Technical progress makes some energy-saving tips obsolete

    On the one hand, the will to save energy is commendable from the point of view of sustainability, and on the other hand, money can be saved, especially with regard to rising energy costs. There is no shortage of tips and tricks for supposedly successful energy saving. Some of the well-intentioned but little effective advice actually had a right to exist in the past, but is now outdated due to the ongoing development of technology. Anyone who has very old household appliances should therefore ask themselves whether the components used are still up-to-date or whether there are now alternatives with lower energy requirements.

    Critically question supposed energy-saving tips

    If you are specifically looking for ways to save energy, you will also come across opportunities that are useless or even counterproductive. For example, if you decide to wash your laundry in the short wash program to save energy, you actually have the opposite effect. The short wash program of the washing machine consumes more electricity than a regular wash cycle because the water has to be heated faster than in a normal wash cycle. The myth that a full refrigerator uses more electricity than an empty one is just as persistent. In this case, too, the well-intentioned advice turns out to be ineffective. Contrary to popular belief, a full fridge is more efficient than an empty one, as the food inside acts as a kind of cold store and less air needs to be cooled.

    While misguided activism does not reduce energy consumption, but in the worst case even increases it, sometimes simple and effective measures are neglected. For example, by unplugging inactive chargers from the power supply and by switching off devices such as televisions or radios and thus not putting them in standby mode, you can save a lot of electricity. The unnecessary power consumption of ice in the freezer compartment is also underestimated, which should be counteracted by regular defrosting.

    Heating offers the greatest potential for saving energy

    Most of the advice related to saving energy is aimed at reducing power consumption. In fact, however, electricity consumption is only responsible for a fraction of the energy consumption in the household. According to the Federal Environment Agency, electricity accounts for only 20 percent of the energy consumption of German private households. The lion’s share of 67.6 percent is accounted for by space heating. So if you really want to reduce your energy consumption, you should start at this point and invest in good thermal insulation, for example, or be prepared to reduce the room temperature overall.

    N. Lorenz / Editor

    Image sources: marketlan /, Africa Studio /