ENEA’s handbook to save on energy and gas bills at home
ENEA has developed a handbook with various tips for saving on bills, reducing waste, and improving the energy efficiency of the house.
The energy crisis catalyzed by war in Ukraine – but not only – is having a significant impact on the balance sheets of households and businesses, with the urgent need for national measures to both contain economic consequences and avert the risk of the infamous rationing.
Some rules and recommendations are already included in the National Plan for the containment of natural gas consumption launched by Minister Cingolani. winter will inevitably be a tough season for many and the recommendation is to adopt behaviors that favor energy saving, right away.
To help consumers, the “Decalogue of Energy Consumption” was published, and developed by the Energy Efficiency Unit Department of the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (AENEAS) on the occasion of the International Day of Energy Saving. In reality, the Decalogue contains 20 tips per cut waste and significantly reduce bills: 10 refer to intelligent use of energy, and another 10 refer to efficient use of heating.
How to save on your electricity bill
In the first point of the decalogue, ENEA recommends using energy-saving light bulbs with technology LED, which compared to a similar absorbed power are five times brighter than traditional halogen or incandescent ones. ENEA also highlights the savings linked to maintenance/replacement, bearing in mind that LED bulbs have a life cycle of 15 thousand hours, compared to 7,500 for fluorescent bulbs and 750 for halogen ones.
In point 8, however, it is advisable not to leave the lights on unnecessarily house lights turning on only that of the room in which you are located (at night) and during the day to rely as much as possible on sunlight, at the same time disconnecting all electronic devices that are not used. Since many consume a lot even when switched off, the recommendation (point 7) is to group some of them on push-button slippers – respecting all the power limits and supported devices – to disconnect them altogether from the network.
How to save on gas for heating
As far as heating is concerned, ENEA in point 2 emphasizes first of all that we have a home appropriately thermally insulated, given that with efficient insulation systems it is possible to reduce losses by up to 50 percent and the consequent energy requirements. The reference is to the installation of a so-called thermal coat interior or exterior, which despite being expensive at the base – for this reason, it is recommended to do it together with the renovation of facades and roofs – does not require ancillary maintenance, also allowing the installation of a water heater less powerful with all the advantages that go with it.
Point 3 emphasizes the importance of also insulating the roof with a countertop, able to save up to 20 percent on energy (even in this case the initial expense can be significant). Again to isolate your home as effectively as possible, ENEA in point 4 suggests the replacement of doors and windows “Which are often the bearers of drafts and thermal bridges”. The advice is to use “highly insulating materials such as PVC and wood with thermal break” and “double or triple glazing according to climatic requirements and an air chamber with argon”. These elements also help with soundproofing.
In step 11 it is recommended to keep one internal temperature at 19 ° C, more than enough to live comfortably. It is the same level recommended by Minister Cingolani’s gas savings plan, developed precisely to face the next cold season in this emergency context. Point 12 refers instead to compliance with the daily switch-on time of the radiators, which in Italy is divided into bands (from 14 hours in the mountainous and northern areas to 8 on the southern coast). Minister Cingolani plans to turn off the radiators one hour in advance.
ENEA in point 13 recommends closing the shutters / rolling shutters and using heavy curtains to prevent heat loss, while in 16 installing a control unit to regulate the temperature of your system, an automatic system “that avoids unnecessary peaks or sudden changes in power” and allows time programming.
The systems of home automation are remotely controllable, which allows you to adjust the temperature of the individual rooms, check if someone is home, and manage everything remotely via a smartphone app. For example, you can heat your home before going back home without unnecessary waste. Finally, in point 18, the use of a “heat metering system” Which allows you to save by charging only for actual consumption. In practice, these are sensors and valves that “certify” real heating, which has become mandatory in buildings and condominiums with centralized heating.
Use the radiators correctly
With the arrival of autumn, we are preparing to re-ignite the radiators, for which the necessary seasonal maintenance is required (through the so-called venting). It is a fundamental intervention to guarantee the maximum efficiency of the system and avoid unnecessary waste.
In point 14, ENEA recommends not covering the radiators with objects (for example furniture) and inserting a reflective panel – a sheet of aluminum foil is also fine – between the device and the wall, to tear down the heat dispersion outwards. It is also advisable not to keep the open windows too long, since it takes very little to change the air of a room. Step 17 recommends the installation of thermostatic valves to regulate the flow of hot water in the radiators and keep the temperature stable throughout the house, without peaks in some rooms.
Household appliances to save energy
Household appliances can be particularly energetic, even when turned off. The one that consumes the most is the electric oven, capable of absorbing between 0.8-kilowatt hours (kWh) and 1.5 kWh after an hour and thirty minutes of use, at a temperature of 180°C.
Many, such as indicated, consume even when they are in stand-by e-sleep mode come, with DVR players, TV LCD, computers, audio systems, decoders, and so on. The annual waste is significant and, as the Italian agency indicates, it can also be wasted 35.000 watts. The advice, therefore, is to disconnect these devices from the mains – even with the aforementioned power strip – when they are not used. The charger for smartphones and tablets when not in use.
The ENEA in point 6 indicates that the electricity consumption of the houses is 58 percent attributable precisely to household appliances, for this reason, he suggests replacing the old ones with newer devices of higher energy class. The case in point is that of the washing machine he was born in the refrigerator: modern ones can reduce consumption up to 35 – 40 percent compared to appliances 20 years ago. Still, about refrigerators (and freezers), ENEA recommends in point 20 defrost them regularly and install them correctly; if placed near heat sources (such as an oven) and in hot rooms, they can consume up to 10 percent more.
ENEA’s other tips for reducing consumption
Among the other tips of ENEA to save on bills is the reduction of the use of hot water (point 5), for example by preferring one shower to the bathroom, which involves a consumption four times higher (35 – 50 liters for 3 minutes of shower against 120 – 160 liters for the bathroom). Turning off the water while soaping and using water flow management devices can also help save money.
Point 9 lists the advantages of implants based on renewable energies that are say photovoltaic, wind power e geothermal. Since not everyone can install systems with solar panels e wind turbines that can guarantee total energy autonomy is also possible to refer to “mini” systems which guarantee significant savings on the bill with low costs.
Of course, it is important to know the energy efficiency of your property and, as suggested by ENEA in point 15, it is important to have a technical assessment carried out and obtain the energy performance certificate (BEE). With this information, it is possible to plan the most useful interventions, which are generally deductible and facilitated by specific incentives.