Electricity for househould appliances is not a significant part of your home´s operating cost: on the average it amounts to 1-1.5% of the cost of running a house. Keep in mind that hot water, not electricity, supplies heating for virtually all housing in Reykjavík. However, there are various ways to be economical and cut energy costs even further.
- Lights, the sun, household appliances and people are heat sources. By using these sources, you can minimize the use of radiators, effectively lowering heating expenses.
- Electric light emits heat. Ordinary light bulbs emit considerable amounts of warmth.
- On a sunny day, radiation increases room temperature significantly, even when it´s cold outside. Heat emissions vary according to your room´s location and window size. On a sunny day it is not uncommon that thermal energy emitted by the sun is sufficient to heat the room.
How can I save hot water?
Proper insulation - Heat loss in buildings correlates directly with the quality of window and wall insulation. Buildings that are adequately insulated need less heat and, as a rule, radiators in them are used more efficiently. You can save heat without much cost and effort by installing additional roof insulation. It is a good rule not to keep windows open for long periods of time when it is cold outside, but rather turn down the thermostat and air for short periods.
How can I save electricity?
Proper temperature inside - A heating system is considered to function well when temperature inside the house is comfortable (20°C) and lower parts of all radiators appear to be cold to touch (25-30°C). Use this as a rule and ask all members of your household to help you by checking lower parts of radiators by touching them.
Adjust temperature correctly - If a heating system is not properly adjusted, too much hot water flows through some of the radiators and they function inefficiently. Some radiators are left out and do not receive enough water, so there is uneven distribution of heat in the house. It is important to ensure that maximum flow to all radiators does not exceed their capacity (Kv-value) and that temperatures of outflow pipes are similar for all radiators.
Use the right type of lighting - The right choice of light fixtures is important. Do not use larger light bulbs than you need and make sure that the light fixtures you use do not reduce lighting. Use fluorescent lights when possible.
Use light colours in your home environment - Your surroundings have a great deal of influence on the amount of lighting that you need. Light colours of ceilings, walls, curtains and the floors can save lighting. Keep lamps clean.
Turn the light off when you leave - Remember to turn off lights when you leave. Lights are frequently left on for no reason when there is nobody in the room. This is also a fire hazard.
Breakdown of power consumption - The composition of electricity use varies between households. A typical breakdown of power consumption in a middle-sized family:
Washers - 28%
Lighting - 17%
Fridges, freezers - 19%
Cooking equipment - 24%
Other use - 12%