To cut the costs of electricity and gas at home, one can be useful energy audit 'housekeeper'. How much, where and how do we consume? There energy diagnosis it serves to give these answers and if it is indispensable for a company (to the point of being mandatory for certain businesses) it also has its own reason at home. The difference is that the energy diagnosis of a company is a complex procedure and is done by a specialized technician, while the one at home can be done alone with some information and a consumption meter.
Home energy diagnosis: the price of the supply
How much energy we consume we are told by the electricity and gas bills (under the item energy share in total sales services) where we also find the price paid to the supplier for the raw energy material: euro / kWh for electricity and euro / smc (standard cubic meter) for methane gas. Negotiating a good supply price is certainly important, but keep in mind that the cost of energy represents about 45% of the total expenditure for a typical domestic user (residential home with 3 kW of power used), the rest are fixed costs where they accumulate taxes, duties, excise duties and network services.
Home energy diagnosis: the style of consumption
What kind of energy eaters are we? Day or night? Weekdays or holidays? This information is given by the electricity bill by dividing the monthly consumption into the F1-F2-F3 time bands. Today in Italy almost all electricity meters are electronic remotely managed and allow reading by bands: F1 (at higher cost) from 8 in the morning to 19 in the evening every day from Monday to Friday; F2-F3 (at lower cost) from 7 pm to 8 am, on Saturdays and Sundays and all holidays.
Regardless of the reading by bands, the electricity supplier can apply 'bi-hourly' billing (different price depending on the band) or 'single-hour' (same price 24 hours). It is up to us to decide which one suits us more: if the bill tells us that the kWh consumed are mainly in the F2-F3 range, a two-tier contract is probably worthwhile, which offers us a lower euro kW / h price in the lower cost ranges. ; if, on the other hand, we consume especially in F1 (this is the case of the elderly), perhaps we should pay a monorary.
Indicatively, the convenience of the single time is triggered when consumption in F1 exceeds 33% of total consumption. It must be said that, after the widespread use of two-hourly rates following the introduction of bands by the Energy Authority (previously there was only the single-rate), more and more companies are returning to offer single-rate contracts at the request of customers. This also depends on the fact that changes in the electricity grid due to the greater weight of renewable energy have changed the mechanisms for calculating the cost of energy. Apart from this, the difference for us users is that with the single-time it doesn't matter when we do the washing machine or iron because the energy costs us the same at all hours.
In the case of gas, the meter is almost never electronic (the first ones are now arriving) and the reading is manual. Here the difference in the bill is made by heating, which affects the most in the cold season. The euro / smc price applied by the supplier may also be different in winter than in summer (variable price) which is why to find out how much they charge for methane, you have to look at all your bills. Generally, a fixed price for gas (the same every month of the year) is convenient if it is particularly low.
Energy diagnosis: consumption photography
Having established the how much and when, let's try to understand how we consume energy at home. The most useful aspect of one home energy diagnosis it is in the information for each individual point of consumption (appliances, lighting, boiler ...) and the more accurate the analysis is, the more the calculation data are useful for implementing the necessary interventions to reduce consumption. Without detracting from the importance of negotiating a good supply price, if we really want to cut bills we must act on energy savings and consider that the investments that lead to energy savings are the most profitable.
A precise photograph of consumption allows you to make the most correct decisions (for example to install a condensing boiler or to replace old bulbs with LED bulbs) and to attack energy waste where it exists. As for electricity, consumption mainly depends on lighting and appliances.
In the case of lighting, you need to know that a 25 watt fluorescent lamp provides the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. The replacement of a 100-150 watt lamp (1,000 hours of life) such as those usually found in the kitchen or living room (2,000 hours of lighting per year), with a 25 watt compact fluorescent lamp (8,000 hours of life), leads to an overall economic saving of over 100 euros in 4 years.
But the real news today are LED bulbs which, in addition to consuming less, last much longer (up to 25,000 hours) and have other advantages such as not heating (for this they consume less). The obstacle is that they cost more but if you add the advantages of lower consumption and longer life, an LED relamping of home lights is certainly convenient. And it can be done a little at a time, starting perhaps with the most used light points or energy-intensive spotlights.
For household appliances, on the dock there are in order: the iron, the dishwasher, the washing machine and the refrigerator. The latter is not the most energy-intensive, however, it is the only one that is always in operation (ditto for the freezer). Then there are the other electrical devices, which are not exactly electrical appliances, such as the television, the radio, the stereo, the computers and not least the cooking plates. We don't even consider the electric water heater, an energy-intensive monster, which is fine if you have solar panels on the roof or if there is no gas.
The problem is how to measure these electrical consumptions in order to make one energy diagnosis precise. Given that the energy labels with which the appliances are equipped give some indication (but refer to when the appliance is new), the simplest system is to use a consumption meter. You plug it into the socket between the network and the device to be measured and you have a fairly precise indication. A meter of this type costs around 30 euros, something more for wireless models with remote control (below you will find some that can be purchased online) and will allow you to draw a map of home consumption. And maybe you will be surprised at the energy consumed for charging smartphones and tablets ...
Here are the electricity consumption meters that you can buy online:
Technoline Cost Control it is the cheapest among the electricity consumption meters, we are at 15.23 euros, but quality and usefulness are also confirmed by a good number of reviews. Very easy to use, it allows you to instantly read the consumption of household appliances and memorize the peaks. The shuko socket hinders use in outdated sockets and appliances, but with an adapter the problem is solved.Technoline Cost Control electric consumption calculator
ThemGBC Electricity Consumption Surveyor it costs a little more than the previous one, 25 euros, with very similar characteristics. A product that has been valid for less time on the market (the same goes for the shuko socket which still applies to everyone).GBC electricity consumption meter
With RCEP9035 the price doubles (39.99 euros) but the accuracy reaches a tenth of a watt. Here it is clear that the energy meter is not a 'gadget' and that in addition to measuring the consumption of household appliances, it can be used to check the overall bill.RCE P9035 Electricity Consumption Meter
If you want to make a convenient remote reading of consumption you can buy theDigitech wireless meter kitwhich will prevent you from bending over the holds. Kit because the package contains three objects: the reader and two devices with which you can measure two appliances at the same time.Digitech wireless meter kit
Always wireless and always a kit for two measurements at the same timeT.echnoline Cost Control with remote control. It is the brother of the Technolile mentioned above and also resembles it for the particularly cheap price, 37.96 euros, in a package that includes the remote control and two sockets for two devices.Technoline Cost Control Kit
It goes up in price (104 euros) but also in the range withZeus K my-Energy Logger, a software electricity meter equipped with a complete analysis software for the comparison of home consumption with the meter. More than for instantaneous measurement of the consumption of household appliances, this device helps to control the electricity consumption of the home in the long term.Zeus K My-energy Logger Electricity meter