Summer is long gone, and the thermometer has crawled down.
Electricity prices have also fallen, but there is no indication that electricity prices this winter will be lower than last year’s record winter – quite the contrary.
This means that most Norwegians are becoming more conscious of saving on electricity – but which electricity tips are really worth following up? Can some advice do more harm than good?
TV2 spoke to Trond Bach, Enova Svarer’s energy consultant.
Obviously, there are many simple steps you can take at home to lower your electric bill—too many in some cases.
– close the door
Bach states that Norwegian homes use 55 percent of the electricity for heating.
Hot water ranks second in terms of consumption.
The first tip that can be used a lot is to turn the temperature down a bit. There’s no need to walk around the living room in jerseys all winter long. It’s not that you should wear your winter jacket indoors, Bash says, but if you put on a sweater and some warm socks, you can stand the cooler temperatures.
It also encourages to keep some rooms warmer than others, and to close the doors between these rooms.
Bedrooms, corridors and laundry rooms are rooms that do not need to be very heated. In the bathroom, you want it to be warmer, then I recommend closing the door to these rooms, so that the heat remains. He says closing the doors doesn’t cost you anything, but it saves you a lot.
Second is the hot water tank above the culprits, and here Paasche strikes a blow for the good old saver shower.
– If you don’t have an electric shower, switch to this one. And make effective use of your time in the shower — be quick, and maybe turn off the water while you shower with soap, he says.
Lighting isn’t among the things that use up the most electricity, but he still recommends changing from halogen to LED lights.
Then save 80-90 percent of bulb consumption, he says.
Electricity prices now vary from hour to hour. Bash believes that there is something, but not all, that can be gained from using electricity in the cheapest of times.
– There are other more effective procedures. If you are going to wash the cups and plates before putting them in the dishwasher, use cold water. Designed to use less electricity, the dishwasher will actually use more electricity to hand wash dishes in hot water than to run an entire machine, he says.
When it comes to the dishwasher, boiling water, and washing clothes, these are all things Bach says use so little electricity that they can be done in almost any time.
The washing machine is highly energy efficient, and consumes very little electricity, he says.
Pimples to avoid
Even if there are a number of steps you can take at home, you shouldn’t take energy savings too far.
If the temperature is below 10-15 degrees in an indoor room, say a bedroom, condensation can occur behind cabinets on walls that are not well insulated, says Bach.
This can lead to moisture damage.
– I wouldn’t recommend making it any cooler than this indoors. You don’t want moisture and mold damage inside. So going on vacation and closing everything down isn’t necessarily a good idea, he says.
One machine that actually uses a lot of electricity is the dryer.
Wearing them at times when electricity is often cheaper, at night, is still a good idea.
– When you turn on the dryer, you must be present and not sleep. Fire-risk situations can arise, he says.
The same applies to the washing machine – and here, moreover, there is no particular money to be made.
– The washing machine uses about 0.5 kW / h for a 40-degree wash. Then you can, depending on the pricing, save a pretty penny by running the machine at night instead of during the day, he says.
Andreas Handland, director of communications at If insurance, says that in the past year they have seen an increase in claims for energy savings.
– We’ve seen a number of examples where customers were more likely to have saved on electricity last winter than the previous year. This resulted in a lot of frost damage, which might have been avoided if electricity consumption had been at a more normal level, he says.
He also says the moisture damage that Bach warns is something people have been exposed to more than usual in the past year.
We also noticed an increase in the number of damages related to condensation and humidity as a result of rooms being completely without electricity/heating for longer periods, he says.
Increases in line with prices
Handeland says the insurance company is now concerned about what could happen in the winter.
– We see that some damages, especially frost, water damage and pipe fires, are increasing in line with the rise in electricity prices. He says that even if you’re not a good insured at all, it takes a situation where the house or cabin has been uninhabitable for a long time due to drying and repairs that must be done by craftsmen.
He also strongly cautions against leaving washing machines, dryers, and the like running at night.
The same applies to charging electric scooters or other things that require electricity. He adds that there is a high risk of fire associated with this, and the result of a fire can be very quickly at night when people are asleep.
Old plate ovens
Paasche at Enova asserts that old kilns can also be corrosive to the wallet.
Old thermostats often do not detect changes in room temperatures in the same way as new thermostats. He says that if the sun heats up the room, the furnace is still running at full power.
So it is recommended to replace ovens if you have old ovens.
– Some also have wifi control. Then you can manage it even if you’re not around, and you can, say, set the temperature down if you’re away, he says.
can make investments
Thus Bash asserts that there are many actions that can be taken that do not require large investments or much planning.
However, there are also some things that you can invest in, which can also have visible results.
There are some smart products, for example so-called smart energy management, that can be installed that enable, for example, heating or hot water tanks to heat up when electricity is cheaper, he says.
You can also get support from Enova for this, if you want to install this.
— If you have an old hot water boiler and it needs replacing anyway, I recommend a smart boiler that has the same function — it heats water when the electricity is at its cheapest, he says.
However, he maintains that a new hot water heater is not worth it unless the one you have is old and needs to be replaced anyway.
It will take a long time before you get your money back for such an investment, if you initially have a hot water dispenser, he says.
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