We tend to spend a little more money around Christmas time. However, high energy costs are curbing the mood to buy at the moment. But with a few clever tips, you can save energy over the holidays. Then there is more money for gifts.
The household in particular can turn out to be a real energy guzzler. To prevent things from getting that far, Veit Mürz, savings expert at the German cashback portal Shoop.de, gives his five savings tips for an energy-efficient Christmas celebration.
When all family members are at home at Christmas, the bathroom can consume a lot of water and energy. In addition to the well-known tips, such as taking shorter and colder showers, a lot of energy can be saved with an energy-saving shower head. This uses less water per minute than with conventional shower heads. According to Stiftung Warentest, this saves 700 euros per year. The savings tip also works with a rain shower head.
In the cold season, of course, the heating is turned on. That gets expensive if you forget to turn the heating down again before you leave for your Christmas visit. Programmable thermostats, which can be controlled via cell phone, for example, offer an ideal solution for this. In this way, the heating can only be switched on again shortly before you arrive.
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A few tricks can also be used to make better use of energy when preparing Christmas dinner. A kettle offers advantages over a saucepan. Pressure cookers with a temperature display work even more efficiently: They indicate when the heat supply on the stove can be switched off. Thanks to a sealing ring on the lid, the heat stays in the pot and the food is prepared using the residual heat.
Almost 30 million households in Germany have a Christmas tree at home. If you look for LED lights when buying fairy lights, you save around 80 percent electricity compared to conventional light bulbs.
With the help of radio-controlled sockets, electronic devices can be completely switched off via mobile phone or remote control. This avoids the stand-by mode. Because it also costs money in the long run.
Those who rely on LEDs for Christmas tree lighting are doing the right thing. Your energy bill will be even lower if you switch all of your lighting to LED. Anyone who is unsure about the product choice should go to a shop that offers advice.
There are also numerous ways to reduce your electricity bill.
Not only the energy class of the refrigerator determines the consumption, the device must also be used correctly. Experts advise:
This reduces costs and has an additional effect: you can save up to 48 kilograms of CO2 per year.
The same applies to the washing machine. 90 degree washing is a thing of the past. Washing at 40 instead of 60 degrees saves 45 percent energy and protects your clothes at the same time. In addition, the drum should also be really full. According to the Öko-Institut, partial loading increases energy consumption by around 50 percent. By the way: “Eco programs” on washing machines take much longer, but overall they use less energy. On the other hand, experts advise against short wash programmes.
If you also want to save a lot of energy, it is best to do without the dryer. According to calculations by the consumer advice center, a two-person household saves electricity costs of around 100 euros a year.
Smartphones, laptops, electric toothbrushes – they all need energy every day and need to be charged accordingly. But even when the batteries are full again, many charging cables remain stuck in the socket. One mistake: Because even if no device is being charged, current continues to flow.
This is relatively little, but with several chargers it quickly adds up. According to the Federal Environment Agency, four power packs consume an average of 175 kWh per year – that’s almost 100 euros per year. If you add televisions, printers, digital hard drives and other things to this in standby mode, the unnecessary costs continue to rise.
Socket strips can help. At the push of a button, they interrupt the flow of electricity or switch it off themselves when it falls below a certain threshold – for example with devices in standby mode.