The objective here is to build good habits of switching electrical equipment off when not in use and making use of efficiency settings on all electrical appliances e.g., washing machines, fridges, freezers, TVs, PCs, DVDs etc.
|Washing machines, dishwashers and dryers||Fridges and freezers|
- The cycle selected on a washing machine or dishwasher should have the lowest water temperature required for the items being washed.
- A full load in the washing machine or dishwasher is more energy efficient than two half loads.
- If your washing machine, dishwasher or dryer has an economy button/reduced time–temperature, then use it whenever appropriate.
- Minimise use of the dryer, dry heavy articles separately from light articles.
- Make use of a clothes horse indoors or dry clothes outdoors when possible.
- Evaluate and adjust fridge temperature settings, keep the fridge temperature between 2–3°C and the freezer at -15°C.
- It is best to always keep the fridge and freezer as full as is reasonably possible.
- Don’t let frost build up in the freezer as this increases energy consumption. Defrost the inside of your fridge and freezer at least every 6 months.
- Don’t put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer, let it cool down first.
- Don’t leave the fridge door open for too long while getting food, for every 10–20 seconds the door is open it takes 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.
|Home entertainment and electronic equipment||Electric blankets|
- Appliances on standby can use up to 20% of the energy that they would use if on, so make sure they are fully switched off, e.g., TVs, PCs, DVDs, VCRs, printers, games consoles, satellite boxes/players/recorders and kitchen appliances etc.
- Use one large power strip for your computer, broadband modem, scanner, printer, monitor, and speakers as they can be switched on and off easily at once.
- Configure your PC/laptop, printer and scanner to ‘energy saving’ mode in which they will automatically change to the state of low energy consumption when not in use.
- Switching off the monitor saves more energy than letting the screensaver run. Animated screensavers can use more energy than the computer itself!
- You should turn off your PC/laptop whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour.
- Unplug chargers and surge protectors when not in use — monitor when phones/rechargeable batteries are fully recharged.
- Switch off all unnecessary electrical equipment and appliances at night.
- Switch on electric blankets no more than 30 minutes before you go to bed and switch it off just before you get into bed.
|Actual Energy Savings|
|Below are examples of the energy savings made during the Power of One Street campaign which worked with a number of families around the country as they reduced their energy consumption, and who were able to make significant savings by applying the energy tips and by changing their behaviour.|
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The Heffernan Family
A family of five, living in a detached, solid wall house, built in the 1970s.
Step 3: Small Power
- Energy Reduction = 20%
- CO2 Reduction = 1.4 tonnes
- Cash Saving = €332 per year
The Horler Family
A family of five, living in a detached, cavity wall house, built in 2004.
Step 3: Small Power
- Energy Reduction = 35%
- CO2 Reduction = 1.3 tonnes
- Cash Saving = €248 per year
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|Some low-cost options to save energy|
When replacing electrical equipment, appliances or electronics, try to choose the most energy-efficient ones. Even small reductions in the amount of electricity consumed daily can add up to a significant saving over their lifetime. Appliances are labelled to indicate energy consumption and are rated from A to G with A being the most efficient. The label helps you to compare how efficient each appliance is. An A-rated appliance will use about 55% of the electricity of a similarly sized appliance with a D rating. The difference in cost of an A-rated appliance compared to a lower rated appliance may be a lot lower than you think (or even zero).
When purchasing a television, consider the following; plasma televisions are the least energy efficient, followed by conventional CRT television sets. LCDs are the most efficient. Newer LED type TVs are even more efficient. Generally, for any particular technology, the larger the screen the greater the energy consumption.
Grants may be available if you are upgrading your boiler or heating controls.
For more information visit the SEAI Grants Section.