“Save 1000 kilowatt hours!”

An initiative by Oeko-Institut and Utopia

The phase-out of nuclear energy and the achievement of ambitious climate targets are key measures of the “Energy Transition” decided upon by the German government in the summer of 2011. In its Energy Plan the German government agreed to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 per cent by 2050. Alongside the increase of renewable energies and higher primary energy savings, it also set binding targets for electricity saving. Households and other sectors in Germany such as industry, the tertiary sector and public sector institutions are to reduce their electricity consumption by 10 per cent up to 2020 and by 25 per cent up to 2050 compared to 2008 levels.

Save electricity and money – and keep the same level of comfort!

Households can achieve their target much more quickly. A committed household can already save a third of its electricity demand within a short period and by simple means. At the same time the household would save approx. 250 Euro a year. Within the course of the coming – no more than 10 – years, an average household can even gradually reduce its electricity consumption to a third of its current level. To achieve this, consumers replace used electrical appliances step-by-step with new and particularly energy-efficient appliances when needed. Energy-efficient appliances are more expensive to purchase; however these additional costs are compensated by lower electricity costs during their operation.

Oeko-Institut’s information campaign “EcoTopTen” provides a market overview of the best appliances and recommended eco-electricity services: www.ecotopten.de.

To support the Energy Transition and the phase-out of nuclear energy, Oeko-Institut and Utopia have started the national initiative to “Save 1000 kilowatt hours!”. The initiative shows how easy it is to save electricity and money – while keeping the same level of comfort. The energy-saving options are shown based on a two-person household, which comes closest to the national average in Germany (2.1 people).

How a two-person household can save 1000 kilowatt hours in 12 months

Many complain about high electricity prices, yet in a survey 70 per cent of consumers could neither specify how high their electricity bill is, nor how high their electricity consumption is. This is a big mistake: with a few measures the average household can save 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. And 250 Euro – each year! Here are the measures:

  • Using water-saving shower heads and water-efficient aerators in electrical hot water production saves hot water and up to 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity as well as approx. 125 Euro a year.
    One-off costs: Approx. 25 Euro for the shower head and approx. 12 Euro for a set of aerators. (Tip: It’s also worth doing this if you have a central water heating system – it saves gas or oil!)
  • Using manual or automatic multi-socket outlets. Stand-by losses are thereby avoided and 400-500 kWh of electricity as well as 100-125 Euro are saved a year.
    One-off costs: Approx. 5 Euro for a switchable multi-socket outlet and approx. 15 Euro for an automatic multi-socket outlet.
  • Extensive or full-scale use of energy-saving light bulbs or LED lights for lighting. This saves up to 300 kWh of electricity and up to 75 Euro a year.
    One-off costs: Replacing 15-20 light bulbs with energy-saving ones costs approx. 100 Euro (LED lights are more expensive).
  • Using a kettle instead of heating water on an electric cooker surprisingly saves a lot of electricity: In a year up to 200 kWh of electricity and 50 Euro can be saved.
    One-off costs: Approx. 25-30 Euro for the kettle.
  • Environmentally responsible washing: Always do a full load and set the washing machine at the lowest possible temperature. This reduces electricity consumption by 50-60 kWh and saves approx. 15 Euro a year.
    One-off costs: None!
  • Regulating the electrical hot water tank with a timer: Water is then only heated or kept available when it is usually needed. The energy-saving potential: approx. 50 kWh and around 12 Euro a year.
    One-off costs: 5-10 Euro for the timer.
  • Regulating the capacity of heat and hot water pumps (which are often set too high). The energy-saving potential is high: up to 300 kWh and 75 Euro a year.
    One-off costs: None!
  • And one extra tip: Many households still have an old and oversized deep freezer in the cellar. If it is no longer used, up to 600 kWh and 150 Euro can be saved a year!

Help electricity saving with laws and support measures!

Oeko-Institut is suggesting a bundle of complementary policy and measures to achieve the climate targets and to reduce the burden on consumers and the economy. In a well-coordinated mix of instruments financial incentives, binding energy efficiency standards and information measures are to contribute to promoting innovations and to improve the launching of highly energy-efficient products on the market.

These include:

  • Clear identification of the most efficient products in the upcoming revision of the Energy Labelling Framework Directive;
  • The disclosure of electricity costs in the sale of appliances with high follow-up costs (such as cooling appliances and freezers or tumble dryers);
  • The promotion of innovative products by means of so-called manufacturer premiums;
  • A general impulse programme for consumers with buyer’s premiums for highly energy-efficient products;
  • The introduction of White Certificates as currently suggested by the EU Commission within the scope of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive;
  • A binding public procurement regulation which only allows products of the highest energy efficiency class to be tendered and procured.

Further information

Portal for consumers: www. topten.eu - Best products of Europe