The Federal Government and the Federal Network Agency are currently calling for energy saving again and again. This does not only apply to gas consumption. Because of the current electricity prices and high inflation, consumers are also wondering whether some electronic devices could become a cost trap. The consumer advice center advises taking a close look at the power consumption of devices in the household. For this purpose, electricity meters can be borrowed from advice centers. "Especially in the case of older devices, there may be significant savings potential by replacing them with a new, more efficient device," says Sören Demandt from the NRW consumer advice center.
Online database provides orientation
But for whom is it worth buying a new device? Gisela Renner, Chairwoman of the Board of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Association for Energy Advisory Building Energy Advisors, refers to the website spargeraete.de. The most economical washing machines, dryers, washer-dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators available on the market are listed there in an online database – sorted according to electricity consumption or total costs over the service life of the devices.
To find out how much money you can save, you have to measure the consumption of your own device for 24 hours or a week and then extrapolate it for the year. This value should be multiplied by the current electricity price and then compared with the details of the new device, Renner recommends.
The fridge is the biggest power guzzler
Consumer advisor Demandt primarily has refrigeration units in mind. "Refrigerators that are more than 15 years old consume so much on average that it usually makes sense to replace them. For example, replacing a 15-year-old refrigerator with a freezer compartment saves an average of 120 kilowatt hours per year," says Demandt. "A measure that is often not considered, but which can bring a lot is the replacement of old heating pumps: Here you can save up to 130 euros a year," says Demandt. He is assuming an electricity price of 33 cents per kilowatt hour.
Tumble dryers are also among the devices with particularly high consumption. These should therefore only be used if air drying is not possible. With frequent use, it is advisable to pay attention to a particularly low consumption when selecting the device. With other devices, replacing functioning devices is often not worthwhile financially and ecologically, Demandt warns.
More and more entertainment electronics in households
The managing director of the non-profit consulting company Co2online, Tanja Loitz, has an eye on consumer electronics in addition to household appliances. It also consumes a lot of electricity. It makes sense to use switchable socket strips here to disconnect the devices from the mains when they are not in use.
How much electricity and energy can be saved by replacing devices depends on your personal household situation. "How big is your household, how old are the devices, what is user behavior like?" When replacing an old refrigerator with a new one in the highest energy efficiency class, Loitz even gets 240 kWh of electricity, which would be the equivalent of around 70 euros per year. "The use of a water-saving shower head is completely underestimated. If you heat your water using an instantaneous water heater, i.e. with electricity, an average household with three people will save over 200 euros a year. With the current rise in electricity prices, the savings can be significantly higher "Loitz explains.
Pay attention to energy consumption when purchasing a new one
Co2online has established that even if the devices are becoming more and more energy-efficient, the power consumption in private households has hardly fallen in recent years. This is mainly due to the fact that most households have more and more electronic devices, for example a laptop or tablet per person instead of one computer for everyone. In addition, there are more and more extensions to the individual systems. These include, for example, sound systems or powerful graphics cards that also consume electricity.
If you are thinking about a new purchase, you should definitely keep an eye on the energy consumption. "Electrical devices with the highest energy efficiency class are perhaps a little more expensive to buy. On the other hand, they save significantly more in the long term and also relieve the climate. So rather keep your hands off cheap new purchases with low efficiency classes," advises Loitz.
Energy consultant Renner advises putting all household appliances to the test. "Basically, you should ask yourself, especially when it comes to refrigerators: Is the size of the device still right, do I still need the second device in the basement?" You should also check the entertainment electronics and lighting. "Many people are already using LEDs, but are overlooking the constantly growing number of televisions or gaming PCs. If the equipment and size increases, this can also result in higher power consumption," says Renner.
Save energy by doing the right thing
Incandescent bulbs are a rarity in households, but halogen bulbs are still widely used. The consumer advice center has calculated that replacing halogen lamps with economical LEDs saves around 85 percent of the energy required: the savings from replacing ten halogen lamps with LEDs with a burning time of 500 hours per year is 180 kilowatt hours per year – i.e. around 60 Euro.
"It doesn't have to be the investment right away: Changing behavior can also reduce electricity consumption by ten to 15 percent. This includes defrosting the freezer compartment as well as filling the washing machine correctly," says Loitz.
The consumer advice center has listed tips for saving energy on its website. This includes: Switching off devices on standby, operating the dishwasher and washing machine in ECO mode and making full use of capacities. Increasing the temperature in the refrigerator from six to seven degrees saves around six percent of electricity a year.