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Consumer Responds recommends measures to save on household electricity bills

Consumer Responds recommends measures to save on household electricity bills
Consumers can take useful actions in housing and achieve significant reductions in the face of high prices.

Consumer Responds, part of the Andalusian Regional Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, reminds consumers of a series of recommendations for saving on their electricity bills, through the application of measures that are not always observed.

Given the significant increase in energy costs of household supplies, and the difficulty of being able to cope with these high prices, Consumo Responde proposes to users in Andalusia to change our daily habits when cooking, washing, using the computer and other household appliances, in order to reduce unnecessary energy consumption as much as possible.

With regard to lighting in the home, it is a good idea to replace conventional light bulbs with low-energy bulbs, as they last longer and save electricity, as well as fluorescent tubes, a very appropriate solution for rooms that are going to need light for a longer period of time. It should also be remembered that the continuous switching on and off of lights consumes more energy and we should always try to make the most of the natural light in the home.

With regard to air conditioning, which is so important in these summer months, it is recommended that air conditioners be properly maintained, placing them away from heat sources, cleaning the filters and using a thermostat. In this sense, there are other recommendations that are easy to put into practice but are not always taken into account, such as switching off the appliances when no one is in the room, installing awnings, closing windows and blinds in the middle of the day, or ventilating the home at cooler times, as well as bearing in mind that the installation of double glazing or double windows also saves energy.

In terms of electronic equipment, this is another way in which a large part of the economic cost of the home escapes, especially when so many hours are spent connected to the Internet. To reduce this, there are simple recommendations to apply, for example, disconnect electronic devices and computer screens when they are not being used and do not use standby mode, as this wastes energy.

It is also preferable to connect several appliances to power strips with their own switch, and to choose power strips that are safe and have overvoltage protection systems. Another common mistake is to leave mobile devices plugged into the mains once they have finished charging, as they continue to consume energy even when not in use.

Saving in the kitchen and cleaning the home

Another area that increases the daily energy bill is all the elements in the kitchen. In this room, it is recommended to use the microwave whenever possible instead of the oven and, if there is no choice but to use it, avoid opening it unnecessarily to avoid heat loss and also take advantage of its residual heat, turning it off a few minutes before finishing baking.

Similarly, users should be aware that using the pressure cooker while cooking, as well as the lids of the containers, consumes less energy. It is also important to clean the back of the fridge, which should be well ventilated and whose optimum temperature is 5 ºC, while the freezer temperature is -18 ºC; remembering that the correct thing to do is to keep the doors of both the fridge and freezer open for as little time as possible and to check that they close properly.

As far as cleaning in the home is concerned, other useful recommendations are worth mentioning, some of which are better known and others less so. For example, it is advisable to use the dishwasher when it is fully loaded and, whenever possible, to use the low or moderate temperature programmes. When buying washing machines or dishwashers, always opt for the most energy-efficient, class A machines. With regard to the washing machine, it should be used with a full load, but without overloading it, and cold water should be used whenever possible, as well as avoiding the use of the tumble dryer and taking advantage of the sun’s heat to dry clothes. Finally, it is advisable to keep the washing machine filters clean and, if the hoover is used, also to clean the filters and the collected waste deposits.

Consumer Responds is aware that the application of some of these recommendations entails a small cost at the beginning of their implementation, but, in the medium and long term, it is an investment that is recovered with economic, energy and environmental savings.

Consumer Affairs Responds

If you have any doubts or queries about consumer affairs, citizens can contact Consumo Responde, a free information and advice service for consumers and users, promoted by the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government. This is a multi-channel service, which can be accessed continuously through the telephone number 900 21 50 80, the website www.consumoresponde.es, the e-mail consumoresponde@juntadeandalucia.es; and the Twitter (@consumoresponde), Facebook (www.facebook.com/consumoresponde) and Instagram (@consumoresponde) profiles. Advice can also be obtained from the Provincial Consumer Services of the territorial delegations of Health and Consumer Affairs in all provincial capitals, as well as from the Municipal Consumer Information Offices (OMIC), and from consumer and user organisations.

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