In private households, heating is the main contributing factor when it comes to energy consumption and carbon emissions. The share of total energy consumption is about 70%. That is why energy costs are highest in winter in a seasonal comparison. When the first colourful crocuses appear at the end of February and the birds start to sing in the mornings, we know that spring is on its way. This is something that people and animals long for every year anew after the long dark months.
But how exactly can more daylight and hours of sunshine affect our energy consumption? In the following, we reveal whether the March sun really helps to save energy.
Since the 1980s, time has been adjusted throughout the EU at the end of March and the end of October. The decision was based on the conviction that adjusting the time of day to the length of daylight was a good way to save a considerable amount of energy. The project was approached with great enthusiasm, but things did not work out as expected. This was because the rather minor savings in spring were now offset by the increased demand in autumn and winter.
However, the results should not be judged as being entirely negative. Because what can really make a difference in the use of our resources is also up to each individual, mindful citizen. Every small measure that helps to reduce the personal energy footprint counts. The more attentive we are to the issue, the more effectively the great mission of sustainability will be carried along.
Our tip: If you use timers to control your appliances, don't forget to also reset them accordingly!
Higher average daily temperatures and more hours of sunshine allow for heating cost savings. The brickwork also slowly begins to warm up, and the house cools down noticeably less overnight than in winter. To fully exploit the savings potential, however, the heating should not be switched off immediately in the daytime, because this would increase the energy consumption for reaching comfortable temperatures again in the evening too much.
Be smart about it and lower the room temperatures only slightly via the thermostat control. Two to three degrees should suffice. It is particularly useful to regulate each room individually, because the recommended temperatures differ considerably between bedrooms and living rooms, for example. Smart Home thermostats are very practical in this regard, as they allow you to regulate temperatures as needed at any time via your smartphone or tablet.
More light and warmth not only arouse the animals from hibernation, but also raise our energy level and mood. One wants to really get the own four walls in shape again: The time for spring cleaning has come.
Sparkling windows can actually save energy by letting in more natural light and warmth. Removing the layer of dust on the radiators and cleaning the light bulbs also contributes to this. And while you're at it, you can also screw in more economical LED luminaires.
If you have been using a pellet or oil heating system over the winter, it is worth having it professionally serviced and cleaned to remove soot build-up and replace any nozzles. This keeps the system running at maximum efficiency.
The spring cleaning should also extend to the two household appliances that are in constant use, so they can operate at their best as well. We are referring to refrigerators and freezers. Removing the ice layer is reflected in euros on the electricity bill! The same applies to the scaling in kettles and boilers.
If your appliances are ageing, now may be the time to upgrade to more energy-efficient, latest-generation models. The potential savings over the year are immense and can be as high as 50%. Spring 2021 is particularly suitable, as other energy classes will be introduced with the latest technologies instead of the A+ categories. In future, they will be labelled with the letters A-G.
Since a tumble dryer is one of the relevant energy guzzlers in the household, the best option is to replace it with the washing line in the garden whenever possible. And the icing on the cake of small but worthwhile energy-saving measures can be to identify the hidden energy wasters in your household. An intermediate current meter will help you to detect previously unnoticed no-load losses.