JNow people are getting the whole drama in writing: anyone who uses gas heating has just received a letter from their supplier. There, based on the consumption of the last bill, he calculates how much the gas costs will increase due to the recent price increase. Some have to reckon with a doubling. That quickly adds up to several hundred euros.
The letter is a new legal requirement and is intended to warn consumers. Even if a comparison is made with the basic supply tariff, which many do not even have, the message is clear: It will be really expensive and gas should urgently be saved now. The letter also makes a suggestion and calculates the savings for the citizen: lower the room temperature by one degree. Makes six percent less consumption. With around 8000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annual consumption, this saves almost 60 euros a year, depending on the contract.
That’s not encouraging enough to even start saving. But you shouldn’t let that slow you down. On the one hand, consumption is higher for many people and thus the potential for savings, for example in the case of families. On the other hand, they can also turn down the radiator by two instead of one degree. There are also many other ways to save more. “In the best-case scenario, behavioral changes can reduce consumption by 10 to 20 percent. Structural measures are then necessary for more,” says Alexander Steinfeldt from the non-profit consulting company co2online, which is funded by the EU and the Federal Ministry of Economics, among others. Not only gas users have to save, heating with oil or the increasingly popular wood pellets has also become significantly more expensive.
Ventilation makes the difference
Steinfeldt recommends taking stock first. “One should know how high the consumption is and whether it is above average. Then it will be easier to motivate yourself to save energy. Most underestimate their actual heating costs.” Co2online helps by creating a free heating mirror. All you need on the Internet is a few details about the size of the property and the last gas bill. It doesn’t take more than three minutes. The result is then more accurate than that in the legally required energy certificate. On the basis of this heating level, co2online has calculated for the FAS how much the heating consumption is reduced by the most well-known savings measures. Everyone can then decide for themselves what they are willing to implement.
The consulting company calculated for gas, oil and wood pellet heating systems. She determined data for an apartment and for a house in three different structural states, for example unrenovated or renovated or old and new building. The results can also be approximately transferred to other cases. For example, if the apartment is twice as large as the 70 square meter apartment included in the calculations, the savings in heating can be roughly doubled. The same applies if four and not two people live in the apartment. Then you can double the saving volume when showering. However, one must not add up the savings of each individual savings measure. Because every saving in one place reduces the savings potential of the other measures a little.
The biggest way to reduce heating bills is to change behavior easily. Anyone who closes a permanently open window in the apartment (two in the house) and only regularly airs it out for a few minutes saves up to 3600 kilowatt hours, depending on the heating system. Because the apartment does not cool down as quickly, the air is exchanged faster. The heating should be turned down in time. Those who still have a contract from 2021 would save up to 250 euros a year on average, those who have to pay current prices would save 720 euros.
A significant savings tip is also the lower temperature, which was already mentioned in the legally required letter from the gas supplier. If you lower it by an average of two degrees, you save as much as with forced ventilation. Average here means that you are very flexible: Similar results can also be achieved, for example, if you reduce the heating by four degrees in half the time, i.e. during the day when you are sitting in the office. Or if you reduce half of the rooms by four degrees and not the others at all. However, one should bear in mind that the heat requirement of a room increases when the neighboring room is significantly colder. The differences within the apartment should not be too big. The rooms should also not cool below 15 degrees, otherwise mold could form. Incidentally, minimum temperatures in rental contracts have just been declared void. Co2online recommends 18 degrees for the kitchen and bedrooms (setting 2 on the heating controller), 20 degrees for the living room and study (level 3) and 22 degrees for the bathroom (level 4).
A water-saving shower head, which reduces heat requirements and water consumption, also delivers similarly large savings. Such shower heads should not flow more than 6 liters per minute. Older people sometimes consume more than twice as much. “An energy-saving shower head is associated with hardly any loss of comfort,” says Steinfeldt.
The biggest savings come from insulating heating pipes. This costs less than 100 euros, but is only possible for homeowners. The most expensive measure is the hydraulic adjustment, i.e. a check of the heating settings. It costs several hundred euros, the savings are average. But after a few years, this measure has also paid off.