• Orla Grant
  • 3 min read

The Government of Ireland recently launched a new energy awareness campaign asking people to ‘Reduce Your Use’.

Adjusting thermostat to 20 degrees

SEAI is fully supporting this campaign by providing a range of supports to lessen the impacts of rising energy prices on homes and businesses.

While we are always encouraging people to use less energy and renewable sources where possible, the war in Ukraine has prompted an urgent appeal to use less.

We’re sharing five ways you can immediately start making an impact on your own energy use and subsequent costs in your daily life. This can make a significant difference because approximately 25% of our overall energy use is in the home.

1. Adjust your heating

Turn the thermostat down to 20°C in your living areas. The temperature in hallways and bedrooms should be cooler, ideally between 15-18°C. You can reduce your heating bill by 10% by lowering your room temperature by just one degree.

Make sure you’ve scheduled the times that your heating comes on and off so that it fits with your daily routine. Radiators will continue to heat your home for some time after the heating is turned off. Try turning on your heating 30 minutes before you need it. Then turn it off 30 minutes before you don’t need it anymore.

More details on heating

2. Understand your appliances

Many of us don’t know which appliances use the most electricity and this can be a simple way to keep your use of electricity as low as possible. Be smart about when and how often you use them. A good rule of thumb is: if it makes things hot, then it uses a lot of electricity. For example, electric showers, kettles, and hair dryers.

Keep in mind that electricity is at highest demand between 7am-9am in the morning and 5pm-7pm at night. Electricity is at peak production during these times and is typically more carbon intensive. Try to use electricity outside these times. Many new appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines have delay start timers and this can help avoid peak time usage.

Read our top tips for appliances

3. Daily travel

Transport is the largest source of energy consumption in Ireland. The number one thing you can do to reduce your transport emissions is to walk or cycle where possible, or use public transport. The most energy efficient journey is the one you do not make in the car.

The National Transport Authority recently announced a range of fare reductions on Dublin Bus, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, Bus Éireann, TFI Local Link service and Iarnród Éireann’s services. This will make public transport more affordable while using less energy compared to individual car journeys.

Watch our video on reducing your energy use in transport

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4. Drive more efficiently

To save on fuel costs and emissions, you could carpool for more journeys.

If you need to drive, then driving style can also impact on energy use. Here are some top driving tips for improving efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions:

  • Drive between 65-80 km/hr where safe and practical
  • Drive smoothly- harsh acceleration and braking can use up to 30% more fuel
  • Avoid idling
  • Remove unnecessary weights e.g. roof boxes, bike racks
  • Keep tyres inflated to the correct pressure
  • Use air conditioning sparingly
  • Keep your engine regularly maintained

5. What is your workplace doing?

If you think any of these suggestions could be implemented where you work, direct management to the SEAI website. Here we have resources for businesses of all sizes and sector to reduce their energy use and costs.

A great place to start is our free online learning resource, the SEAI Energy Academy, to learn about energy use and energy efficiency for businesses.

Read more

While the energy crisis can seem overwhelming at times, we can make an impact with our individual actions that reduce our energy requirements and the costs associated with them.

Orla Grant | Communications Content Specialist

Orla is a member of the Digital Marketing team and creates digital content that tells the stories of sustainable energy initiatives happening in Ireland. She writes blogs and case studies and produces SEAI’s podcast, videos and animations. Orla has several years’ experience in corporate communications and has worked for clients and in-house across consulting, tourism, tax and construction sectors.