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On March 5, World Energy Efficiency Day was celebrated, an event that tries to make us reflect on the use - rational or not - that we make of energy, and on the need to establish consumption parameters and limits that respect our environment and even our health.
A study carried out by acierto.com shows that only 21% of consumers attach importance to the sustainability and efficiency of the goods they purchase. This means that up to 8 out of 10 miss it. In the case of the sale of cars, the matter becomes especially tricky, since more than half of those surveyed say they would not pay more for an environmentally responsible vehicle. Why would you switch to one then? Basically because of government restrictions and pollution protocols.
Our attitude is also reflected in our buildings, which have been suspended in environmental matters for almost six years - since the entry into force of the energy certification for buildings. The problem, again, is that we do not care too much, because the consumer does not have an idea of the savings that it will mean in the long run or the comfort that it can bring.
Yes, their perception of the savings that certain measures may entail in another area, say, domestic - such as turning off the light, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, etc. But is that according to the study data, this kind of measures can save users about 300 euros a year in bills. Here we also include the fact of choosing more efficient appliances, a subject that little by little we seem to be passing, especially with regard to dryers and washing machines.
Saving on heating and air conditioning, and preserving the environment is possible. To begin with, the ideal is to keep the house at a constant temperature that is around 19-21 degrees. At night it will be enough to leave it between 15 and 17 degrees.
For those who have a boiler, getting an intelligent thermostat, capable of turning on and off when the house reaches a certain temperature and adapting to their habits and rooms, will also be key. "There are even those that connect to the user's mobile phone and are activated by geolocation when they detect that the person is approaching," says Carlos Brüggemann, co-founder of the company that carried out the study.
Checking the radiators is another essential point. And it is possible that they do not heat properly if they have air inside the circuit. To increase heat diffusion, reflective or ceramic sheets can be placed on them.
It is advisable to ventilate in the central hours of the day, when it is hotter outside. About five minutes will suffice. Installing double windows, thick curtains, and other insulating materials are other elements that will help. In fact and according to the IDAE, up to 30% of the heating needs come from heat losses originating in the windows. The same happens at night, where the blinds will reduce the feeling of cold.
Regarding saving water, it will be enough to apply common sense: do not let it run more than necessary, abandon the bathrooms in favor of showers, put the appliances that use it when they are completely full, install dispensers and aerators that reduce the flow, include a double button system in the cistern, and so on.
Compare rates, key to saving
"In this area, as in the insurance area, it is very important to compare," says Carlos. Checking the rates offered by the different companies, choosing one that adapts to our hourly habits and consumption needs have become essential actions to save ”, concludes the expert. Fortunately, currently 9 out of 10 Spaniards compare before buying. Something that applies to all kinds of services. In addition, and at home, another way to save in the long run is to take out home insurance that covers appliances when they suffer a breakdown as a result of a storm, power outages and others, which sometimes accompany bad weather.
Águeda A. Llorca