Everyone can do something to reduce electricity consumption and personal greenhouse gas emissions. And it can be done by simple means. The 16 energy-saving tips show exactly how this works and can be implemented in everyday life. The Rastatt municipal utility also provides tips on how to save energy.
Tip 1: Lower room temperature
The simplest and most effective way to save heating energy is to lower the room temperature. For every one degree Celsius lowered, about six percent of energy can be saved. Sometimes rooms are too overheated. Sufficient temperatures are 20 to 22 degrees in the kitchen and living rooms; 22 to 24 degrees in the bathroom, 16 to 18 degrees in the bedroom; 16 degrees in the basement rooms and 22 degrees in the children's room.
Tip 2: Lower the temperature in the heating system at night
Many boilers or heating systems allow the temperature to be lowered overnight. However, to prevent mold growth, the drop in room temperature overnight should not exceed three to four degrees. This is achieved by extending or shortening the shut-off times. A night setback is particularly useful in older buildings that are poorly insulated or have poorer thermal insulation. Depending on the building and heating system, savings of five to ten percent are possible.
Tip 3: Set the thermostat correctly
Most thermostats today have a scale from one to five and can be controlled manually. One stands for about twelve degrees and five for about 28 degrees. The distance between two levels is thus around four degrees. Important to know: The room will not warm up faster if the thermostatic valve is turned up fully to five. Instead, there is a risk of forgetting to turn the thermostatic valve down again as soon as the sensible room temperature is reached. Energy is thus wasted unnecessarily.
Tip 4: Insulate line pipes
Not only is it mandatory under the Building Energy Act (GEG) to insulate the accessible line pipes, it also makes economic and energy sense. Depending on the heating water temperature and the average pipe diameter, energy losses can amount to as much as 250 kilowatt hours per running meter. Good insulation can reduce these losses by 70 to 90 percent. Good insulation is about as thick as the diameter of the pipe.
Tip 5: Hydraulic balancing and correct adjustment of the heating curve
Tip 6: Proper ventilation
Every thermal bridge in the surface of a building represents a weak point. It is therefore important to reduce heat loss to the outside. One weak point is windows that are tilted during the cold season. These cause the immediate walls around the windows to cool down more. In addition, the ventilation effect is very sluggish and it takes a long time for the entire air content of a room to be exchanged. In the end, it consumes less energy to heat up cold air than to warm up cooled walls. Therefore, the tip: Provide fresh air briefly and by means of shock and cross ventilation.
Tip 7: Do not block radiators (niches)
In order for the heating current to pass unhindered to the air in the room, it is sensible and necessary that the radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains. A minimum distance of 30 centimeters should be maintained between the radiator and furniture. Curtains should also end above the radiators and not reach the floor. All this prevents heat from accumulating and being released into the room.
Tip 8: Insulate radiator niches
In buildings from the 60s and 70s, heating niches are predominantly encountered. Due to their design, these have a lower wall thickness and thus a lower thermal resistance. This means that a comparatively large amount of energy is lost over this area. But: Subsequent insulation with insulating mats is also possible. These can be fitted by the customer.
Tip 9: Reduce hot water consumption
In most households, domestic hot water and heating water are provided by the same boiler. Thus, the consumption of heated service water has a direct impact on the total heat consumption of the house. Bathing once with 150 liters of water requires around four to five kilowatts or 0.4 to 0.5 cubic meters of natural gas. For showering, only about a third. But here, too, even more energy can be saved through water-saving heads and shorter shower times.
Tip 10: Set water temperature correctly
With an instantaneous water heater, whether electric or gas, energy consumption can be reduced. If the hot water flow rate is high enough, it is sufficient to set the temperature of the instantaneous water heater to 55 degrees. With a previously set temperature of 60 degrees, energy savings of around ten percent can thus be achieved.
Tip 11: Economical household appliances
Anyone who wants to buy a new household appliance, such as an oven, refrigerator, freezer, washing machine or vacuum cleaner, should make sure that the appliance does not consume energy unnecessarily. It is recommended to buy appliances of energy class A+++.
A good overview can be found here:
Tip 12: Ventilation systems help save energy
Proper ventilation is necessary to prevent mold in apartments. However, thermal energy is lost during ventilation. Ventilation systems help to capture this energy and supply fresh air. At the same time, they remove moisture from the room air and supply fresh outside air. In new buildings, ventilation systems are a necessary component for meeting energy-saving requirements. But they can also be retrofitted in existing buildings.
Tip 13: Use LEDs for light
In an average household, lighting accounts for around nine percent of electricity costs. In older lighting elements, a large proportion of the energy used is converted into heat and only a small proportion into light. For example, earlier incandescent bulbs converted around 95 percent of the energy into heat and only around 5 percent into light. With modern LED bulbs this is exactly the opposite. Here, 90 percent or more of the energy is converted into light.
Tip 14: Harness the power of the sun
The sun sends as much energy to the earth in one hour as the world consumes in one year. By using photovoltaic elements, the energy of the sun's rays can be converted into electricity. A flat rate of about 1,000 kilowatts per kilowatt hour of peak power per year is achieved. Whether the roof is suitable and how large the yield can be, can be seen on the page of the LUBW.
Tip 15: Solar thermal energy - heat from the sun's rays
In addition to electricity, heat can also be generated from solar energy. Especially in new buildings, solar thermal energy offers a sensible and financially advantageous alternative in the area of heating support and hot water heating. However, the use of solar thermal energy for heating water can also make sense in existing buildings. BAFA subsidizes the installation of solar collectors. The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control provides an overview of the subsidy programs.
Tip 16: Avoid air conditioning
Especially on hot summer days, people like to switch on the air conditioner. However, air conditioners have an increased energy demand and lead to higher electricity costs. If you still don't want to do without air conditioning, you should opt for the highest efficiency class A+. It is easier and more cost-effective to ventilate at night or in the morning. In addition, rooms should be darkened during the course of the day. To avoid sitting in the dark, blinds, shutters, curtains or even shutters with narrow light slits are suitable.