With the price of electricity at all-time highs, it’s time to save on your electricity bill. Which appliances consume the most? How to avoid it?
Although it seems that things are a bit calmer, during the first months of the year we have seen how the price of lighthas reached historical records. This price is what we pay to power companies for electricity, and it varies because the light is sold to the highest bidder. A series of negative factors such as the lack of rain and wind, which reduces the production of wind and hydraulic energy, or the temporary closure of nuclear power plants in France, which has caused them to buy electricity from us, have raised prices.
This variable price of electricity only represents 37% of the bill (the rest are taxes and subsidies to other sectors), but even so it has managed to the monthly bill rises significantly.
Spain is a country of contrasts, and in most regions it is cold in winter and hot in summer, forcing us to spend on electricity all year round, be it the stove or heating in winter, and air conditioning and fans in summer.
How can we save on the electricity bill? There are consumptions that are almost impossible to reduce, such as the refrigerator or the use of the TV or the computer. But if we can act reducing standby consumption either of the lighting of the house, and limiting appliances that consume a lot.
LED bulbs: Types and keys to save on the electricity bill
How to measure electricity consumption
For save money on electricity bill and discover the appliances that consume the most, the first thing we have to know is how electricity consumption is measured. Two factors play a role here. The electrical power needed by the device, and the time it is used. For example, the microwave requires a high electrical power but it is only used for a few minutes, so its expense is moderate. The fridge requires less power than the microwave but it is on 24 hours a day, so it costs more.
For this reason, electrical consumption is measured based on the power required by the appliance, measured in Watts (W), Kilowatts (KW) or Megawatts (MW) and the time it is used, measured in hours. This gives us the unit of electrical energy, Kilowatt – hour (KWh)which is the energy needed to supply a power of 1 Kilowatt for one hour. A Kilowatt is 1000 watts and a Megawatt is 1,000,000 watts.
Therefore, if we have an oven with a power consumption of 1000 watts and we use it for one hour, it will have consumed 1 KWh.
How much does an appliance consume?
With this information, we can now calculate what a specific appliance consumes. We simply have to look for the manual or a label on the product, where it indicates the power it requires to work.
Here we can see how this old TV requires 48W, that is, in an hour it will consume 0.048 kWh.
It should be borne in mind that most household appliances work at different power. For example, a blender can work at low, high and turbo speed. Normally the label reflects the maximum power, if the lowest option is used, it will consume less.
Many everyday appliances already include energy efficiency sticker required by the European Union. This type of card indicates the consumption for a year of the appliance, measured in KWh per year:
If we want to calculate what you consume in a month, divided by 12. Once we know the consumption of an appliancewe can roughly calculate what it costs us.
Take, for example, the LG22M47VQ-P monitor, which according to its file has a consumption of 20W. In an hour it will consume 0.020 kWh. Suppose we use it for six hours a day. In a day it will consume 0.020 x 6 = 0.120 kWh. In a 30-day month, 0.120 x 30 = 3.6 kWh.
If you want to measure the exact consumption you can use an instant electricity meter. It is a meter that plugs into a socket and measures the electricity consumed by anything you plug into that socket.
if we pay €0.117 for each KWh (current average price), using the monitor for a month, which we remember consumed 3.6 kWhrepresents an expense of 3.6 x €0.117 = €0.42 per month. It seems like a small amount, but it is a device that consumes little, and consumption is only a small part of what we pay on the electricity bill. As can be seen in this bill, only €33.96 of the €86.74 paid per month corresponds to consumption, barely 39%. The rest are taxes, equipment rental and the billed power:
There are several factors that influence the price of electricity. One of the most important is the contracted or billed power, which, as we can see in the previous image, adds up to almost 50% of the bill. The contracted power is what we can consume at the same time. For example, if the contracted power is 3.45 KW, we cannot use electrical appliances that exceed that power at the same time, because the leads will jump. The more contracted power we have, the more we pay even if we do not use electricity. In return, we can use more appliances at the same time.
On your bill you can see the contracted power. Calculate the consumption of all your electrical appliances and light bulbs that you use at the same time, and if you see that it is much lower than the contracted power, surely it is convenient for you to lower it. There are sections of power that you can go up or down. The lower it is, the less you will pay, but sometimes you will lose weight if you start several powerful appliances at the same time, such as the oven, microwave and washing machine. Keep in mind that both lowering and raising the contracted power costs money, and you can only change it once a year.
He kWh price It depends on the type of rate you have, and the type of accountant. The new ones digital counters They let you know what hours you consume, so they apply a variable KWh price throughout the day: more expensive during lunch and dinner hours, and cheaper at dawn. Many people still have analog counter, which measures consumption but not time, so here an average price per KWh is applied, which is the same throughout the day. On this website you can see the variable price of KWh, in real time, useful if you have a digital meter. The type of meter is the responsibility of the electric company and cannot be required.
How much do the appliances consume on standby?
These are the appliances that consume the most
We have seen how to calculate the consumption of a specific appliance, but it is also interesting to discover cWhat are the appliances that consume the most. This way we will know which ones should be limited during daily use, or which one will weigh more on the electricity bill.
He Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) has published the report on energy consumption in Spain in 2016, and in it we can see the appliances that consume the mostin every home. It is the average of all those existing in a house, taking into account that on average there is also more than one television or computer. It helps us to know which ones have more weight in the electricity bill:
we see how refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers account for almost 60% of the cost of household appliances. Therefore it is sensible to buy a low consumption model, when we have to replace it, to reduce the electricity bill.
Tips to reduce the consumption of household appliances
Save on the electricity bill does not depend only on limitthe appliances that consume the most. There are also other ways to reduce spending.
Reduces the contracted power
We have seen how theThe contracted power marks a good part of the price of the monthly electricity bill. Calculate the total consumption of the electrical appliances that you use at the same time, and if it is much less than the contracted power, lower it, calling the electric company. Each extra KW of contracted power can mean more than €4 on the bill for the month.
In the table above it can be seen how the standby (what electrical appliances consume while they are plugged in, even if you don’t use them) means about 8% of spending. To eliminate standby, you have to unplug the electrical appliances, an operation that can be difficult because sometimes the plugs are in almost inaccessible places, such as behind a bookstore, or in a hole. It is much more practical to connect electrical appliances to a power strip or thief that has a switch. So you can disconnect all at the same time. You can buy some of these power strips at a discount using this Tuandco coupon.
There are also smart plugs that are turned off with a remote control. So you don’t have to bend down or get behind cabinets to unplug them:
Consume in the cheapest hours
if you have a digital counter that rate according to the hour, see the variable prices of the KWh, in real time, and use the appliances that consume the most (the washing machine, the dishwasher) at the cheapest hours. But do not get obsessed with the subject, because occasional use is barely noticeable on the bill. For example, Running a low-consumption washing machine at night only saves three euro cents.
Saving mode or low consumption
Many household appliances and electronic devices, including the computer, the washing machine or the mobile, have saving or low consumption modes, which are usually sufficient most of the time. Use them whenever you can.
If you spend little time at home during the day or can afford to run the washing machine or dishwasher overnight, consider hiring the Night Rate, which is cheaper.
Gas, better than electricity
Some household appliances, such as the kitchen, can run on gas or electricity. If you can choose gas, it is more energy efficient: it costs less to obtain the same energy.
Look for AAA or A+ energy efficiency
Most appliances are already sold with energy efficiency stickers. Always opt for those who are AAA either A+. They maintain higher efficiency with lower consumption.
Tricks to save with the new hourly electricity bill