Electro-myths

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Electro-myths. Myths and legends about energy.

Electro-myths

Electro-myths

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The router is the device that costs the most money in stand-by mode

    The most absurd form of wasting energy has to be the "phantom energy consumption”.

    This consists in keeping devices plugged in (on standby) even when they are not being used. Standby use accounts for about 7 to 11% of a household's total electricity bill. You are not using the devices, but they keep sucking on your power and sucking your wallet dry.
    Is it possible to share the blame and find the most power-sucking devices? According to the OCU, the most expensive electrical appliance in standby mode is the router: 11.91 euros a year in the bin. It is closely followed by printers and radio alarms. Think about it next time you go out and leave all these appliances plugged in.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Decorative magnets on the fridge door increase its power consumption

    This hoax started to spread across Internet in 2010 and since then it has reappeared several times, exploiting the message chains transmitted via WhatsApp and Facebook.

    The myth is as follows: the magnetic decorations we stick on the fridge door (souvenirs, jokes, logos…) make the fridge consume more power because they “increase the electromagnetic force of the electric field of the appliance”.
    The entire myth is totally false, including the scientific studies it quotes and the possibility that these magnets may be detrimental to the food stored in the fridge. The truth is that the magnetic fields of these magnets are so insignificant that they don’t even cross the fridge door.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    You need to add oil to the water when cooking pasta

    This habit is so common that it has almost become a tradition. But why waste olive oil? Because we have always been told that by adding oil we will prevent the pasta from sticking together, making us believe that the water will become oily and our spaghetti will slide gracefully around the pan.

    We all know this is not true; we have just never stopped to think about it. We all know that water and oil don’t mix and if you look closely, you will see what happens when you put the oil into the pan: it remains on top, forming a layer. If the pasta does stick, this is not because there is no oil in the pan; it is because it has gone beyond its ideal cooking point.
    Apart from saving a little drizzle of oil each time we make macaroni, dispelling this myth will also help our palate. According to the Italian Chef Federation, adding oil to the water prevents the pasta from mixing correctly with the sauce.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    You lose most your body heat through your head

    This popular belief is normally accompanied by the customary “put your hat on”, but recent scientific studies have refuted this belief.

    According to researchers at the University of Indiana, less than 10% of our body heat is lost through the head.
    The face, head and chest are indeed more sensitive to changes in temperature. This is why we feel warmer when we cover these parts of our body. But this feeling does not justify so many survival manuals claiming that 50% of our body heat is lost through our head.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Leaving a light on is better than turning it off and then on again

    You are just nipping out for 5 minutes. Should you turn the light off or leave it on? In general terms, the answer is that you should always turn the light off.

    The consumption peak of a bulb when it is switched on is not so significant to justify leaving it on, even if it is only for a few minutes. There is one exception to this rule: fluorescent bulbs do not last as long if you switch them on and off repeatedly.
    In short:
    Fluorescent lights: if you are only nipping out, you should leave them on, since these bulbs "suffer" each time they are switched on. If the light bulb blows, the cost of buying a new one is greater than the energy you would save.
    Halogen and LED lights: these do not “suffer” when you turn them on; therefore it is always advisable to switch them off, even if you are just nipping out.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Changing your vacuum cleaner brushes frequently helps you save

    Money, time and calories, as you won’t have to go over the living-room carpet four times to get it reasonably clean. It isn’t a modest appliance.

    As the Consumers’ Association points out, even though the European Community has obliged manufacturers to reduce the power of vacuum cleaners, they consume about 25 cents per hour. The less time you spend doing the cleaning, so much the better, but it’s no use going up and down the corridor at the gallop if the vacuum cleaner brush isn’t in good condition and you have to go over the same area several times to get rid of all the dirt. Change the brushes as soon as you notice that you have to go over the same place more than twice.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Turning down the brightness on your tv helps save power

    We’re not asking you to go back to black and white, but just to turn it down a bit to avoid reflections on the screen and to reduce your electricity bill.

    Is it worth it? Yes. Especially if you haven’t bothered to enter the menu to adjust brightness and contrast since you installed it. In shops – and this is a first-year Marketing subject–the televisions are set at maximum brightness so that the screens look bright and colourful and attract the buyer’s attention. If you’ve fallen for it, the first thing you should do when you get home is to turn down the brightness. Excessive brightness isn’t only dangerous for your electricity bill, but also for the pupils of your eyes, which have to make an extra effort to adjust. How much is “just right”? About 60%, or maybe even 50%. According to a report by the environmental group WWF, the television is responsible for 13% on average of the home’s power consumption. By taking this step, you can reduce your electricity bill considerably.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Covering radiators increases their power consumption

    In spite of the fact that the fashion of covering radiators with tailor-made slatted wooden units or marble shelves is now history, we still insist on obstructing the heat outlet.

    Take a look around your house. Are there any radiators that double as shelves and are collecting books? Or piled high with toys? Maybe there’s one hiding behind the sofa… Let’s straighten things out once and for all; anything obstructing the radiator restricts the air coming out and increases consumption.
    Putting your underwear on them to dry isn’t a good idea either. Unless it’s pouring with rain and you’ve run out of clean socks, try not to do it. The radiator isn’t a clothes horse. The flow of warm air is obstructed, the house won’t warm up so quickly and the boiler will have to work harder, driving up the power consumption.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The bigger the refrigerator, the less power it consumes

    Twin-door XXL refrigerators with ice panels are very eye-catching – that is, if there’s space for them in the average Spanish kitchen – but the price we have to pay is a higher electricity bill.

    Unless the size of your family or your shopping or cooking habits force you to store food as if a nuclear attack was imminent, it’s best to choose a normal-sized refrigerator.
    We mustn’t forget that the refrigerator has the dubious honour of being the household appliance with the highest electricity consumption. And it’s not just a matter of power – who takes it into their head to unplug it for a couple of hours, except to defrost it?
    The Consumers’ Association has done the maths, and they found that for every 100 litres capacity, power consumption increases by about 120 kWh per year. That’s about 15 euros.
    If you’re thinking about buying a new refrigerator, don’t concentrate so much on the size and take a good look at the letters. The difference between a class A and a class A+++ refrigerator may mean a saving of as much as 60% of your electricity bill.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Turning off the oven 5 minutes before the food finishes cooking helps save power.

    Our grandmothers used to do it. And not because they had energy calculations at hand, or because they’d seen it on the internet. They just knew, intuitively, that the oven stays at the same temperature for as long as 10 minutes after switching it off.

    Some of them even used to exploit the heat to swap dishes and warm up some other food. The Selectra Group has calculated that this gesture can save about 3.26 Euros a month. And the best thing about it is that the quality of your dishes won’t suffer at all.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Leaving the charger plugged in uses almost as much electricity as if we were charging our cellphone

    Leaving the charger hanging from the wall socket 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, hardly uses any power.

    If you’re one of those people who go around the house unplugging every charger you come across, you should know that you’re bending down for no reason at all. Well, to tell the whole truth, you’resaving about 35 cents a year. It’s a phantom energy use. For the electricity meter to detect it, you’d have to plug in all the entire family’s chargers – and a few more besides – all at the same time. The power consumption of this appliance is 0.2W. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory undertook to translate these data into money, and you’ll be surprised by the result. Charging your phone costs 50 cents a year. Leaving the charger plugged in costs less than 15 cents a year.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    For heating food, the microwave is more efficient than the oven

    But nothing is further from the truth. Are you going to compare one minute of electricity at full power with switching the oven on, and waiting patiently for it to heat up, or putting a pan on the hob and waiting for it to boil?br>

    You can always find people who question this. There are people who still think that the microwave produces a “false heat”, or that in the end it’s the container that’s always too hot to handle (all too many unsuitable containers are used, but that’s another story).
    The numbers prove us right. According to the Selectra Group, using the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible can save us 40 euros a year. It’s logical, as getting the oven up to 225ºC takes 15 minutes. Microwave technology, on the other hand, enables us to heat the food directly withouthaving to warm up any surface. To heat a litre of water up to 90º only needs 0.2 kWh (1.3 cents). If we used the oven for this, it would cost 5 cents.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Using short programme settings on your washing machine will help you save

    There will only be a relative saving if you hand-wash the dirtiest items beforehand. And in this case… why do you want a washing machine?

    It’s true that the “short” programmes use less water and electricity, but if what you want is that a pile of dirty laundry comes out spick and span, you won’t achieve it. The “ECO” low-consumption programmes usually take longer.
    The “ECO” name is justified in that they use less water and lower temperatures, which is compensated with the washing time. Getting rid of stains depends on the temperature, the mechanical action of the machine, the detergent you use and the washing time. These, according to the Spanish Consumers’ and Users’ Organisation (OCU), are the factors to bear in mind.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Keeping hot food in the fridge uses more power

    In the fridge and behind closed doors, there is a constant battle of kW trying to maintain the temperature that we require (in general, 4° C in the cold section and -18° C in the freezer).

    Every time that you put hot or slightly lukewarm food on the shelves, the compressor has to work double or triple to maintain the internal temperature, thus increasing energy usage. Patience. Wait until the lunch box is at room temperature before storing it in the fridge. This will help you save €0.10 every time that you do this. Philippa Hudson, a food safety expert at Bournemouth University, supports this theory.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The dishes should be rinsed before placing them in the dishwasher

    If you spend time rinsing the dishes to the extent that it would be easier to finish the task with a little bit of soap and not place them in the dishwasher, you should know that this is completely pointless as well as tedious.

    Moreover, you don't know the incongruency principle of how detergents work: they only clean when there is dirt. If the dishes are nearly clean, the soap enzymes yield less and all you will have achieved with your hand pre-wash is increase water and energy spending. The OCU (Spanish Consumers' and Users' Organisation) proved this, and advises people to skip the water and use a paper towel or a wet sponge to remove leftovers. Remember to put the dishwasher on when it is fully loaded and with the right amount of detergent to ensure energy saving. More detergent does not mean that it is better.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Electrical appliances do not use power when turned off.

    Walk around your house and count the electrical appliances that have been switched on since you bought them: the television, the desktop computer, the landline telephone...

    If you think that they do not use power when they are turned off, you're wrong. An electrical appliance that is switched on continues to use power. Don't be afraid of misconfiguring your DTTV channels and unplug the cables before going to bed. Some call this spending the ""phantom load"" and it is estimated that it accounts for 2 to 5 MW per device and hour.
    The Catalan Energy Institute estimates that the standby power accounts for 4% of the total energy spending. For a moderately equipped 90-m2 flat, this means an extra 51 euros per year.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Setting the air conditioner at a lower temperature cools down the house more quickly.

    The burst of heat you experience when you get home may lead you into temptation but unfortunately you will not speed up the process.

    This is a very typical error when using the air conditioner. It is a mistake to set it at 18° to lower the room's 35°. We are not driving a car that can achieve 100 km/h within 7 seconds. The air conditioner needs to take its time to lower the room temperature and this will not happen if we set it at 18°.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Tumble dryers use less energy than we think

    There is little tradition of using tumble dryers in Spain. Even when there are limits to hanging out the washing or when the homeowners' association forbids displaying underwear or sheets to passers-by, most of the Spanish population prefer to unfold a clothes horse in the bathroom and wait patiently until the clothes dry.

    There is also an underlying "energy panic": the idea that the tumble dryer accounts for a large percentage of the total electricity spending. Wrong. Apart from the practical terms, the clothes dry 75% faster in the tumble dryer than outside, there are fewer creases and you may not even have to iron them, thus reducing energy spending by not using the iron. Remember that this does not happen with combo washer dryers, where the clothes come out with many more creases. According to the CFE (the Federal Electricity Commission of Mexico), the electricity required by a dryer is minimal: 139 kWh per year.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Energy consumption does not depend on the type of electrical appliance we have

    It is a case of letters and your annual bill depends directly on the nomenclature of your electrical appliances. A Class G electrical appliance could consume up to three times more than a Class A appliance and it is worthwhile medium-term investment.

    You don’t have to scrutinise the 200 pages of the instruction manual before choosing your appliance. EU legislation toughened up some years back and it established an energy consumption labelling scheme for large appliances that have to display the label in a clearly visible way. A, B and C items have the lowest consumption. D and E items have a medium consumption and F and G are associated with high energy consumption.
    Some small electrical appliances do not have to display the label, but refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, driers, electric ovens and air conditioning units have to comply with Law. According to the IDAE (The Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) the differences are particularly noticeable with refrigerators. Ovens are another clear example: A class E oven uses twice as much as a class A oven.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Leaving fluorescent lamps on for a short period of time uses less energy than switching them on and off when needed.

    This is the doubt we have every time we go out the kitchen. We try to calculate how long it will be before we go back to pick at something from the fridge or to get a glass of water. We end up switching the light off. And this is what you should do. Saving experts have reached the conclusion that these fluorescent lamps should not be left on for any longer than 5 to 10 minutes.

    Although there is a brief power surge when they are switched on, the main problem is that the service life of the lamp when it is switched on and off diminishes, according to the study "Economics of switching fluorescent lamps", published by the magazine 'IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications', which states that the service life of a fluorescent lamp is higher the more active it is between switching. But the wear is not enough to compensate for leaving them on.
    Therefore, stop believing the unfounded rumours spread around the internet and switch your lights off whenever you leave the room.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Smartphones barely consume energy

    You only have to cast your mind back to when you used to charge your primitive mobile phone in the past (your battery could last up to 5 days) and how many times do you have to charge your smartphone now?

    In fact now, rather than charging your phone, you have to have it plugged in permanently - more like a fixed phone than a mobile – given your fear of running out of battery in the middle of a facetime conversation or while trying to get somewhere using your GPS system.
    This is not just a theory. According to a study carried out by the University of Stanford, the energy consumption of a mid-range smartphone is 5 to 30 kWh per year. Only a fifth of the energy consumed by a washing machine over the year.
    The only way of getting the cost down is to occasionally let the battery run down completely, close all your apps when you are not using them and put the phone on standby whenever possible.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Insulation barely affects energy efficiency in your home

    It is unwise to laugh at your neighbours that use towels to cover the gaps in their doors to prevent heat from escaping or who have invested their savings in double glazing.

    Choosing good insulating materials and sealing gaps could save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. You have to make sure that no warm or cool air can escape through gaps in the building (doors, windows, roof, floor, walls). If you have already changed your windows, you will be recovering your initial investment every month. If you have not done so yet, now is the time to do it. According to the Organisation for Consumers and Users, you could save 20% on your electricity and gas bills. Which are the best? Some windows now come with an energy rating, which makes buying much easier. The OCU also recommends PVC window trims and glass with a minimum depth of 4 mm.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Leaving a fan switched on in a closed room cools the atmosphere

    The blades of a fan are only able to move the air around, not to cool it or regulate the room temperature. If you leave it on at full speed in the morning, and return home expecting the living-room to be cool, you’ll be in for a disappointment. All in all, it’s only an electric fan.

    It’s true that a ceiling fan consumes 90% less power than air conditioning. That’s what the NGO WWF says, and they made the calculations. But it’s also obvious, as the fan does nothing but move the air around. The only relief it gives is when you sit in the right place on the sofa, right opposite the draught it generates. But its effect isn’t accumulative. To understand why, we have to talk about body temperature. Generally, our skin is at a temperature of 32ºC. If the room temperature is, say, 28ºC or 30ºC, the air blown by the fan moves away the mass of hot air next to our skin and replaces it with air at room temperature. But leaving the fan switched on when we’re not there doesn’t mean that the room will be cooler when we get back; we’ll only notice the difference when the electricity bill arrives at the end of the month. But take care. If you start to sweat and the fan is switched on, turn it off right away. The air that it’s moving is warmer that the air next to your skin, so you’ll feel even hotter.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The brighter the monitor screen setting, the more energy it consumes

    Electricity bills have to be paid, even if it is the result of the screen brightness of your laptop or smartphone and brightness is exactly that, the amount of light reflecting off your device.

    Computer geeks know that one of the first ways to save money and make the battery last an entire day without having to be charged is to put the device on battery-saver “dark” mode.
    Have a more romantic relationship with your computer or mobile device screen, use a dim light and use only half the amount of energy. Apart from open applications, the screen is the part of your devices that uses most energy.
    . In fact, according to a study carried out by Grupo Sia, charging a laptop costs 1.20 euros. And your mobile costs 12 cents. You think this is cheap? 87 euros a year can be cut by half, you simply have to charge them at night.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Closing applications will make your battery last longer

    Well, fear not. And both IOS and Android agree with this.

    You spend your days checking them and double clicking on the lower button to “remove” the last applications used from your screen. Sometimes there can be more than twenty: The calculator, YouTube, mail, Instagram, twitter, WhatsApp, candy crush, the google browser. You have left the house without a charger and you are scared that your device will leave you stranded. Well, fear not. And both IOS and Android agree with this.
    Their engineers have designed them in such a way that when an application is in the background it does not affect the battery life. If you want to prolong your battery life, activate low consumption mode, reduce screen brightness and disable unnecessary notifications.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Keeping the freezer empty uses less electricity

    If you think that by only keeping an ice tray and a couple of little bags of peas in the freezer you are going to use less energy, you are mistaken.

    In order to understand this, you have to know how a freezer works. The mission is to keep the compartment at a specific temperature. A freezer provides a cold environment which reaches an established temperature and once it reaches this point, its only function is to maintain that temperature. Frozen products help it to do this. Once they are frozen, they act as a second source of cold so it will need less energy and electricity to maintain itself at the recommended -18ºC.
    Go crying to your mother and fill your freezer with homemade meals, frozen foods and even bottles of water, if your budget does not allow you to go on a monthly grocery shopping spree. And above all, try not to waste time with the door open deciding what you what to defrost for dinner. Why not take a photograph of the contents with your mobile It is in your interest to do so.
    According to the OCU, the fridge is the largest user of electricity (30% of the total electricity bill) and the freezer uses 563 kWh and it is always on.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    You uses less energy to boil water if you start with hot water from the tap

    Have you not stopped to think about the extra energy you use by heating the water?

    This is a common habit in lots of households: You get to the sink with the pan and leave the hot water tap running for a few seconds – or minutes- thinking that as soon as you put the pan on the heat it will start boiling, as if by magic. According to the OCU (Organisation of Consumers and Users), the only thing that reduces costs is by heating the water with the pan covered. Once it has boiled, the temperature will be maintained even if you turn the heat down. You will use 20% less energy by covering recipients while you cook. Inquisitive people use more. Constantly taking the lid off to see if the water is bubbling yet or checking how the rice is doing only prolongs the cooking time. According to the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDEA), hot water accounts for 21% of a household’s energy consumption. Source: IDAE

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Single lever mixer taps can help you save

    Single lever mixer taps have one lever to adjust the water flow rate and the temperature which, if used correctly, will enable you to save money.

    No more drastic temperature changes in the shower, the washbasin or the kitchen sink, going from freezing cold to scalding hot until a pleasant temperature is achieved. Only those seeking that vintage look still prefer double taps with the temperature colour code on each tap, but if they were aware of how this affects their bill, they would not think twice about changing to a single lever tap. Single lever mixer taps have one lever to adjust the water flow rate and the temperature, which, if used correctly, will enable you to save money. However, if the lever is left in the central position, when you open the tap, the boiler starts up, which is very often unnecessary. To avoid this unnecessary consumption, there are single lever mixer taps that do not allow the boiler to engage unless the lever is turned completely to the left, as well as two-phase levers so the maximum water flow rate does not need to be used. And if you want to save even more, the ideal solution is thermostatic taps, enabling you to save between 6-16% with each shower.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Time-restriction tariffs enable you to save money on your electricity bill

    Now it is worth using high-power consumption electrical appliances such as your washing machine or dishwasher at night or in the morning.

    Endesa’s One Tariff not only reduces the cost of electricity during off-peak hours (from 22h to 12h and from 23h to 13h in summer), it also offers additional advantages: 12% discount indefinitely on your electricity bill and additional discounts depending on when you consume more electricity. If half your consumption is during off-peak hours, for every 1% extra energy you consume, you will benefit from a 1% discount.

    Is it worth changing to the time-restriction tariff to save energy? Yes. And even more so with the One Tariff that does not “punish" consumers with extreme time restrictions, for example, 8 am or 9 am are reasonable times for many to do their washing or for using the dishwasher after breakfast. The figures endorse a change to the time-restriction tariff. According to a study carried out by the Confederation of Users and Consumers (CECU), you can save up to 180 euros per year. In addition, with the One Tariff you can enjoy even more discounts in addition to those obtained with the time-restriction tariff. You simply need a digital meter. Ask for yours now, Endesa will change it for you.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Screen protectors help you save energy

    They only protect your eyesight. The screen protector mode is another file that your computer executes and it uses up the same energy as it would without it.

    It can even be more expensive as it consumes at the same rate as any other application when open. The screensaver was not designed for saving purposes; it was designed to prevent shadows forming as a result of staring at the screen for long periods.

    The standby mode is the only mode that can save you money on your electricity bill. It is worth programming your computer to enter standby mode after a few minutes of inactivity.

    According to the Applied Communications and Information Technologies Area of the University of Murcia, this saves 7.5 kWh compared with any other animated screen protector. In order to save energy it is advisable to reduce the brightness of your computer, or if you have a desktop and you are thinking of changing it, buy a laptop instead.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Ironing every day consumes more energy

    If the pile of ironing calls out to your every day, do not feel bad. Just stare back and tell it that you are trying to save energy and money.

    Apart from being a tedious job, your iron is one of the electrical appliances that uses most energy and can even reach a power of up to 1,500 watts and every minute you use it is expensive. When you plug it in, while it reaches 180ºC, which is the temperature required to eliminate deep creases, this is when it consumes the most and in some cases, this process can last up to two minutes.

    This is why it is wise to let the ironing pile up until you have nothing left to wear. Or invest in an ironing centre. According to the IDAE, they can use up to 46% less energy than a conventional iron. Other saving tips are to stretch your clothes when you hang them out and iron them during off-peak hours.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Old electrical appliances consume more energy

    New generation washing machines or dishwashers require less energy to start up and carry out their functions. Eco-labels can help you protect the planet and they also help you save money with each use. An A+++ rating indicates that your electrical appliance consumes between 30% and 60% less energy than one with an A energy rating.

    Special attention should be given to your refrigerator. According to the “Study on energy consumption of the residential sector in Spain” carried out by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), refrigerators use over 30% of the total energy expenditure in the household. A refrigerator with an A++ rating consumes 220 kWh per year. The refrigerator in your parents’ house may have a C or D rating and will exceed 600 kWh.

    Household appliances also age quickly and increase your electricity tariff. An old television or a hairdryer that is a few years old, require more energy to function.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Leaving your computer on permanently uses less energy than switching it off and on again

    Leaving it on “just in case” is simply an unnecessary expense if the computer is not being used continuously.

    This is what impatient people do. They cannot wait the few seconds that it takes from clicking the start button to being able to check their mail or their Facebook page. Starting the device is the most expensive part. However, leaving it on “just in case” is simply an unnecessary expense if the computer is not being used continuously.

    The final decision is a question of usage. A physicist from Harvard University measured the consumption of his computer in various modes and the conclusion was that the act of switching it on and off involves a consumption peak of 130 wh, a desktop computer consumes 92 wh while it is one and not doing anything, 4 wh in standby mode and 2.8 wh when it is switched off completely.

    The conclusion? If it is only used one or two hours a day and continuously, it is worth switching it off. However, if you need to continuously access it during intermittent periods, it is preferable to leave it in standby mode.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    In summer you use less electricity

    Depending on the weather conditions of each area, your electricity bill can go sky high during the warmer months

    In fact, last summer, record electricity consumption figures were recorded as a result of the heatwave.

    Air conditioning accounts for one third of a household’s electricity consumption and it is worth knowing that for each degree that you set your home, this consumption increases by 8%. The Ministry of Industry recommends not lowering your air conditioning temperature below 26º. To save money on your electricity bill this summer, the IDEA (the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) recommends closing doors and windows when using your air conditioning system to ensure that you do not waste the cooling energy. This will help you drop your energy consumption by 35%. And get that ladder out occasionally. A clean filter consumes less energy.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Using high temperature settings on your washing machine will make your electricity bill shoot up

    Many people think that clothes come out cleaner at higher temperatures, so they use short programmes at high temperatures. But this theory makes no sense.

    Quite the opposite, using low temperatures or choosing a “cold wash” programme is one of the few ways of getting your electricity bill down. Between 80 and 90% of the energy of a full-wash programme is used just to heat the water and a wash cycle at 90º uses four times more than the same wash at 40º.

    Another way to save money is to fill your washing machine , not excessively though as this is not efficient either as the clothes will not wash properly.

    If your washing machine includes an integrated drier (in some homes there is absolutely nowhere to place a washing line and some extremely annoying neighbourhood communities), it is worth changing the drying programme to a high-speed spin cycle, providing it is not an urgent wash.

    Changing your old washing machine for an A+++ rated one will also help you save money. The consumption difference between an old one a more efficient one can save you over €60 per year.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    You should always preheat your oven when baking

    All recipes that involve using this electrical appliance begin with "preheat oven for so long and at a specific temperature while…".

    Have cookery books been wrong all this time? Yes and no, but they certainly do not seem to care too much about our electricity bills.

    Cooking times that exceed one hour do not require the oven to be preheated for a certain length of time. It would only be recommendable for pizzas or gratinéed dishes, but 10 minutes are sufficient.

    Ovens are among the most power-hungry of all electrical appliances. They can reach temperatures of 300ºC in very little time and that costs money. According to the IDEA (Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) bills can be reduced by switching the oven off 10 minutes before the established time when the indicated cooking time exceeds one hour. Do not fear - your oven will remain hot during this time.

    And remember, the button for the internal light is there for a reason. You do not have to open the oven to check how your roast is doing or fill the kitchen (and the light well) with your aromas. Every time you do this, your oven loses 20% of the accumulated energy and the temperature drops 25ºC. Trust your instinct.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

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    Turning the clock forward or backward an hour represents a considerable saving in energy.

    Represents a saving of 5 percent in electricity between November and March

    From November, those who have sun filled south facing homes can afford the luxury of breakfast without having to turn on the fluorescent lights in the kitchen. But the fact that clocks are moved forward by an hour is hardly noticeable on the Spanish household electric bill. Getting home at 5:30 in the afternoon and having to turn on all the lights negates the savings made in the morning.

    The population faces this time change with changed sleep patterns and bad moods at leaving work "in the middle of the night", without understanding the reasons for “the thieving" of this hour of light. It has, however, been responsible for saving 6 euros a month in electricity bills.

    It has been calculated at the Institute for the Diversification of Energy Savings, which in short says that this measure represents a saving of 5 percent in electricity between November and March. That’s better than nothing.

    Source: IDAE

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The loss of heat or coldness through closed windows is negligible

    You can save up to 30 % in air conditioning

    This argument is held up with conviction by those who refuse to put double glazing in or to upgrade windows. They base their argument on a calculation of space and think that when compared with the size of the house, heat is not going to escape through these microscopic cracks. Moreover, they add -feeling very pleased with themselves- that, if people followed this logic, nobody would ever air out their home in the mornings.

    They are wrong. A guide on insulating windows from the IDAE (Institute for the Diversification of Energy Savings) mentions up to 30% savings on the air conditioning of buildings arising from well insulated doors and windows.

    Perhaps the time has come to consider reforms. According to the OCU, the best option is to use PVC framed double glazed windows with a gap of 4 mm between the panes.

    Source: IDAE

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

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    It saves more energy washing dishes by hand than in the dishwasher

    There is no point wasting your time or money.

    Hot water - because nobody wants their extremities to freeze while scouring the plates and dishes etc. of six diners - this consumes more than one simple dishwasher programme. Unless, of course, this is done as in some countries in Europe, which by custom put all the plates, dishes and cutlery etc. in a sink full of soapy water to be washed altogether.

    The appliance’s energy category is key. The more green a conscience it has, the better it is for the annual budget. But according to a study from Madrid’s very same Canal de Isabel II, dishwashers use less energy than that needed to “heat up 88.8 litres of water”. It has been calculated that this is the figure spent when washing up by hand. In energy terms, a daily saving of 1.06 kWh is made whenever the dishwasher is put on. Whoever has a calculator nearby can multiply this and work out the annual average.

    The OCU has even bothered to put it into money’s worth. And they say that 42.6 euros a year is saved by putting the dishwasher on five days a week.

    To rub it in, for the price of not washing up by hand you can afford one good meal out a year, stuffing yourself full…

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Switching off your heating for a few hours uses up more energy than setting it at a constant temperature

    By limiting the temperature at night, you can reduce your annual consumption.

    Those who have central heating do not have to lose sleep over this dilemma. They do no more than beg the president of the community of neighbours to give the order to fire up as soon as possible, or complain when this is brought forward. Things will change in December 2016 when the new European regulations come into force and each community is obliged to install an individual meter. It is estimated that this measure will bring down the bill for those who take care not to waste heat as each household will pay for exactly what it consumes.

    But for now, they are the masters and lords of the temperature of your home spending the winter using trial and error, studying the bills in detail. A brother-in-law said that if the temperature is kept at 19 degrees all day you pay less. Try the following for a month. To check if setting it at 37 degrees for the two hours we are out saves all the day’s heat and costs less… what stress!

    The reality is that, contrary to popular belief, leaving it at ambient temperature does not save anything. According to IDEA, the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, you should switch your heating on when your home is really occupied and turn it off or lower the thermostat to between 15-17ºC in the evening.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Ceramic hobs use more energy than gas hobs.

    Vitro-ceramic hobs use much more energy than gas ones, but induction plates can reduce your electricity bill a little.

    Love at first sight! So clean, so sparkling, with its digital buttons that turn on, without the risk of oil catching alight and burning our eyebrows… but… all said and done, the ceramic hob consumes more than a gas cooker. The bill could even increase by up to three times in a home environment where the family eats at home every day.

    It is not a question of returning to 40 years ago and remodelling the kitchen of the newly built house in which you live. It is necessary to work at it day by day in order to minimize the difference. The IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings) recommends, wherever there is an electric cooker, using pots and pans with diffuser bases. This enables a more homogeneous temperature to be achieved all over the base of the pan and so reducing expenditure. They are more expensive at the time of installation, but induction hobs heat twice as fast and reduce electricity bills by 20%. Instead of heating with the help of resistance, they do so through a bovine that generates an electromagnetic field.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    It is better to leave lights on than switching them on and off

    Switching lights on and off generates an insignificant consumption surge.

    Those that really know how to save energy are shocked and stunned every time they see the typical behaviour of an OCD sufferer switching the lights on and off 9 times in a row every time they go in and out of a room. "How much do they pay in electricity bills?" is the first idea that would go through your head.

    They turn lights off every time they go out of a room, knowing that it is necessary to save energy - for the good of the planet and also so as to get to the end of the month-.

    Is it okay to do as they do or, unknowingly, are they using up the Earth’s energy reserves?

    There is a consumption peak when a fluorescent light is switched on but it is insignificant. What is affected by switching lights on and off repeatedly is the useful life of lights.

    Therefore, experts from the CIEMAT (Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology) reckon the rule is clear. Unless you are going to be gone for less than 5 minutes, it is better to switch them off.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    Using a high flame will heat food up quicker

    Fogón al máximo
    Using lids is what speeds up cooking processes the most.

    A look at the state of any kitchen is enough to work out if the person cooking is one of those who turns the gas cooker ring up as far as possible thinking they are saving time and energy. The yellowish tiles, the blackened roof, the burnt bottoms of pots and pans… You may save some time - depending on how you look at it - but in the long run, the cost of gas will be the same as that for those who prefer to do things at a lower heat.

    No. Risking burning your eyebrows or lighting up the oil so the cooker turns into an uncontrollable fire serves no purpose at all.

    The fact that the flames can be seen beyond the area of the frying pan or saucepan represents a significant waste of heat.

    What are the golden rules in reducing expenditure? Turn down the heat to a minimum once the water has boiled, use just the right amount of liquid, use the ring that best suits the dimensions of the saucepan or frying pan.

    A good savings plan for a boring day? Devote one afternoon to pairing up each pan or frying pan with its lid - albeit searching through all the the cupboards high up in the kitchen - and always use them. It is the only thing that accelerates the cooking process.

  • There are countless myths and legends about energy saving and efficiency. Do you want to hear the truth? Every week we will uncover one of these myths and we will clarify and enlighten you on some of these legends.

    Are the following myths true?

    The stand-by mode on electrical appliances barely consumes energy

    Modo stand by de los aparatos eléctricos
    They are almost unnoticeable lights, but they definitely use electricity.

    There are households where the evening is turned into a festival of light signals. Apple device shines out whitish in the darkness, the light of the mobile we leave on the side table in flight safe mode, the red indicator light on the TV, the green Hi-Fi one, the wii… are tenuous and almost imperceptible, and so the net day we avoid having to fully powered up, but they consume energy nonetheless.

    It should be clear that in sleep mode appliances are at rest, they are, but the electricity meter is still running.

    According to a report carried out jointly by IDEA and Eurosat, the seemingly harmless stand by function means an annual expenditure of 231 kWh. Taking into account that the average yearly consumption of a computer is 172 kWh or that of a dishwasher is 246 kWh, do your own sums.

    A detailed tour at night to turn off any light signal and unplug electrical appliances can lead to a saving of up to 5 per cent in electricity consumption. Pay attention to the TV and games consoles. They are the appliances that consume the most on stand-by.

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