Good electricity-saving practices

With families confined to their homes, energy costs have increased. How to reduce consumption and your monthly bill

The state of emergency declared in the country due to the covid-19 pandemic has led the Portuguese people to join the #StayAtHome movement en masse. With children and young people studying from home, the active population working from home and the elderly confined to their homes all day long, energy costs have soared. The fact that more electronic devices are being used and for longer, the increased use of household appliances and more cooked meals has resulted in families seeing their disposable income fall. In this scenario, and despite the measures announced by many companies that there will be no "cuts" in supplies during the quarantine period and that payment terms will be flexible or extended, we can and should reduce consumption and, consequently, the amount of the next bill put through the letterbox. How? Watch this video and take note of all our tips. Just a few, very simple good practices, such as those suggested here, can make a difference in the family budget at the end of the month.

Electronic equipment
When you finish using a device, turn it off completely and don´t leave it in stand-by mode (television, box, router, computer, printer, console ...). This feature is practical, but can mean an additional 5% in electricity consumption. We suggest you connect the equipment to a multiple socket with a switch to facilitate turning it off, and remove the charger from the socket after charging your mobile phone, tablet or portable computer.

Household appliances
Only use the appliances you really need and at the maximum load. This applies to dishwashers and washing machines, avoiding dryers. If you have a bi or tri-tariff meter, save these tasks for the cheapest time and use “eco” programmes, unless you are dealing with an infected person at home. In this case, use the normal programme and set the wash to a water temperature of between 55 ºC and 65 ºC. As for fridges and freezers, avoid opening the door too often during the day and don´t put hot food inside, as these two practices lead to the loss of cold and therefore force the fridge to work harder. When heating water, use a boiler instead of a microwave oven, as piped gas is more economical than electricity, and for the same reason, if you have a mixed natural gas / electric stove, you should cook with gas. Finally, if you have to buy a new appliance, choose an energy-efficient model (see the corresponding energy label: the letter A is the most efficient).

Indoor environment
Insulate doors and windows against air leaks and infiltrations, thereby improving the environment of the room at all times of the year; if you have to use electric HVAC appliances, go for those with a thermostat to enable you to regulate the room temperature more effectively. You should also open blinds and curtains to let in natural light, even more so now as the days are longer and it stays light until later. At night, only turn on the lights you need for each activity, turning them off when you´ve finished, and always buy low-consumption light bulbs.