by Lola
Couple looking worried while checking their laptop

We are all suffering the effects of the energy crisis. Energy costs for households across Europe nearly doubled compared to a year ago, greatly driven by the invasion of Ukraine.

Gas bills have rocketed 111% and electricity ones 69%*, so on average we are paying 90% more (that is nearly double) for our energy than we did in October 2021 (Household Energy Price Index.)

Not an easy situation for us consumers, nor for the environment!

Families and especially retirees struggle with their heating and electricity costs. My own parents have set a very strict time schedule to shower or to use the washing machine & dishwasher because they cannot afford to pay electricity peak prices.

Also, for many of us who work at home since the pandemic, electricity, and energy consumption have increased as we are at home all day long.

Fortunately, this energy crisis hasn’t changed my commitment to the environment. On the contrary, it has made me think more about how to save energy and money at home and I want to share my best tips with you.


There is a bunch of little things that you can start doing with minimum effort and investment, but still, have a big impact on your power consumption and costs.

1. Ease up on the heating (or the AC in summer)

Do you really need your home to be like a sauna in winter? I know how you like to remember the summer holidays, but there is surely a better way than walking around the house in a t-shirt and shorts while it is freezing outside.

A good home temperature is around 20-21°C during the day and 16°C for sleeping. So, leave the summer clothes for summer and wear warmer clothes at home so you can turn down the heat!

According to the International Energy Agency turning down your thermostat by 1 °C would save around 7% of the energy you use for heating. Is worthwhile trying, isn’t it?

In summer you can apply the same logic when using your AC. Air Conditioning accounts for about 17% of the average annual electric use in a household. Isn’t that crazy? and there are many ways you can reduce your home temperature naturally, like installing protection against the sun, airing the rooms in the morning and evening when it is cooler etc.

Actually one of the more natural ways to reduce the heat naturally is planting some trees in strategic

2. Wash clothes in cold water

Often our clothes are not very dirty, they just need refreshing, and in those cases, using the cold water program is the best choice. That alone can save you more than €50 per year and a lot more if you have a big family!

Woman hanging washing at home

Try also to run full loads whenever possible, because even if they use more water and energy than a half load, it is still less than two half loads.

3. Hang-dry your clothes to save energy

Your electric dryer is responsible for about 5% of your electricity bill, so you may want to consider a more traditional method like hang-drying your laundry in an indoor drying rack in winter or on a good old clothesline when it is warm and sunny outside. On top of helping you save energy and money, you can be sure the planet will be grateful too.

4. Boil only what you need (and use a thermos bottle for your tea)

Many people boil a full Kettle when they only need enough water for a cup, and they do this several times a day, so they are wasting a lot of energy. It would be far more efficient to boil just the amount of water that you need and when you need it.

Woman in the kitchen holding a thermos flask
One of the practices I started this year is to prepare a full teapot and store it in a thermos bottle. That way I boil the water just once, and I have hot tea all day long.

5. Switch to energy-efficient lights

Most likely you have already replaced several of your old incandescent bulbs as they burn out, so congratulations! LED and CFL lights last longer than traditional bulbs and are about six times more efficient so they are a great way to reduce your energy consumption.

Also, don’t forget the obvious. Using natural light as much as possible during the day can also help to reduce your consumption and your bill.

6. Change some energy habits

A critical aspect of reducing energy consumption is changing our behaviour and habits. Simple steps like turning off lights when leaving a room, taking shorter showers, or unplugging your phone once it is charged, can make a big difference.

Did you know that many appliances still consume energy when they are plugged in, even if they are off? You can reduce your costs by unplugging appliances when they are not in use or if that is too much hassle, you can also invest in a few timer switches.

Moreover, carpooling or using public transportation can also help to reduce power consumption.


7. Add insulation to your home

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption is to make sure your home is properly insulated. Insulation helps to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. Sealing your home can save you up to 11% of your total home energy bill, and will significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Additionally, while you are at it, it is a good idea to check for leaks and drafts around windows, doors, and electrical outlets. Sealing these areas can also help to reduce your energy consumption.

Many countries are offering financial incentives to better insulate your home, so make sure you check those out!

8. Consider alternative power sources

Solar panels, heating pumps, and geothermal systems are all options that can help to reduce your energy consumption but require a big investment and planning upfront. While they may be more expensive initially, they can save you an awful lot of money in the long run, decrease your reliance on fossil fuels, and, bonus!! they are more sustainable.

Changing your electricity or heating systems is a complex decision, but I strongly recommend looking into it, especially if your country offers subsidies, as is the case here in Austria.

9. Switch to energy-efficient appliances

Washing machine and energy efficiency ratings

Of course, nobody expects you to throw away your brand-new TV, but when the time comes to replace old appliances and gadgets please consider their energy rating. Most appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, now come with Star-ratings, which indicate their energy efficiency. By choosing the best star-rated appliances, you can reduce your consumption and save money on your utility bills.

10. Stay Informed

Lastly, it is important to educate ourselves and be aware of the impact of our actions on the environment. We can make conscious choices such as buying products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. Also, we can support and advocate for policies that promote sustainable energy production and consumption.

In conclusion…

The energy crisis is a major concern that affects all of us. By making simple changes at home, we can reduce our energy consumption and make a difference. From insulating our houses, switching to energy-efficient appliances, using alternative energy sources, changing our behavior, and supporting sustainable policies, there are many ways we can reduce our impact on the energy crisis.

It’s important to consider both cost and sustainability when making choices about energy consumption and to be aware of the impact of our actions on the environment.

And, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all! There are plenty of ways to save energy at home. Maybe one or two of these ideas will work well with your lifestyle and be a win-win for both you and the planet. Every action you take to reduce waste and conserve our natural resources is a step in the right direction.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please add them to the comments.

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Mari February 1, 2023 - 4:50 pm

Thanks for the tips, very useful. We are really struggling with the inflation and the increased cost of electricity and gas so anything that helps take them down is appreciated.

Rilo February 2, 2023 - 1:42 pm

Good tips! It is harder and harder to make ends meet with the high inflation. I hope the war also finishes soon for everyone’s sake.

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