Status: 07/23/2022 12:14 p.m.
The gas crisis and inflation make energy savings a major issue. For whom is it worth buying a new refrigerator or a new washing machine? And what simple ways can be used to save a lot of electricity?
The Federal Government and the Federal Network Agency are constantly calling for energy savings. This does not only apply to gas consumption. With current electricity prices and high inflation, consumers are also wondering if certain electronic devices could become a cost trap. The Consumer Advice Center advises to take a close look at the power consumption of appliances in the household. For this purpose, electricity meters can be borrowed from advice centres. “Especially with older devices, there can be significant savings potential by replacing them with a new, more efficient device,” says Sören Demandt of the consumer advice center NRW.
The online database provides guidance
But for whom is it worth buying a new device? Gisela Renner, Chairwoman of the Board of the State Association for Energy Consulting of Building Energy Advisors North Rhine-Westphalia, refers to the website spargeraete.de. The most economical washing machines, dryers, washer-dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators available on the market are listed here in an online database – sorted by electricity consumption or total costs on the lifespan of devices.
To find out how much money you can save, you need to measure your own appliance’s consumption for 24 hours or a week and then extrapolate it for the year. This value should be multiplied by the current price of electricity and then compared to the details of the new device, recommends Renner.
The refrigerator is the biggest consumer of energy
The consumer advisor Demandt thinks above all of refrigeration units. “Refrigerators that are over 15 years old consume so much on average that it usually makes sense to replace them. For example, replacing a 15-year-old refrigerator with a freezer compartment saves an average of 120 kilowatt hours per year,” saysDemandet . “A measure that is often not considered, but which can bring a lot, is the replacement of old heat pumps: here you can save up to 130 euros per year”, explains Demandt. It assumes an electricity price of 33 cents per kilowatt hour.
Clothes dryers are also among the appliances with particularly high consumption. These should therefore only be used if air drying is not possible. In case of frequent use, it is advisable to pay attention to a particularly low consumption when choosing the device. With other devices, the replacement of assistive devices is often not financially and ecologically profitable, warns Demandt.
More and more entertainment electronics in homes
The managing director of non-profit consulting firm Co2online, Tanja Loitz, has an eye for consumer electronics in addition to home appliances. It also consumes a lot of electricity. It makes sense to use switchable power strips here to disconnect devices from the mains when not in use.
The amount of electricity and energy that can be saved by replacing appliances depends on your personal household situation. “How big is your household, how old are the devices, what is the user behavior like?” When replacing an old refrigerator with a new one of the highest energy efficiency class, Loitz even gets 240 kWh of electricity, which equates to around 70 euros per year. “The use of a water-saving shower head is totally underestimated. If you heat your water using an instantaneous water heater, i.e. using electricity, a fireplace average of three people will save more than 200 euros per year. With the current rise in the price of electricity, the savings can be considerably higher,” says Loitz.
Pay attention to power consumption when buying a new one
Co2online has found that even though appliances are becoming more and more energy efficient, the energy consumption of private households has hardly decreased in recent years. This is mainly due to the fact that most households have more and more electronic devices, for example one laptop or tablet per person instead of one computer for everyone. In addition, there are more and more extensions to individual systems. These include, for example, sound systems or powerful graphics cards that also consume electricity.
If you are considering a new purchase, you should definitely monitor energy consumption. “Electrical appliances with the highest energy efficiency class are perhaps a bit more expensive to buy. On the other hand, they save a lot more in the long run and also relieve the climate. So avoid them instead. cheap new purchases with low efficiency classes,” advises Loitz.
Energy consultant Renner recommends testing all household appliances. “Basically, you should ask yourself, especially when it comes to refrigerators: is the size of the appliance still right, do I still need the second appliance in the basement?” You should also check the entertainment electronics and lighting. “Many people already use LEDs, but they overlook the ever-increasing number of televisions or gaming PCs. If the equipment and size increase, this can also lead to higher energy consumption,” says Renner.
Save energy by doing the right thing
Incandescent bulbs are rare in homes, but halogen bulbs are still widely used. The Consumer Advice Center has calculated that replacing halogen lamps with energy-saving LEDs saves around 85% of the energy needed: the savings of replacing ten halogen lamps with LEDs with a burn time of 500 hours per year is 180 kilowatt hours per year, or about 60 Euro.
“There is no need to invest right away: changing behavior can also reduce electricity consumption by 10 to 15%. This includes defrosting the freezer compartment as well as filling the washing machine correctly”, Loitz explains.
The Consumer Advice Center has listed energy saving tips on its website. This includes: Switching off standby appliances, running the dishwasher and washing machine in ECO mode and making full use of the capacities. Raising the temperature in the refrigerator by six to seven degrees already saves around six percent of electricity per year.