How to save money on your electricity bills

The electricity bills in Spain have once again gone up, and especially in the south of Spain we are feeling the pinch! So you started looking for ways to save money on your electricity bills in Spain.

Electricity in Spain has never been the cheapest and with the Spanish Government not particularly cooperating when it comes to renewable energy, we are left with the hefty bill.

So how can you save money on your electricity bill and make sure some of your hard earned cash can go to lovely Spanish Tapas and Sangria instead of the energy companies?

Here are some surefire tips to get you on your way to that Sangria & Gambas Pil Pil in no time!

1. Install energy saving light fittings

Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, you will also see a difference in your energy bills at the end of the month. Sure it is a bit of an investment to start with, changing all your light bulbs at once, this is why we advice to change a couple of bulbs a month.

This way you don’t have to fork out a huge amount of money, and eventually all your bulbs will reduce your bills.

Moreover, if you change those bulbs you use the most first, you should start to save money on your electricity bills from day 1!

If you would like a professional to do this for you, you should get in touch with us, we can send you a free quote for changing all your bulbs for you so you don’t have to!  Plus, we often get huge wholesale discounts, so it might save you some money there too!

2. Install Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters. They are very popular in the hottest parts of America, and for 1 very good reason! Ventilation!!

Instead of turning on your air conditioning, the biggest energy consumer in your home, you simply open your shutters and let the draft do the rest. They are very effective and they keep the sun out too!

Plus, they add value to your home instantly, so not only will you save money on your electricity bills, you will increase the selling price of your property at the same time. It’s a win win!

 

All you need to know about Plantation Shutters!
Interested in knowing more about plantation shutters?? CLICK HERE to read about everything you could possibly want to know about plantation shutters!!

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3. Turn down your hot water tank

Did you know that every hot water tank has a switch that can reduce the temperature of your hot water? So in the winter you will need to have this higher than in the summer, and this way, in summer, you will save money on your electricity bills because it uses less electricity!

Contact us today for a consultation, one of our professional engineers can come to visit your home today to help you make the switch for Summer!

4. Talking of hot water…

What about your kettle? Do you fill it up to the top and boil a liter of water for just 1 cup of tea? Stop that right now! When you only boil the water you need, you won’t save much, but every penny counts right?

Bedroom Blinds in Spain

5. Get blinds for your windows

Especially in winter, if you close your blinds at night, you will keep the heat in, and you don’t need to use your heater as much!

Furthermore, blinds are very decorative and easy to control. So get in touch with our team for a free quote. We have every shape and size when it comes to window decoration and you will find the investment worth it for sure!

6. Install automatic light switches

When you use automatic light switches in rooms such as the bathroom, larder, storage rooms, sheds, garage and other rooms one usually does not spend more than a couple of minutes in, you will save money on your electricity bills.

Automatic light switch

Or you could train the cat to do it for you….

How many times have you walked into the bathroom to find the light on? Especially if you have children, we imagine you have more than once shouted for them to “SWITCH THE LIGHTS OFF OR ELSE…!!!”

Sounds familiar? The call us for a quote to change your light switches for those that react on movement or simply switch off after a certain amount of time.

7. Switch off

We have become a lazy race…. Everything has to be on standby so it switches on immediately at the click of a button. But have you ever thought about the money you could save if you would just switch things off? Everything is on charge, everything is forever plugged in…

Give it a try, for just 1 month and see what difference it makes. You might get a little impatient to start with but once you are used to waiting 30 seconds instead of 10 seconds for your TV to come on, you will be happy you tried!

Another pet peeve of mine is having everything plugged in. Even if the device is off, if it is plugged in, it will consume energy! Reduce this cost by simply unplugging machines you don’t use.

Shutters in Spain

This includes:

  • TV’s

  • DVD Players

  • Computers

  • Kitchen appliances

 

The easy solution is to plug these items into an extension lead with an on/off switch and when not in use, simply switch off!

8. Close the door… or open it??

In winter, make sure all your doors are closed. This way no cold drafts can come in, and the room you are heating stays nice and warm.

In summer however if you don’t want to use your air conditioning, and are making the most of your newly purchased Plantation shutters (see what we did there??) you will want to keep all your doors open to make the most of the welcoming draft!

9. Install sun shades

Sunshades are an ultimate energy saver. Do you have a lovely big terrace with large terrace doors? Then you probably also have the sun coming in all day heating up your home… In winter that will be a welcoming feature, save on your heating bills! But in summer, this will actually add to your energy cost, so install some nice sunshades to keep the sun from shining in.

Sunshades are available in all sizes, shapes and colours, so we’re sure we can find you some to match your outdoor décor. Get in touch with us today, we´ll send you some suitable options.

10. Check your energy provider readings!

This is a big one! I had a friend that thought her bills were becoming really high here in Spain. I asked het to show me one of her bills, I checked her meter and the numbers were completely out! She received a nice refund from Endesa, so she’s happy. But this is happening to many people in Spain! Don’t just blatantly pay your bill, check before you pay that the reading on your invoice matches the reading of your meter.

If you are not sure how to do this, why not give us a call, our electricians will be happy to help!

11. Install solar panels to heat up your water

There’s much debate about solar energy in Spain, so don’t get all overexcited and cover your entire garden with solar panels… unless properly licensed (which is a very difficult process in Spain) you will not be allowed to harvest solar energy for resales purposes. (really??… yes really… don’t go there, we’re still fuming…)

solar-panels

However, you are still allowed to use solar energy to heat up your water, so if you have some spare cash, this will definitely be in favour of your quest to save money on your electricity bills!

Let us know if you need any advice on this, we can assist in the installation of solar panels in your home and make sure you save money on your electricity bills!

12. Fill it up!

Do you have a dishwasher, dryer, washing machine? Make sure you always use it only with a full load. And if you have to really wash that one black top, trousers and 3 socks because you´re going out tonight, put the washer on economy, half load, half wash and perhaps even cold!

Especially when you live in Spain, you don’t really need the tumble dryer do you? Sure it makes your towels nice and soft but would it hurt if you stopped using the dryer for say the months of July and August? It would hurt the energy companies for sure! That’s enough reason for me! Besides, in the July and August heat, your clothes come out of the wash practically dry anyway, so let’s get out the old wash rack and turn that guest bedroom that no one ever uses anyway into your own laundry room for a while.

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Equally, remember how to hand wash the dishes? If you only have a couple of things to wash, why not do it the old-fashioned way; by hand!

It’s actually very relaxing sometimes just to wash your dishes by hand, and if your partner helps, you will find it is a great moment to discuss those lovely red shoes you saw in the shop the other day!

Let’s see how many pennies you will save! (which in turn can go to those red shoes!)

13. Turn the thermostat up… or down?

In summer, if you HAVE to use the air conditioning (you didn’t install those plantation shutters did you???) don’t turn it all the way down. Leaving it on 19º instead of “LOW” can easily save you 10% yearly on your energy bills.

Equally, in winter, reducing the heat by just 1 percent could save you a lot of money!

14. Something new….

Do you love your oven… even if it is practically ancient and about 40 years old. Has it served you well and you just can’t say goodbye??

Ok, perhaps this will help: Older appliances can increase your energy bill between 5% and 40% per year! So if your bills are 150€ per month x 12 months, that’s 1800€ – just 15% of that is 270€!!!

You can practically buy a new oven for that!!! Well not a whole new oven, but a half one for sure! PLUS…

Did you know, if your fridge was made before 2001 it is using at least 40%more electricity than a new fridge. That will make a HUGE difference to your bills!

Did you know, if your fridge was made before 2001 it is using at least 40%more electricity than a new fridge. That will make a HUGE difference to your bills!

you would have a new oven!!

We’re not just talking about ovens though, if you have a boiler that’s more than 10 years old… get it looked at and find out what the advantages will be if you buy a new one. We can help with that, give us a call and we’ll have a chat.

Other household appliances that often get forgotten and that could save you a bunch if you replace them for a new more energy efficient one are:

  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Ovens
  • Fridges
  • Freezers
  • Boilers
  • Vacuum Cleaners (that’s hoovers, for our American readers)

15. Get double glazing

Now this one is quite the investment to make, but it will make a huge difference and not just on your energy bills! Imagine how sound proof your windows will be all of the sudden? And don’t even mention the damp you will avoid in winter.

Furthermore, double glazing your windows will DRASTICALLY improve the salability of your property AND you will save money on electrics.

Need more convincing? Give us a call. We will be happy to send you a FREE quote.

16. Improve your insulation

If you feel a draft coming from somewhere in winter you probably need to check your insulation. Especially in Spain they have not been very generous with insulation particularly in the older homes, so you might find your house is not insulated at all!

We can check your home and quote you for the insulation works that might be needed.

Good insulation will keep the heat out in summer and the warmth in in winter, so it is definitely worth it. Furthermore, insulation is also something that will count towards a good energy rating for your home, which in turn will increase the value of your home, so it would be good to look at the options!

Sometimes all it takes might be insulating behind your electrical outlets & switches and you’re done! It does not have to cost a fortune!

17. Change Energy Suppliers

We recently changed from Endesa to Iberdrola in our office after having been promised a 20% reduction in our bills. True to their word, in fact our bills are lower (not sure about the 20%, but at least 10%!) however, this is not where it ends!

Once you have switched, wait for about 4/5 months and check again if other providers don’t give a better deal.

Sure it is a bit of hassle to change suppliers 3 times per year. Especially in Spain if you don’t speak the language 100%, but once you have done it a couple of times, trust me, it will get easier!

And you will save money on your electricity bill every time you switch, but count on the saving to be no more than 10%, even though they promise the world!

18. Get a fireplace

In winter, instead of switching on your central heating or thermostat, why not use your fireplace?

xqiO1If your fireplace has a glass door, even better, this will really heat up your home. Or get one that’s open from all sides like on the next image. This will ensure no heat gets lost in the chute!

You can get wood from every village garden centre, but if you really want to save, you buy your wood in bulk from one of your local suppliers.

You could contact your local timber merchant to see if they sell off-cuts, they are usually the cheapest, or you could stop at one of the many “wood for sale” or “Se Vende Leña” signs you see everywhere in Spain come winter.

If you don’t have a fireplace, but would love to have one installed, give us a call and we’ll have a look at the possibilities for you!

19. Find out when electricity is cheapest

Many electricity companies will supply energy at a reduced rate after a certain time in the evening (usually between 10PM and 6AM in Spain) So if you can get your washing done during those hours, including your dishwasher, you will save money on your electricity bills.

Call your energy supplier to find out what your options are.

20. Clean your appliances

Cleaning your refrigerator / freezer coils at the bottom or the back could save you up to 50€ per year! Give your appliances the space to breath so they can cool down quicker and therefore don’t use so much energy to do the job. This is also true for the filters of your dryer. Plus if you make sure your oven is placed somewhere it can easily cool off, this will also help.download (1)

If you have an air conditioning, make sure you service it every year.

Not only will these tips help towards your energy bill, they will also help increase the lifetime of these machines.

21. Set the right temperatures

In summer you might want to turn the temperature of your fridge / freezer up, but make sure in winter you turn it back down again!

Your fridge should be below 4ºC and your freezer should be at 0ºC.

Fridges & freezers also run more efficiently when they are full. So when you haven’t done your shopping and your fridge / freezer is empty, put some containers with water in the fridge and ice bags in your freezer to keep them filled up.

Make sure your fridge/freezer doors seal properly. A good way of checking is placing a 10 euro bill (or 50€ or even 500€ you show off!) and close the door on it. If the bill pulls out easily you need to replace the seal.

22. Get rid of the “rain shower”

unique-rain-shower-head-pluvia-tender-1Such a great feature right? You’re in the shower and water is coming at you from everywhere. Oh the bliss… but a feature you’ll soon get bored of and now you have to wash your hair every day!

Leave these gimmicks to flashy hotels and instead install a water reducing shower head. You will reduce the water flow, hence reducing the time it needs for the boiler to heat up the water, hence the energy bills will be lower…

23. Turn the stove / over off early

Especially if you have an electric hob, you could save money on your electricity bill by turning off the hob a few minutes before you are finished cooking. The hob will still be hot and you can finish off your cooking on the slowly reducing heat of the hob.

The same rule should be adhered to when using the oven. If you keep the oven door closed, you sometimes can turn it off even 10 minutes before the recipe says you should!

24. Switch to solar lights outdoors

This one is especially important in Spain where you have so much sunshine! These fancy solar lights can be bought in any hardware store for less than 10€ each. Buy a couple each month until your garden lights up as a fairyland every evening. For free!

So how much did we save money on your electricity bills?

So here you have it, 24 surefire ways to save money on your electricity bills. We did a quick approximation on an average household that pays 150€ in electrics per month, and the result was a whopping 330€ saving per year! That’s huge!

Imagine what you could do with 330€ in Spain…

You could get 230 tapas…. 100 glasses of wine (or 50 if you go to La Sala….let’s not go there then…). You could get endless pairs of flip flops or you could just tuck it away and save for a rainy day.

Whatever you do with your savings, you will be pleased this money does not go to the energy companies!

If you would like us to check out your property and advise on how you can save money on your electricity bills. Please contact us today. Our electricians have many years of experience in energy reduction techniques, and we have access to a large range of appliances, materials & tools to make sure you pay the best price!

If you can think of another way to save money on your electricity bills or would like to share an energy saving story with us, let us know in the comments below!

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