Saving energy during the energy crisis and how to change your energy supplier
How and where can energy be saved during the energy crisis?
We can save energy everywhere: in the home, in industry and commerce, and in transportation. The savings in energy costs will pay for themselves sooner or later. The benefits are twofold: for the environment and for our wallets, especially during these shaky times.
In this article you will find recommendations from the Federal Environment Agency to policymakers on how to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Knowledge helps consumers to reduce their energy costs during the energy crisis, and help them save their money while the inflation forces them to spend it only on the most necessary!
Save electricity: 15 tips against rising electricity prices during the energy crisis
If you reduce your electricity consumption, you also reduce your electricity bill. Saving electricity in everyday life doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many ways to reduce electricity consumption and cut CO2 emissions. Often, it only takes a few small steps or habitual changes to achieve significant electricity savings. We show you 15 simple tips and tricks with which you can save a lot of electricity and money – despite the high electricity prices during this energy crisis!
Current situation on the energy market
Why saving electricity makes particular sense right now? Trading prices for electricity and gas are at record levels as a result of the energy crisis. In addition, the elimination of the EEG surcharge as of July 1 is not expected to provide enough relief for consumers. However, one thing can be done to combat rising electricity costs: save electricity. What’s more, the climate crisis continues to advance, and using less electricity can make a small contribution to combating climate change as well. Here are are our tips:
1. Electric kettle
You want to boil water? Then use the kettle for that! And not just for making tea – if you pour the water already boiling into the pot for boiling, you can save energy.
The refrigerator is the third biggest power guzzler in the household. Since it is in continuous operation, replacing an old appliance with a new one with a high energy efficiency rating is particularly worthwhile. It should also be located in a shady, cool place so that it does not have to cool down additionally against the room air. If you then do not overfill the appliance and defrost it regularly, you will also save electricity and money during this energy crisis.
Around 11 percent of household electricity is “burned” during cooking. Yet you can also save electricity quite easily when preparing meals with a few tricks: Use a kettle instead of a stovetop, use pot lids when cooking, or use a pressure cooker right away. Also, always make sure that the stovetop and cooking pot are the same size. A lot of energy can also be saved when baking by not preheating. This is no longer necessary with new appliances.
Thanks to LEDs and the like, we use much less electricity for lighting our four walls than in previous years. Anyone still using old lights should replace them as soon as possible. Energy-saving lamps are available in several light gradations and also as dimmable versions. When buying, however, care must be taken to ensure that the lamp is suitable for the dimmer. In addition, dimmable energy-saving lamps should also be operated at full brightness for the first hundred hours.
5. Tumble dryer
On average, the clothes dryer alone consumes 7 percent of our total electricity consumption. Of course, it is extremely practical, but if you want to save electricity during this energy crisis and reduce your energy costs, you should air-dry your laundry whenever possible. Especially in the summer, the tumble dryer can be dispensed with. If the laundry is also properly spun, it dries faster. Those who absolutely do not want to do without the dryer should at least make good use of the space in the drum.
It is convenient and saves electricity: the dishwasher. Washing dishes, glasses and cutlery in the dishwasher also uses significantly less water and electricity than washing by hand. The following tips optimize consumption even further: use the economical eco program when the dishes are normally dirty, wash only when the machine is fully loaded, and skip prewashing by hand. Only heavily soiled pots and pans should be soaked beforehand.
7. Washing machine
The washing machine consumes a good 5 percent of our electricity. Here, too, if you follow a few tricks, you can avoid unnecessary power consumption when doing laundry during the energy crisis in Germany. As a rule, a washing temperature of up to 40 degrees is quite sufficient and is also absolutely harmless in terms of hygiene. With a stain pre-treatment, the laundry becomes clean even at low temperatures. It goes without saying that the machine should not be started just because of the favorite T-shirt, but only when fully filled.
8. Electricity meter
To detect the biggest power guzzlers in the household and to reduce electricity costs, electricity meters are suitable. Here you should pay attention to how large the measuring range is. Some meters can only detect power of five watts or more. Anything below that is not displayed. To detect standby losses, therefore, only precise devices that can detect even small amounts of energy are suitable.
9. Pull out the power plug
Charging cables that are not needed should be unplugged from the power outlet. This prevents unnecessary power consumption when the charging cable is not in use. Another recommendation to save money during the energy crisis is to charge only when the device is at least half empty. When the battery is full – unplug it.
10. Adapt appliances to household size
The following applies to almost all appliances: less is more. Whether refrigerator, television or PC: The size should always be adapted to the household. A single household doesn’t need a giant refrigerator, and the TV doesn’t have to cover the entire wall. Especially when it comes to household appliances that will be with you for a long time, such as washing machines or dishwashers, it pays to pay attention to quality and energy efficiency.
With the oven, it is more energy efficient to use the recirculation program. If you want to save even more energy in this energy crisis, you can use the oven’s residual heat and turn it off earlier. Likewise, not preheating the oven is a real energy-saving tip. Up to 20 percent of energy consumption can be saved here.
12. Economy shower
If you want to save energy when showering, an energy-saving shower head is the right gadget for you. The amount of water is significantly reduced. If the water is heated with electricity, a saving of up to 200 euros beckons within a year.
13. Goodbye standby
There are two types of idle losses: standby mode and so-called apparent off. While the device can be reactivated in standby at any time without a longer waiting period, the sham off has no useful function. This effect is found in answering machines, power supplies, DSL routers and cordless phones, among others. Again, only when the electrical devices are actually disconnected from the power supply do they not consume any energy.
14. EU efficiency label
To find the most efficient appliance possible, the EU energy labels help. On the labels, consumers can find important additional features in addition to the efficiency classes and annual power consumption. For refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines, for example, the noise level is indicated. Buying new appliances may not be cheap, but the operating costs of an old, energy-guzzling machine add up over the years. Purchasing an energy-saving new appliance usually pays for itself after the first year.
15. Setting up an energy-saving home office
To save electricity in the home office, look for energy-efficient equipment. It’s best to use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. You’ll use 50 to 70 percent less electricity with a laptop. Refrain from using screen savers; they consume unnecessary power. Choose a sunny spot for your desk, so you can do without additional lighting as far as possible. It’s best to use energy-saving LEDs for your desk lamp. For the energy-efficient coffee break, a French press or an espresso maker for the stove are suitable.
Insider tip: Switch the electricity provider
How does a change of supplier work?
Changing your supplier is easy. If your contract has already been terminated or you are in the replacement supply, you can conclude a contract with a new supplier at the next possible opportunity. If you still have a contract, you will have the least effort if you look for a new provider directly – they will then terminate your old provider at the next possible time. You can also terminate your contract yourself – all you need to do is send a one-liner by e-mail, letter or fax. To apply for a new supplier, find your provider in this comparison article.
If, on the other hand, you use your special right of termination because your supplier has announced a price increase, you must terminate the contract yourself. You can use our sample letter for this purpose. Then you can choose a new supplier. Every new contract should directly follow the end of the old contract.
If something goes wrong with the change, you will still get electricity. You then slip into the substitute supply. This is taken over by the basic supplier – the energy company with the most electricity customers in a region. The substitute supply lasts until your chosen supplier can deliver. The grid operator can also retroactively allocate the electricity you have purchased to the company you have commissioned for up to six weeks. If the company did not meet its original delivery start date, it should bear the additional costs from the replacement supply.
However, don’t forget to sign a new electricity contract after giving notice. A new supplier should be ready to start within two weeks if the previous contract has already been terminated. It can take up to three weeks to register with the network operator. If it still takes longer because one of the companies involved scrambles, the network operator can again fix your change of electricity provider retroactively – up to six weeks after the scheduled start of delivery is possible. If your old contract ends and you have not signed a new one, you will end up in the replacement supply. This ends as soon as a new contract starts.
If you have not signed a new contract after three months, or if your chosen supplier is still not able to deliver after this time, you will fall into the basic supply. The tariffs there are usually as high as in the substitute supply. In contrast to the substitute supply, however, there is a notice period in the basic supply: it is two weeks.
When will an electricity tariff be cheap in 2022?
In 2022, a kilowatt hour of electricity will cost an average of 37 cents – around 15 percent more than in 2021, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries. The reason: Prices on the electricity exchange have been more expensive than ever since the end of 2021. In December, the average price on the spot market was around 22 cents per kilowatt hour and has risen to more than 30 cents per kilowatt hour with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. In June 2022, it is still 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. By comparison, from January to September 2021, electricity suppliers paid an average of about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity in short-term purchases. Only when suppliers purchase for months or, better yet, years in advance on the forward market they do pay less – but still more than they did until summer 2021.
The high trading prices for electrical energy make electricity more expensive for industry, commerce and also consumers during the energy crisis. How much a supplier raises its prices depends on how it has purchased electricity in the past. Some electricity suppliers have kept their prices nearly stable, while others have doubled their prices. It’s also possible that your supplier is still cheap even though it’s raising prices. Because in 2022, existing customers have an advantage: prices in existing contracts are often lower than in new ones. Therefore, you should first check the prices after an increase. If your provider charges more than 40 cents per kilowatt hour, you can still find a cheaper offer. You can use our comparison calculator to do this. Also take a look at the special rates offered by your basic supplier – some still charge moderate prices even for basic supply. If you find a better offer, cancel your contract and change your provider.
You can find the best price value electricity provider to save money during this energy crisis in this comparison article!
The best tips for saving gas during the energy crisis
“The situation is serious,” Federal Minister of Economics Habeck lets citizens know. And calls out the second stage of the emergency plan in view of the decline in gas supplies from Russia. With a few changes, every household can reduce its gas consumption.
Energy prices are skyrocketing, supplies of gas from Russia are declining, and German Economics Minister Robert Habeck is calling out the second stage of the Gas Emergency Plan. “We are in a gas crisis. Gas is a scarce commodity from now on. Prices are already high and we have to be prepared for further increases,” Habeck said. Now, gas storage facilities would have to be stockpiled and more gas would have to be saved. This is typically used outside the heating season for hot water supply. However, 85 percent of gas consumption in German households is for heating. It is definitely debatable, if this energy crisis is self-made, due to wrong political decisions. Nevertheless, now it is necessary to save some gas, if you do not want your gas cost to skyrock. Here are some tips for saving gas:
Take shorter showers
Who showers each day and 8 minutes long under a normal shower, pays with the current gas prices according to comparison portal Verivox for it approximately 280 euro per year. If the shower time is halved, around 140 euros per year can be saved. If the hot water is heated with electricity, which is the case in around 20 percent of German households, the annual costs for the daily 8-minute shower are 611 euros per year. If you reduce the shower time to 4 minutes, you save around 306 euros a year.
The interactive shower calculator from the consumer advice center shows how many kilowatt hours of energy a shower consumes. This also shows that those who do not shower quite so hot naturally save. In principle, households that heat their hot water using gas heaters or gas boilers can actively minimize their consumption.
Heating on summer mode
To save energy, the heating system should not run all year round, but should be switched to summer mode. This means that the heating circuits are switched off and only hot water is provided. Older boilers have to be switched manually, while newer ones do it automatically. However, the heating systems often only switch over automatically from outside temperatures of 15 degrees.
Thermostat on the heater
A thermostatic valve allows hot water to flow through a radiator only until the desired temperature is reached. What temperature that is depends on personal feeling and the use of the room. Temperatures between 18 degrees in the bedroom and 21 degrees in the living room are usually sufficient. In unheated rooms, the temperature should not fall below 16 degrees – otherwise there is a risk of moisture on the walls and mold if there is not sufficient ventilation at the same time.
Keep radiators clear
Otherwise, the heating energy cannot be fully utilized because the living spaces cannot be heated evenly. A simple rule is that each radiator should be clearly visible so that the air in the room can flow around it unhindered. It is equally important to keep radiators clean, as dust deposits reduce
If the radiators are not fully heated or gurgling noises can be heard, air is usually involved. The heating system has to use more energy to heat the rooms. The remedy is to bleed the air with a bleeder key. This is a simple and uncomplicated way to release the air from the warm radiators. Both before and after bleeding, the pressure in the heating system should be checked, and water may also need to be added. In a multi-family house with central heating, it is advisable to consult the landlord or property management, because tenants cannot check and readjust the heating pressure themselves.
Checking the heating bill, identifying potential savings
Those who know their specific costs and potential savings have a greater incentive to save. The Heating Costs Ordinance ensures better billing and information in rented buildings. In some cases, the heating cost statement is so extensive that individual consultation is recommended in order to understand it. The information included on heating and hot water consumption, costs and comparability is worth hard cash. Free advice on this is available from consumer centers.
Keeping windows and doors tight
Leaky exterior doors and windows increase heat loss in houses and apartments and cause unpleasant drafts. To check the tightness of windows, a sheet of paper can be clamped between the frame and the closed window. If the paper cannot be pulled out, the window is tight enough. In the case of house and apartment doors, a sealing profile can usually be easily retrofitted to minimize heating losses.
Select the right gas supplier
If you want to know if your gas supplier is too expensive, use this comparison calculator. Use the filter settings here to display exactly those providers in the gas comparison whose contract conditions match your requirements. You can also change the price display from monthly to yearly. Our tip: Next to the provider list, select your current gas provider with the associated gas tariff. This way you can directly compare the selected tariffs with your current costs.
Conclusion for saving money during the energy crisis in Germany
The next years can be challenging in terms of energy costs. So the best way to get through this, is to choose the right electricity and gas supplier and apply the tips in this article.
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