8 tips to save energy and spend less on gas or electricity bills

We have started the autumn with news that tells us about inflation that is at its highest levels compared to the last 40 years, with a CPI variation rate of 8.9% in Spain, according to INE data for September. Much of this has to do with the increase in the prices of energy products, with an annual variation of 22.4%.

At the same time, we are all aware of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to ensure that the temperature of our planet does not rise by more than 1.5ºC by the end of the century, and to continue working to achieve neutrality of carbon in 2050. These objectives are, without a doubt, a global priority, but what can we do from our homes to contribute to sustainability and, at the same time, control our energy expenditure and save money?

Many families have already taken steps to reduce consumption in the face of rising bills.

Many families have already taken steps to reduce consumption in the face of rising bills.

To offer useful answers to this difficult question, the first step would be to be aware of our carbon footprint, a measurement that indicates the CO2 emissions that each one of us generates in our daily activities, with gestures as simple as watching television (which supposes an emission of 35kg of CO2) or take a daily shower (109kg of CO2). To find out our impact, BBVA has incorporated a carbon footprint calculator into its app that also reports personalized energy saving tips and thus improves our financial health.

In order to mitigate our footprint, save money and save energy, we can consider carrying out many actions in our day to day life. Here we suggest a few.

1. Bet on LED bulbs

With the current rise in energy prices, every gesture counts. Taking simple measures inside the home can mean, according to the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, reduce the costs of bills from 150 to 800 euros. One of the measures that can help achieve this saving is to use LED bulbs, which prevent the equivalent of 71.04 kg of CO2 (which is the unit of measurement used to calculate the global impact of all greenhouse gases , showing its carbon dioxide equivalence) per year reaches our atmosphere.

1 kg of CO2 = Travel 923.52 km in meter

2. The use of efficient appliances

Another interesting measure is to invest in appliances with an efficient energy rating, which, although they involve a higher initial outlay, throughout their useful life more than compensate for this extra cost, reducing up to 81.7 kg of CO2 per year.

A refrigerator with energy label B saves €130 per year compared to one with label D

3. Small gestures more efficient

When doing daily activities such as cooking or washing clothes, we can also save energy by making small, more efficient decisions, such as taking advantage of the residual heat left by the ceramic hobs, giving priority to the microwave over the oven (with this we reduce the energy consumption), using the energy saving modes of the appliances, the ECO or cold program washing, avoiding pre-washing or intelligently controlling the lighting we need.

4. Regulate the temperature of the fridge

We usually associate the cold with better preserved foods. But the truth is that lower temperatures, beyond a certain point, do not improve conservation, although they do produce an increase in energy consumption (approximately 5% for each degree). Therefore, the best recommendation is to keep the temperature of the fridge at 5ºC and the freezer at -18ºC. With this we will gain in energy efficiency and save money, since it has been calculated that the refrigerator can account for more than 30% of the electricity cost of a home, being connected 24 hours a day.

5. Control the temperature of the home

Often, the will to try to compensate for the outside climate produces a strange paradox: we end up being hot in winter and cold in summer. Ideally, we always have the heating thermostat between 19 and 21ºC, in the winter months, and the air conditioning between 24 and 26ºC, in summer. Each degree that we add to these margins, either above or below, ends up increasing energy consumption between 7 and 11%.

6. Every drop counts

Water is related to most of the impacts of the climate emergency such as droughts, floods or heat waves. Making responsible use of this resource will not only help to reverse them but also save money, even more so when we use energy to dispose of it at a certain temperature. Incorporating habits such as showering instead of bathing into our routine can save more than 70,000 liters of water per year.

7. Have good insulation

In Spain, more than 80% of buildings have a low or very low energy rating. One of the reasons is that the old installations of doors and windows, predominant in the housing stock, are usually inefficient when it comes to insulating us from the outside temperature. This ends up affecting our energy bills. Although, initially, undertaking a reform of this type in the home may involve an additional cost, in the medium and long term, it has several advantages. Not only do we improve comfort, but we also reduce expenses and reduce our carbon footprint by 45.33 kg.

8. The best option, renewable energies

Renewable energy sources, in addition to reducing CO2 emissions to zero, do not run out when we consume them, but are renewed naturally. They also favor the use of local energy resources, generate employment and reduce energy dependence on other countries. By betting on renewables we can stop emitting up to 493.33 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Installation of renewable energies in the home

Installation of renewable energies in the home

The current context is ideal to undertake a rehabilitation that reduces the energy consumption of the building in which we live. There are deductions and direct aid that can reach 80% of the cost of a comprehensive rehabilitation, if a reduction in consumption of 60% is achieved. This also entails significant savings in electricity and gas bills. BBVA has financing products exclusively designed to improve energy efficiency at home and in homeowners’ associations, in addition to offering support and facilitating the management of grants and subsidies.

With the current rise in energy prices, every gesture counts. Taking simple measures inside the home can mean a decrease in the amount of bills that would go from 150 to 800 euros.

These simple measures will not only help us to improve sustainability and face the possible escalation of inflation, without affecting our quality of life. They also provide much-needed relief to the 99% of the world’s population who live in places where air quality guidelines are not met, according to the WHO. Building a more habitable planet is everyone’s responsibility, and the first decisions, and often the most important ones, start at home.

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