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Old 17.09.2020, 08:59
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Reducing electricity costs

Hi everyone
Apologies if there are other threads on this but I didn't find much when I searched.
I am seeking to reduce our annual electricity usage in KwH. We are in a 15 year old single family home, so quite modern, but seems like our usage is relatively high. The European average is 3,600 per year, and ours is close to 7000.
I am going to replace all non LED light bulbs with LED, but any other suggestions and tips welcome.
Heating (gas) and water are separate topics.
I am seriously considering installing solar panels on the roof, a neighbour did this for around 25k and expects to pay 0 p.a. now, so payback of around 10 years. Any thoughts welcome.
I am of course looking to benefit financially but also to contribute to reducing climate harmful energy emissions
Thanks!
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Old 17.09.2020, 09:04
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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Hi everyone
Apologies if there are other threads on this but I didn't find much when I searched.
I am seeking to reduce our annual electricity usage in KwH. We are in a 15 year old single family home, so quite modern, but seems like our usage is relatively high. The European average is 3,600 per year, and ours is close to 7000.
I am going to replace all non LED light bulbs with LED, but any other suggestions and tips welcome.
Heating (gas) and water are separate topics.
I am seriously considering installing solar panels on the roof, a neighbour did this for around 25k and expects to pay 0 p.a. now, so payback of around 10 years. Any thoughts welcome.
I am of course looking to benefit financially but also to contribute to reducing climate harmful energy emissions
Thanks!
On the solar panels, there are tax implications - so be cautious... i.e. you pay taxes on the generated hypothetical "income" from the panels. When coupled with the life expectancy of the panels, it's doesn't always make sense in CH.

Do you have a computer running constantly? That can consume a fair amount of power
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Old 17.09.2020, 09:24
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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Hi everyone
Apologies if there are other threads on this but I didn't find much when I searched.
I am seeking to reduce our annual electricity usage in KwH. We are in a 15 year old single family home, so quite modern, but seems like our usage is relatively high. The European average is 3,600 per year, and ours is close to 7000.
I am going to replace all non LED light bulbs with LED, but any other suggestions and tips welcome.
Heating (gas) and water are separate topics.
I am seriously considering installing solar panels on the roof, a neighbour did this for around 25k and expects to pay 0 p.a. now, so payback of around 10 years. Any thoughts welcome.
I am of course looking to benefit financially but also to contribute to reducing climate harmful energy emissions
Thanks!
We use around 20k per year for a fully electrically heated house. We cut this in half by using panels and we're going to install a pellet or wood stove this year, which should reduce it further. Our payback is around the 11 year mark, excluding the tax (though the amount you get from the energy company is pittance anyway, in a couple of years we will put a battery in which will be more efficient use).

I always am intruiged by the green argument on this point - not as a criticism to you but generally - that electricity, which is the future of power with solar, wind and nuclear is a more harmful option than gas, which is using our natural resources which aren't replenishable. For me, I am hoping to stay with electric power and ultimately swap out to have a heat pump powered by the solar to heat the house, i.e. absolutely no carbon footprint at all.
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Old 17.09.2020, 09:55
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

f7000 per annum seems like a lot if heating and hot water are not included.

Before we installed geothermal we were paying about that including our electric powered boilers for heating and hot water.

We’ve dropped that cost to about f3,000 with the heat pump providing heat and hot water. (The pump cost 80k less a 10% subsidy from the Canton.)

LEDs will certainly help, but won’t make a dramatic difference.

I would recommend that you have an audit done on where exactly your electricity is going now. Your electric company should be able to help with this. I know Romande Energie does this but I don’t think they are in your area.

I would almost think that one of your neighbours was pinching your electricity.
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Old 17.09.2020, 10:03
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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I am going to replace all non LED light bulbs with LED, but any other suggestions and tips welcome.
We had a lot of halogen spots. The change to LEDs made a massive reduction in our electricity costs.

Having any appliances on standby is also a waste of money.

I wired a power meter up to a plug and socket so I could monitor, over time what appliances used the most electricity and also so I could show the kids that they need to turn things off.

Walk around and see what is warm - if it is, that device is using a lot of electricity - and wasting a lot too (Apple laptop power bricks - I'm looking at you specifically !)

Other things you can do:

Turn off your oven before you actually have finished with it - it will stay warm.
Run other appliances that can, in ECO mode, and run them at night too when electricity is cheaper.
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Old 17.09.2020, 10:32
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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f7000 per annum seems like a lot
7000 kWh/year, so CHF 1k or less.

Tom
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Old 17.09.2020, 10:38
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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7000 kWh/year, so CHF 1k or less.

Tom
Ahh...
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Old 17.09.2020, 10:50
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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We are in a 15 year old single family home, so quite modern, but seems like our usage is relatively high. The European average is 3,600 per year, and ours is close to 7000
The European electricity consumption average is per dwelling https://www.odyssee-mure.eu/publicat...-dwelling.html

Single family homes are not average. The average size of dwelling is ~90 sq. m. which is more or less a modern 2 bedroom flat with balcony. Or older 3 bedroom flat with small balcony. So, why compare larger house to smaller flats?
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:07
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

My account with EKZ (Zurich) has fairly comprehensive figures for our detached house consumption for the last 11 years.

Heating is by heat-pump which is at the moment on a separate meter, now ending.

Excluding heat pump: 11 years ago we were using approx 7,000 kWh per year which we reduced to below 5,000 kWh mainly be replacing over 30 x 50watt in-build (GU10) halogen spots with LEDs.

Last 12 months' bill was about CHF1038 up from CHF800 the previous year - the increase was due to charging my Tesla for 13,000kms worth (ie CHF238).

The heat pump cost varies quite a lot depending on how cold the winter is, this is about 4,000kWh per year at an average cost of CHF600.

So we consume about 9,000kWh per year for a 5½ room 12 year-old house at 520metres height.

We are in the middle of installing 24 x 400kWh Sun Power roof panels giving 9.6kWhp. We were told payback would be after 15 years. If we used more electricity it would be! I think 20 to 25 years will amortise the panels.

But, even though 100% of EKZ's power is from renewables, I felt the solar system was an investment in the environment.

Frankly for the cost saving alone, there are many cheaper ways of reducing your electricity bill - the Swiss favourite is turn down the heating in winter to 21° and wear a pullover. I like it at 22.5° minimum!

**added - also cheap rate after 20.00 and Saturday midday until Monday 07.00. We always do our clothes wash on Sundays.
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:16
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

7000 kWh/a is on the high end side for a large single family home with 6 inhabitants.
https://www.ekz.ch/de/private/kontak...verbrauch.html
https://www.energieeffizienz.ch/dam/...E-Dez-2013.pdf

Considering warm water and heating is no by electricity.

7000 kWh/a is an average 24/7 consumption of 800 W. Indeed quite a lot.

I would make a list of all devices, machines, and appliances which consume electricity and see how much they use and how much they are used.
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:23
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

Growing up in the 60's I learnt a lot about saving electricity from my father as electricity was expensive in those days. Here's our checklist (updated of course).

LED light bulbs
Turn off lights in rooms not being used - all to often, kids especially leave lights on everywhere. We only light in the room where we use.

Turn off computers and especially the monitors. I use a multiple socket with a switch, so when I turn off at night it's just one switch that turns everything off.

We often leave our computers running when we pop out, or have dinner. Put them in sleep mode. Not the same saving as turning off but better than nothing.

Same with TV and other items all on standby.

Turn off the WiFi box at night. Ours is on a timer.

Do not leave phone chargers plugged in when not in use.

Do not fill a kettle, but just boil enough water that's needed.

Run the dishwasher only when full - not after every meal when it's maybe only half full

If you have your own washing tumbler dryer, and you can, dry on clothes horses or a line if possible.

I'm sure there is more but that's a good start and you'll quickly notice the savings.
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:27
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

Old, badly insulated fridges or freezers are notorious for excessive electricity consumption. Halogen lights have already been mentioned. Home baking (bread etc.) with an electric oven also.
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:30
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

Remember that improvements affects the -taxable- amount of the house/dwelling.

In Geneva there are grants for upgrades; especially for older houses and some of the suppliers will fill out all the forms for you.

I ended up finding an expert who could work out the grants/tax situation and it was definitely worth doing.

Another point is that if you do a certain amount of work, you may need to carry out further work to meet building norms as part of obtaining the grant(s).

This was for someone else's house but I learnt a lot from going through that exercise.
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Old 17.09.2020, 11:31
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

Apart from what has been mentioned already, you might also want to check everything that's on 24/7; fridge, freezer, NAS etc and see, if they could be replaced with more efficient ones. After 15 years in the house, many appliances are likely ready to be replaced anyway.

You might as well look into replacing your cooktop with an IH one (if your current one is plain electric).
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Old 17.09.2020, 16:31
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

Unplug your children and young adults! Our eldest was mining bitcoins on his computer graphics cards 24/7 when he came back from uni. Don’t ask me what bitcoin mining is - basically it converted our electricity into virtual currency you use to buy weed on the dark interweb.
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Old 17.09.2020, 17:13
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

If I google average annual electricity consumption for europe it comes up at between 5000 and 7000 Kwh depending on the country so 3600 is low and maybe more appropriate for a flat.


Google will likely also tell you what you can do to reduce your energy consumption.


As an aside, an old tenant of mine used to heat the house with an electric fan heater instead of the gas central heating, with the windows ajar, and have all the lights on 24/7. He'd wash three shirts at a time on 90C wash with pre-wash, tumble dry them then put another 3 shirts on wash, so don't do that.
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Old 17.09.2020, 17:23
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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unplug your children and young adults! Our eldest was mining bitcoins on his computer graphics cards 24/7 when he came back from uni. Don’t ask me what bitcoin mining is - basically it converted our real money into virtual currency worth less than the real money spentyou use to buy weed on the dark interweb.
ftfy
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Old 17.09.2020, 17:25
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

I know 'every little helps' but a phone charger left plugged in probably costs in the order of rappen per year and a wifi router maybe 10 to 20 Francs.
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Old 17.09.2020, 17:37
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

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I know 'every little helps' but a phone charger left plugged in probably costs in the order of rappen per year and a wifi router maybe 10 to 20 Francs.
As a rule of thumb: 1W of constant consumption costs ~1.5 Franc per year (it is ~1 Franc for industrial users.).
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Old 17.09.2020, 17:39
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Re: Reducing electricity costs

In Italy I once measured the cost of one round (~2h) of tumble dryer. It was around 0.50 € with daylight tariff. I was actually expecting more...
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