11 Tips on How to Save Electricity in Winter

Lifestyle & Travel ♦ Published: September 14, 2022; 12:20 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian government has set a goal to reduce its current electricity consumption by 11 percent. To accomplish this, the Austrian government recently presented 11 measures for private households.

The Austrian government recently presented 11 measures for private households to reduce electricity consumption. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons; Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA, CC BY 2.0

Austria has set itself the goal of saving 11 percent of its current electricity consumption. In order to achieve this, the Austrian government recently presented 11 measures for private households, which are intended to make the savings possible through small changes in behaviour, simple actions and, above all, without having to spend a lot of money.

The 11 tips are divided into the categories heating, hot water, electricity consumption and mobility, which are the biggest energy consumers in normal households. The average energy consumption of an Austrian household is 50% for heating, 30% for mobility such as driving, and 10% each for electricity and hot water.

As a first measure, the government proposes to lower the room temperature. Since heating uses a lot of energy, it makes sense to keep an eye on the thermometer. Lowering the room temperature by 1 °C can already save six percent of energy consumption. Lowering the temperature by 2 °C can save up to twelve percent.

Furthermore, it is recommended to seal the windows within one's own 4 walls and to ventilate energy-efficiently. 20-25 percent of a building's heat loss is due to leaky windows and incorrect ventilation.

It is important to ventilate intermittently instead of tilting windows: Ventilating for five to ten minutes several times a day reduces energy consumption compared to permanently tilted windows, prevents the walls from cooling down - so it gets warm again faster.

In the area of hot water, the government also sees easy-to-implement savings potential. For example, the population should shorten the general shower time and think about installing water-saving shower heads. These reduce the maximum flow rate of water and thus reduce water consumption.

If the average Austrian shower time is reduced from 5 to 4 minutes, the energy needed to heat water is reduced by 20%. It is also recommended to use cold water wherever possible. Even though many will find it difficult to shower, it is possible to do without hot water altogether when washing hands or brushing teeth, for example.

There is also potential for savings in electricity consumption. Freezers should be defrosted as soon as a layer of ice is visible inside, because five millimetres of ice increase electricity consumption by 30 percent.

With electrical appliances, unnecessary standby modes should be avoided. On average, households have between ten and 20 appliances that are permanently on standby. With a targeted switch-off, up to 10% of electricity can be saved.

Heating water requires a lot of energy. Dishwashers and washing machines should therefore always be fully loaded and run at the lowest possible temperature or on the eco programme.

LED lamps are also recommended. They last 15 to 20 times longer than classic incandescent and halogen bulbs and save up to 90 percent of electricity over their lifetime.Finally, the government recommends fuel-saving driving.

Up to 15 percent of fuel consumption can be saved by simple measures such as driving slower, at lower revs and with foresight, shifting up early, switching off the engine when stopped or checking tyre pressure. In addition, the bicycle can be used for shorter distances.

BMK - Federal Ministry for Climate Action Environment Energy Mobility Innovation Technology

Mission 11