the goal to save 15% on gas in the city and the surrounding area within a year- you can find the published report here. Reducing our energy consumption is something we can all do, and now is certainly the time to do it.
Read on to discover 8 energy saving solutions you could introduce in your home to slash your consumption.
Image Source: AKKA Architects Residential Client
1. Water Flow Restrictors
For conserving the water you use from the main plumbing system in your home, consider fitting flow regulators, such as Tap Aerators, onto your taps, shower, etc. You can also reduce the amount of water by 2 litres per flush through installing a water displacement device in the cistern of a higher flush toilet2. This is a particularly effective solution if you have older fittings.
2. Energy Efficient LED Bulbs
This is one of the simplest and most widely-accessible solutions: replace the standard light bulbs in your home with residential LEDs. LED bulbs have been proven to use at least ‘75% less energy and even last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lighting’3.
3. Annual Boiler Checks
Ensuring you have your boiler regularly checked is not only important for safety but also keeps it working as efficiently as possible and thus reduces its energy consumption costs. Regular servicing prevents the disruptive accumulation of soot within the boilers’ internal components.
4. Programmable Thermostat
If you do not have one already, you should certainly consider having a programmable thermostat paired to your existing HVAC system. This allows you to adjust and automate the heating and cooling of your home to suit your daily schedule, for example eliminating energy wastage when no one is home.
5. Adding Foil Behind Radiators
If your home does not have cavity wall insulation, this might be a particularly relevant solution for you. Placing specialist insulative silver foil down the back of a radiator has the effect of reflecting heat energy into the open space of the room as oppose to permeating through the walls.
Image Source: AKKA Architects Residential Client
6. Window Insulation Kits
Window insulation kits are an affordable solution to limit the draft coming in through your windows, which can significantly cool a room and let heat escape. There are several kinds of insulations kits on the market, such as plastic film, magnetic and reflective foil.
7. Boiling Water Tap
Having a boiling water tap installed is a great alternative for households that routinely boil water multiple times a day, such as for tea. Boiling water via kettles accumulatively wastes a lot of water and energy, however these taps are expensive (approx. €1,500) so are best considered as a long-term investment.
8. Solar panels: Renewable Energy Source
Installing a solar panel on the roof of your building is highly effective solution to offset your energy bills. As solar technology has become more cost effective, the financial returns and environmental benefits can better offset the investment in terms of the installation and the maintenance costs. Some governments even compensate you in return (see here: IamExpat).
If you are looking for more ways to make your home more sustainable, we highly recommend taking a look at our two-part series on the Sustainable Home; Part I: Improving Energy Efficiency & Part II: Improving Your Self-Sufficiency. These articles feature a range from smaller to larger scale solutions, where the more significant adjustments such as replacing your windows with double-glazed would most likely come as part of a renovation project. Although now, with inflation on the rise, might not seem like an ideal time to pursue a home renovation – it is actually more important than ever to ensure your home operates energy efficiently and sustainably. Check out our article on Navigating Construction Costs to discover how you can approach a cost- effective renovation in the current financial climate.
If you need advice about updating energy saving home solutions or you are planning on designing or renovating your home and would like some help, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.