Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Winter is coming… and so is a hike in our electricity bills apparently. Thanks to the power munching data centres that litter the country, and use almost 70% of the available electricity in Ireland, we are also facing the real possibility of rolling blackouts. So, something else to look forward to as the days get colder, wetter and shorter is more more money running out of your pocket into another black(out) abyss.
But if we are a little smarter and a little more vigilant there are lots of ways to make habit forming changes that will result in more moolah in your pocket for life’s essentials, like that second bottle of wine on a cold Friday night in front of the fire… just a suggestion. Anyway I have scoured the internet for the best tips to save the most money on electricity bills that don’t require us to feel like we are living in the 1940s.
The average Irish person spends €110 every month on electricity. Obviously this is more in the winter months so lets call it €140 per month in winter.
Turn down the central heating by 1 degree. You won't even notice the difference in temperature but you will notice that it will save 10% on your bill! Saving you €14 per month!
Heating hot water is a huge use of electricity. Use less hot water by switching the immersion to sink rather than bath will save you almost a €1 per day. Over the course of a month that adds up to about €25 in savings! So have slightly shorter showers and fewer baths will save you a significant amount each month.
Turn off the TV! That little red light that is on when you turn off the TV with the remote means that the TV is still using electricity, so turn it off completely by taking the time to actually push the button on the TV or at the socket. The same is true of anything that is always plugged in, such as your kids X Box, Desktop computer and printer etc. Having these items on ‘standby’ means you're saying goodbye to about 13% of your electricity usage every month… and for NOTHING! So there's another €18.50 saved every month.
It might seem like small potatoes but when you drink as much tea a day as the average Irish person drinks (5 cups) then boiling the kettle is something we do probably more than 5 times a day. I got in the habit of only boiling the amount of water I was expecting to use which really helps in terms of cost. Boiling the kettle costs about 5c each time. So do the maths and that adds up to an average cost of €7.50 per month.
Did you know that you pay more for electricity during the day than you do at night? So now I put on my laundry and dishwasher just before I go to bed. You can get a Night Saver Meter for FREE by emailing your electricity provider and asking for one. They also have to come out and fit it. If you did 50% of your electricity usage at off peak times (which is easy with the Night Time Meter) you would save about €10 per month.
Use LED bulbs. I switched to LED bulbs a while ago and there are a couple of great benefits to doing this. Firstly the bulbs last longer and are better for the environment but they also save the average household €5 per month in electricity usage.
Switch your supplier!! There are great savings and incentives to switch your electricity supplier. You can save over €300 per year or €25 per month just by switching. A great and simple way to do this is at www.switcher.ie and they show you your savings and do the switching for you. What more do you want?
So by my calculations you could save almost €100 per month on your electricity bill. Thats €1200 per year! Think about what you could do with that cash and I bet you'll be motivated to make these manageable changes to your habits.