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Taking measures

Energy reduction in the household (part 1)


Admittedly: Energy economy bulbs, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and printers are more expensive than conventional energy hogs. But after a few years, the extra effort has paid off, because they help save energy, the electricity would be reduced immediately.

A rake example: 10 cents per kilowatt hour are spent by the about 20 cents for the acquisition of the more expensive equipment which the consumer pays for every kilowatt hour of current from the electrical outlet. Considering, however, that with an equipment useful to the energy reduction about 10 cents are of benefit to kilowatt hour ever saved, the balance is positive for the consumer.


Consider: A four person household with an electricity consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours in the year which completely converts to energy reduction equipment with the time can reduce his cost of electricity from 800 euros to 400 euros in the year. In turn he must use the half for the acquisition of the more expensive energy reduction equipment of these 400 euros, he has 200 euros nevertheless more on average in the housekeeping money with that, however.


But it is not necessary to replace all of the same conventional appliances with energy saving devices, even with small measures can already achieve significant savings.

So about 115 euros can alone be economized every year in the housekeeping money by exhibiting the stand-by peration at a technical equipment with an average family. Furthermore whoever invests about 6 euros for the acquisition of an energy economy bulb economizes more than 80 euros over the life time of the lamp. The savings can be optimized with the replacement of an old refrigerator with a highly efficient device: about 200 € can be saved.


Energy reduction in the household (part 2)


Defrost freezers


Through regular defrosting the freezer the energy eating ice crust can be prevented. This causes less effort and is faster than the usual delayed rescue operation if the door of the freezer doesn't close in front of ice any more.


Renew freezers


Through technical improvements in the electricity consumption of freezers in the last 20 years was reduced by about 40 percent. In many households, however, are still devices that are more than ten years old and shrinking household budget tremendously by the increased power consumption.. Whoever decides to choose a new refrigerator or freezer should be especially careful, because many cheap units have only a thin insulating layer and and are thus more expensive consuming more power. So the putative bargain can become an expensive mistake in the long run.


Use freezers carefully 

A household can hardly do without a freezer nowadays. The electricity consumption of such a device can be reduced easily with attentiveness. In principle the freezer should be opened only briefly so that the temperature doesn't rise and energy must be used to return to the real cooling temperature again. Food cooled down and packed well should only be frozen. The best location for a freezer is a cool, dry and well-ventilated room. The device should be cleaned at least once a year, if it must be defrosted before depends on the freezer. Information about this are the instructions for use. Foods should be refrigerated at 5-7 degrees in the freezer a temperature of -18 degrees is ideal. Freezer-chests (?) by the way consume less power than freezer-cupboards (?).  A refrigerators- freezers combination has the highest energy consumption.


Energy reduction in the household (part 3)

Cooking and baking
Fine recipes for energy saving.


Energy reduction is like seasoning: With little to reach a lot! You can lower costs very easily and without great effort in the kitchen.


Small tricks, great effect: Current economizing at the stove.

Gas and induction herd has a lower energy consumption than another herd generally. Whoever cooks on a current stove nevertheless can lower costs consciously. E.g. take care that the pot isn't smaller than the hotplate and use lids when cooking. Even preheating the oven isn`t necessary.


Less cooking water saves energy.

Primarily potatoes and vegetables can be prepared also with little water in the closed pot. Heating up then goes faster. You should switch over to a lower step to the on time, too. So prepare your meal more economically, and spare valuable vitamins.


A pressure cooker is worth the money quickly.

For dishes with long cooking time is worth cooking with a pressure cooker, for example, in rolls or stews. The cooking time is shortened, vitamins are preserved - and you can save up to 60% of electricity!

Use the stove optimally - and save energy.

Use the place in the oven as well as possible. Convection ovens offer up to four levels - you can bake a cake, cook a casserole, cook a roast at the same time. The pre-heating in baking and cooking in the oven usually is not necessary - except for bread and pastries such as puff pastry or biscuit types. Without pre-heating you can save up to 20% energy!

Microwave: Efficiency and pleasure on the same wavelength.

Use the microwave for small portions: You heat up small ready-to-serve meals and plate portions more energy economizing in the microwave than on the stove plate! And this in three to four minutes. The food should be distributed as flatly as possible on the plate so that it is warmed fast and evenly.


Little equipments relieve stove and oven. And saves power.

Use little equipment and leave stove and oven exhibited. Thus in many activities in the kitchen you can lower the electricity consumption significantly. Heat up tea water in the water cooker rather than on the stove plate. And bake up `Broetchen´ (rolls?) on the toaster instead in the oven. By that you even save up to 70% electricity.


Energy reduction in the household (part 4)

Secret current eaters

by Ulrich Neumann


Much equipment wastes large current amounts in the so-called system standby mode. Experts assume that 17 billion kilowatt hours are allotted to the neutral losses of electronic equipments in the private households every year. If we count also the fact that even office automation systems are kept standby around the clock, the volume is even 22 billion kilowatt hours. This corresponds to an annual performance of approximately two and a half nuclear power stations and causes annual costs of at least four billion euros after valuations of the department of the environment.

The current eaters on the trace

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research has measured it. In the order of the EU commission the electricity consumption was found out in the context of a field study carried out in twelve EU countries in 100 households. The measuring was carried out for 14 days and contained equipment mainly from the areas of entertainment electronics, home appliances, lights as well as private office equipment. A consumption profile distributed over the day of the households was found out. After that the average system standby consumption of the households was at 153 kilowatt hours in the year. However, the consumption is higher because the authors of the study had to fill that it wasn't possible due to the fullness to include all equipment.

System standby and "bill end"

The high electricity consumption for the system standby mode goes primarily on the account of old equipment like tube television sets, videorecorders or HiFi plants. But also newer equipment like digital picture-frames or set top boxes frequently has a high consumption in standby. It is annoying that many devices are not provided by the manufacturer with an on / off switch or can be connected in a power saving mode. This is especially true for the routers and modems telephone and data networks, but also some set-top boxes. But even if equipment can be exhibited by switches, this doesn't mean that it also is separated from the power supply system. Digital picture-frames or external computer loudspeaker boxes frequently draw current also after switching off. The same applies to older battery chargers of mobile telephones which still use up current then, too, if the loading up process is finished. These devices are equipped with a power supply which changes the thorough 230 volt voltage into a low voltage from five to twelve volts. If the shutdown is operated, the power supply responsible for the low voltage gets separated while furthermore the 230 volt voltage flows into the power supply and is changed in useless warmth.

System standby consumption below a watt

On initiative of the EU commission a guideline has been in strength since January 1st 2010, to limit the power of electric and electronic household and office appliances in standby mode to a maximum of one watt. Measurements at distributors have shown that the industry largely meets the legal requirements. After measuring of the Karlsruhe institute for resource efficiency and energy strategies it still comes to transgressions of the legal specifications at digital picture-frames. When buying a new unit you should pay attention on corresponding details in the operating instructions in any case.