In 2016, electricity prices in Flanders were 8 percent higher than the year before; a consequence of the debt the Flemish government owed to itself due to the numerous renewable energy certificates it handed out over the years for solar panels, windmills and the like. A debt which apparently still exists, as Flemish electricity bills are still on the rise. In 2017, most families paid 5 percent more for electricity than they did in 2016. SMEs even saw electricity rates increase by 6 percent this year.
Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to tackle rising electricity prices. Read on to discover our smart hacks to save electricity at home and at the office!
How to save electricity at home
1. Cook with residual heat and with the lid on
It takes a while for your stove to cool off once you’ve finished cooking. In other words, you can just as well switch your stove off a little earlier and cook with the heat that’s left. Keep the lid on as much as possible as well, so your steam hood doesn’t have to work as hard. Do this and you’ll save up to 25 percent electricity while cooking!
2. Fill up the freezer with Styrofoam
A freezer that needs to cool both food and air uses much more electricity. Is your freezer not entirely full? Fill the holes with Styrofoam, and there you go!
3. Turn your home into a smart home
Electrical appliances still consume a lot of electricity in standby mode. About 10 percent of the energy they use when they’re switched on, to be precise. Although most consumers are in fact aware of the effects vampire power has on the electricity bill, there is always one family member who prefers to switch off the TV using the remote, right? No problem if your home is equipped with the fifthplay cube and smart plugs, which allow you to check which devices are switched on and even switch them off remotely using your smartphone, no matter where you are.
4. Make your smart meter really smart
The so-called smart meter will soon be mandatory throughout Flanders. That means the traditional electromechanical meter will make room for a digital version, which will supposedly make consumers more aware of their energy consumption. Unfortunately, the smart meter does not really give you any insight into how much energy your household consumes. Unless you go about it the smart way, connecting both the meter and your electrical appliances to the fifthplay cube using smart plugs. An app then enables you to check your meter reading wherever you are, and tells you how much your individual appliances consume both in kWh and in euros. The app also provides a historical overview of your energy consumption, so you can easily check whether your efforts to save electricity are paying off.
How SMEs are saving electricity as we speak
For most SMEs in Flanders, saving electricity is a top priority. Until recently, most companies didn’t think to go beyond installing solar panels and asking staff not to leave the lights on outside office hours. Slowly but surely, though, Flemish SMEs are discovering the advantages of efficient energy management. More and more companies are investing in energy management software like fifthplay EMS to gain a better overview of their electricity consumption, and to nip both standby power and energy leaks in the bud as soon as they occur.
To measure is to know. Take control of your company’s electricity usage today!
By the way, do you know what your company’s biggest energy wasters are?