Energy costs and consumer prices are climbing. How can consumers save electricity at home? Which devices are power guzzlers? An expert from Caritas gives tips that are worthwhile.

At the turn of the year, countless electricity suppliers increase their prices. Rising energy costs are causing problems for many people. A representative of the “electricity savings check” from the Caritas Association Goslar explains how and where electricity can be saved in the household with simple means. And why Christmas lights are possible.

When baking, for example, users can do without preheating and, for example, place rolls directly in the cold oven. “It might take five minutes longer, but it saves electricity,” says electricity-saving helper Sascha Strickroth. If you take your pizza out of the freezer half an hour beforehand, you will also shorten the baking time. When cooking, the expert advises: Put the lid on the pot! That saves about a third of the energy. And: “Boil the water for pasta or rice in the kettle beforehand.”

If the refrigerator is more than ten years old, you should think about buying a new, energy-efficient appliance. But not everyone can afford that. It generally helps to use a refrigerator thermometer to check that the device is set correctly. The optimal refrigerator temperature is seven degrees, says Strickroth. For a wheel with a scale from 0 to 6, the optimal value is around 3. Another tip: It makes sense to pack the fridge as full as possible because that stores the cold better.

Many TV sets are automatically set to the highest performance. “That eats up a lot of electricity,” warns the expert. Using Eco mode saves around 30 percent. Alternatively, he advises reducing the screen brightness. In addition, when the television is not in use, it should be completely disconnected from the power supply. The power-saving helper recommends multiple plugs that can be switched off for this purpose. Standby mode should also be avoided for receivers, Playstations, music systems and other devices. “A single household can save about 20 euros a year.” Families correspondingly more.

Some washing machines also have an eco-saving program. “What eats up energy is the heating process,” explains the expert. According to Strickroth, you can wash at 40 instead of 60 degrees. In some households, the washing machine runs very often, but not always with a full load. “Here, too, the rule applies that you only wash when the machine is full.” The same applies to the dryer. “If you can, you should dry your laundry outside or in the basement and not use the device at all.”

If you still use light bulbs or halogen lamps, you should switch to LED lamps. “In comparison, they only consume around ten percent of the energy,” says the power-saving helper. Even after the change, the following applies: When leaving the room, switch off the light. “Even energy-saving lamps use a bit of electricity, which adds up over time.”

Basically, it is cheaper to use the dishwasher than to wash by hand. To do this, however, it must be fully loaded, according to the expert. You can also choose the savings program. “It runs half an hour longer, but the device doesn’t get that hot.” That saves a few kilowatt hours.” If you can’t fill your dishwasher, you can let hot water into the sink in the morning, let the dishes soak during the day and wash off in the evening. “You don’t have to run a dishwasher for an hour and a half for three plates.”

“Christmas is part of it,” says Strickroth. “He recommends using new, energy-saving fairy lights with LED technology. “They only have an output of four watts, and you can leave them on for eight hours a day with a clear conscience.” Anyone who wants to save can use a timer, for example.