Alleviating the clean heat transition distortions and supply insecurities in the short-term

Among the most efficient short-term strategies to alleviate the risk of price and supply exposure is to reduce energy demand rapidly. The following list shows behavioural or minor investment (mostly) do-it-yourself (DIY) measures that have the potential to deliver the stated percent reductions of the overall space-heating bill immediately1.

  • -10 to -25 %: insulating the uppermost ceiling (less in larger, more in single family houses)
  • -10 to -20 %: insulating pipes, fittings and pumps in unheated rooms
  • -12 to -18 %: reducing the interior room temperature by 2 to 3 degrees
  • -10 to -15 %: heating all rooms individually, according to actual demand
  • -10 to -15 %: push or cross air venting with windows fully open instead of tilting windows
  • -5 to -15 %: using pre-set thermostatic radiator valves instead of uncontrolled manual valves
  • -5 to -15 %: hydraulic balancing, reducing flow temperature, adjusting heating curve
  • a regular installers heating check (every 2-3 years) can reduce unnecessary high energy consumption, as many heaters still run in the factory setting or without night setback
  • -5 to -10 %: lowering interior room temperature overnight and in rooms not being used
  • -5 to -10 %: using programmable and digital instead of pre-set thermostatic radiator valves
  • -5 to -10 %: attaching flexible gaskets or sealing tapes on windows and doors reducing air loss
  • -5 to -10 %: keeping radiators free-standing (do not cover them up or dry laundry on them)
  • -3 to -5 %: venting radiators, opening the vent screws and subsequently closing them again
  • -2 to -5 %: closing doors to lower temperature rooms
  • -1 to -2 %: keeping thick curtains or outdoor blinds closed at night

Another often-neglected tip is to turn off the heating/circulating pump outside of the heating season. When the outside temperature is below 20 degrees, many heaters start up automatically. Furthermore, replacing of a non state-of-the-art circulation pump of the heating system can save easily 10 % of your total annual electricity consumption. In the 1980ies uncontrolled circulation pumps for a single-family house needed 140 W, newer ones about 65 W, state-of-the-art, variable speed pumps consume only 7 to 15 W per hour of operation (operating 5,000 to 6,000 hours/a). So several hundreds of kWh of electricity can be saved by this simple measure, which only costs a couple hundred Euros. One further tip, because firewood stoves are very popular in times of crisis: operating a stove efficiently and correctly can save -20 to -40 % on fuel consumption.

The following list gives a similar overview of measures related to savings in domestic hot water energy demand. The stated percentages relate to the described domains of hot water utilization, respectively.

  • -50 %: showering instead of bathing; i.e. half amount of hot water is required only
  • -40 %: using saving shower heads (with air supply), i.e. 9 l/min demand instead of 15 l/min
  • -40 %: implementing heat recovery systems in baths and showers; if applicable technically
  • -20 %: using hot water for only four instead of five minutes when showering
  • > -50 %: using hot tap water only when it is needed, e.g. less often for hand washing; works only, however, if the hand lever of the tap is set all the way to cold position
  • > -50 %: using a dish washer only when it is full instead of rinsing off dish in the sink in between

Other tips that can permanently save a lot of energy after a one-off implementation are:

  • Setting domestic hot water boilers temperature for drinking water purposes down to 60°C
  • Using easily accessible sockets with timers or On/Off switches for under-sink boilers to avoid permanent pre-heating of the buffer storage

The majority of the energy saving measures listed above are applicable both, immediately and on a DIY basis. The REPLACE project partners recommend that public authorities and private initiatives inform households about those and further DIY emergency energy saving measures, helping them alleviate high prices and any current limitations of the work force/value chain.

1 Note that the stated savings cannot simply be added up as they are not always applicable, are interrelated and highly generalised. The lower range applies more to apartments, the upper range to single-family houses.

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