Tips For Saving Energy in the Dutch Winter
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has created a massive impact on the world economy. Inflation has risen tremendously and continues to increase every month, resulting in a global economic crisis. Energy prices are soaring, and many households are finding it difficult to keep up with the high costs. In addition, freezing winters have already arrived and will worsen as heat consumption increases across households and industries.
In the Netherlands, the average cost of gas and electricity per month is between 150-200 euros. These prices have increased drastically over the past few months and are not expected to reduce any time soon. People are already struggling to sustain the rising prices amidst the expensive cost of living in the country.
Thankfully, as a bit of relief, the Dutch government has taken a few measures to help people cope with the costs. They have announced setting a price cap for small consumers up to a certain level of usage from 1st January 2023 to help reduce the cost of energy bills. Anyone with a small energy connection will be eligible for this cap. Anyone who exceeds the maximum consumption level will pay the existing energy rate.
From 1st July 2022, the government reduced the percentage of VAT on energy bills from 21% to 9%, giving people some benefit on their monthly payout. However, this reduction will cease from 1st January as the price cap takes effect.
To further help people bear with the energy expenses, a discount of 190 euros was paid out to every household in November and December 2022.
Therefore, it has become essential to check our gas and electricity usage. Of course, these things are necessary and impossible to do without them. However, you can limit their consumption to prevent the skyrocketing costs from burning a hole in your pocket.
Here are some tips which can help in saving on your energy bills during freezing winters:
Invest In An Energy-Efficient Heater
A standalone electric heater with low watts is a relatively cheaper alternative to traditional, in-house heaters that consume more energy. If you want to save some extra bucks while staying warm this season, you can opt for an electric heater or bundle up in extra-thick layers of wool. Different heaters, such as fan or halogen heaters, are cost-effective and energy-saving. Of course, if you want an even cheaper option, you can also bundle yourself in extra layers of wool and blankets to stay warm.
Avoid Using Your Electric Hair Dryer
Opting for cost-free methods can help you save considerable money in the long run. Ditching your hair dryer or hair styling appliances is one of them. Instead, dry your hair naturally as much as possible. Avoid using electric appliances for your hair if not required.
Dry Your Wet Laundry On A Drying Rack
A tumble dryer consumes much electricity, even for a small cycle. Hanging wet laundry on a drying rack is an easy and cost-effective alternative. It will help in saving on energy bills, plus there are lesser chances of your clothes getting ruined.
Make Use Of Public Transport Or A Bike
Not only gas and electricity but fuel prices have also increased at an alarming rate. In this situation, public transport is a much cheaper option than driving your car. But, of course, riding a bike is an even better alternative. It is economical, environment-friendly, and helps you stay fit.
Go For Energy-Saving Appliances
Replace high-power-consuming appliances with energy-efficient ones. Installing LED lights and bulbs instead of incandescent ones can help reduce your electricity bill. Induction cookware can be used instead of the traditional gas stove as it consumes less energy.
Every electrical device comes with an energy sticker called the BEE Star label. It indicates how much energy the device consumes in a year. Opt for appliances with a high star rating, which will eventually help reduce the energy cost in your yearly payout.
Cook And Store Meals In Larger Amounts
Another minor yet valuable tip for saving some energy daily is to cook a meal in a large quantity, sufficient enough for lunch and dinner. Then, you can reheat your food later as required. This way, you can save up on cooking gas and electricity by a few bucks. Since cooking gas prices are expected to increase tremendously, this will be an excellent practice to follow and save you some more time.
Turn Off All Appliances When Not Required
Switching off the lights before leaving the room is a common practice that should be followed in every household. Similarly, you can unplug your electronic and electrical devices when not in use. Keep your laptops and phones from charging for a long time. Avoid using hot showers for a long duration to avoid keeping the boiler running.
Check For Air Leaks and Home Insulation
Small gaps in window or door frames can cause cold air to sneak inside, decreasing the temperature. Air leaks from any cavity in the house can also tamper with the required room temperature and make the house colder. Check out for any unwanted leaks or gaps in the home and fill them to avoid cold gusts of wind from entering. Also, ensure that the house’s insulation is working in the required condition to minimize the usage of heaters.
Make Use Of Off-Peak Hours
The per unit cost of electricity and gas is less on weekdays at off-peak hours. You can use this to your advantage by running your washing machine or dishwasher in the evenings or on weekends. If you want to run them during peak hours, use the minimum energy-usage setting.
We hope you find the above tips helpful in saving money on your energy bills. While we can hope for the crisis to be resolved soon and the costs to reduce, it is in our hands to control our energy usage by following these tips.