Table of contents:

Reduce additional costs: the 7 best tips
Reduce additional costs: the 7 best tips

Video: Reduce additional costs: the 7 best tips

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Heating, electricity, water, telephone, garbage - reducing utilities is an important issue in times of rising prices. You can find out here how you can save costs through more conscious consumption, modernization or a change of provider.

Table of contents Table of contents Reduce additional costs: 7 saving tips

  • Tip 1: optimize power consumption
  • Tip 2: Saving energy in the household
  • Tip 3: Change the provider
  • Tip 4: Heat sensibly and save additional costs
  • Tip 5: Reduce additional costs through modernization
  • Tip 6: Limit water consumption
  • Tip 7: reduce and separate waste

Table of contents Table of contents Reduce additional costs: 7 saving tips

  • Tip 1: optimize power consumption
  • Tip 2: Saving energy in the household
  • Tip 3: Change the provider
  • Tip 4: Heat sensibly and save additional costs
  • Tip 5: Reduce additional costs through modernization
  • Tip 6: Limit water consumption
  • Tip 7: reduce and separate waste

Tip 1: optimize power consumption

With increasing energy costs, it is advisable to take a close look here to reduce the additional costs. According to the electricity price index for Germany, an average four-person household consumes around 4, 000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. If the water is also heated electrically, it is 5, 000 kilowatt hours. At a price of 29.42 cents per kWh, the average cost is around 1, 180 euros or 1, 470 euros. According to the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), household appliances, such as refrigerators or freezers, consume the most electricity in the household. Devices that are constantly plugged in, such as chargers, computers, televisions or stereos that run in standby, consume electricity unnecessarily. You can save around five to ten percent of total electricity consumption if you pull the plug out of the socket. Only a few devices have to be constantly connected to the mains, such as a telephone system or answering machine. If you are the proud owner of old electrical devices, it is advisable to switch to newer technology - it is usually significantly cheaper to use. Photovoltaic systems also offer great savings potential.

Tip 2: Saving energy in the household

In the kitchen, you can reduce utilities by using a kettle or egg cooker instead of the stove. If you want to warm up your meal, you better use the microwave. Energy-saving lamps use 80 percent less electricity than conventional incandescent lamps, which have been a thing of the past since 2016. A smaller or variable-speed model can be installed in the heating circulation pump, which is often oversized - not a big, but worthwhile investment. It is also worthwhile to keep an eye on the efficiency classes when purchasing new devices. They range from A to G. The most economical devices are marked with A + or A +.

There are no efficiency classes for many electrical and electronic devices. A look at the technical data helps here:

  • The standby consumption should be less than one watt.
  • An old vacuum cleaner with 2, 500 watts of power consumes more power than newer models under 900 watts, but does not provide twice the suction power. Here it would make sense to switch to a newer model.
  • If you want to buy a computer, you should consider buying a notebook. It also helps to activate the software's power saving functions.
  • A plasma television uses twice as much electricity as an LCD device.
Energie sparen
Energie sparen

If you save energy, you lower the ancillary costs.

Photo: fotolia / fotomek

Tip 3: Change the provider

Perhaps your supplier is comparatively expensive and additional costs can also be saved here. A change of supplier is free of charge and without risk. To do this, electricity customers should determine their energy consumption in kilowatt hours. This information can be found on the last annual statement. If you have found a cheaper electricity or gas provider, they usually also cancel your previous contract. Do not, however, rush into a new supplier, but first get an overview of the market. And don't worry about courage: Even if you change providers, the supply to your household is guaranteed.

It is worth comparing to reduce additional costs

The costs for energy are made up of the basic price per year, the price per kilowatt hour and your annual consumption. Online tariff calculators or consumer centers calculate for you the usual annual costs of the offers available at your place of residence - including your previous supplier. You can then request contract documents from the providers you are interested in without any obligation.

Study the content of the contract carefully

Before concluding the contract, check the provisions regarding price changes and the contract term. Rule of thumb: the shorter it is, the sooner you can switch to a new offer. On the other hand, contracts can be interesting that guarantee a price over a long period. The notice period should not exceed three months.

Beware of tariffs with prepayment - because if your energy supplier becomes insolvent, payments made may be lost.

Energieverbrauch und -kosten ermitteln
Energieverbrauch und -kosten ermitteln

Photo: Source: Federal Network Agency

Tip 4: Heat sensibly and save additional costs

The heating has the biggest impact on the ancillary costs - if you really want to save, this is where you start. According to BDEW, an average house in Germany consumes around 20, 000 kilowatt hours of energy for heating and hot water for four people a year. Converted, this means 1, 751 cubic meters of gas or 1, 892 liters of oil. At the prices of August 2019 (0.06 euros / kWh gas and 0.63 euros / liter heating oil), the consumer would therefore have to spend around 1, 200 euros in heating costs for gas or oil within one year.

You can save heating costs with simple means. For example, you can roll up a blanket and use it as a draft brake in front of the door. It also makes sense to use the heating at night. This means that you lower the heating by up to five degrees Celsius at night. The room cannot cool down because the wall of the room emits heat to the cooler room air. It is only important here that you do not set the thermostat below 16 degrees Celsius, because heating up in the morning would destroy the energy saved.

With high ancillary costs, it makes sense to think about a new heating system: compared to a 15-year-old model, you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs with a modern low-temperature and condensing boiler.

Tip 5: Reduce additional costs through modernization

What are the benefits of changing suppliers or installing a new heating system if the heat is lost through walls, roof and windows? In buildings that are 30 years or older, you can save over 70 percent of the wasted heat, i.e. heating costs, with better technology, new roof insulation or insulating glass. A solar system covers up to 80 percent of hot water and 20 percent of heating requirements. But before it pays off, patience is still needed. It is faster with the government's money injection. Anyone who has their house modernized energetically can benefit from it several times. The lower energy consumption reduces the ancillary costs on the one hand, on the other hand increases living comfort and the property gains in value.

Many municipalities promote the switch to more environmentally friendly energy or energy-saving measures or energy-efficient technology. It's worth asking here. The heat pump is an economical and environmentally friendly heating system. This is confirmed by a study carried out by the specialist association for efficient energy use, in which a heat pump was compared with a low-temperature heating oil boiler in a new single-family house (according to the old EnEV). This showed that the heat pump performs significantly better in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Extra tip: plan in individual stages

The insulation of individual parts of the building and the renewal of windows and heating do not have to be done in one go, but should be coordinated. Consult a professional who will prepare the roadmap for a gradual renewal. Extremely useful by-product: a qualified energy certificate.

Tip 6: Limit water consumption

About 80 percent of the water costs consist of fixed costs, the rest adds up in the form of used cubic meters. In 2018, the daily water consumption in Germany per consumer was around 130 liters. Most of the liters were used for personal hygiene and the second most for toilet flushing. When you consider that costs have almost doubled in the past 15 years, saving water is a great way to lower utility costs.

The easiest way to save water is to place a brick in the sink in the toilet and turn off the tap while soaping up. You should also replace dripping fittings immediately. Because a dripping tap wastes about 17 liters a day. Do not fall back on the cheapest technology for household appliances either, because somewhat more expensive dishwashers or washing machines with a saving function are worth more in the long run.

Tip 7: reduce and separate waste

Additional costs can also be saved by using waste more consciously. Every year, every German citizen produces up to 300 kilograms of household or residual waste, which must then be disposed of in a mechanical-biological (MBA) and / or thermal treatment plant (MVA). That costs a lot of garbage fees and also pollutes the environment. Those who avoid garbage or recycle it save and reduce the additional costs. Here are two savings tips:

1. Sustainable shopping

Food is the most waste. When buying drinks, make sure that you buy reusable bottles and leave the disposable plastic bottle or can on the shelf. You should also not buy complex, multi-packaged products. When buying detergents, it's best to only buy concentrates and refills. When it comes to devices and electronics, you should focus on quality. The devices should be durable and repairable.

2. Collect recyclables

Did you know that glass is made almost 80 percent from waste glass? So collect your glass bottles and throw them in the containers provided. Also use the containers for paper, organic and packaging waste. You can dispose of your bulky or special waste at recycling centers. Don't throw batteries, accumulators and old electrical appliances away. They contain heavy metals and other toxic substances and must be returned to special collection points.

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