How to save money and help the planet and Ukraine: advice from the International Energy Agency

How to save money and help the planet and Ukraine: advice from the International Energy Agency

It has now been two months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a ceasefire or some kind of agreement, unfortunately, does not seem so close. From the days following the beginning of the conflict it seemed clear to all the citizens of Europe, and even more to the institutions, that dependence on Russia for gas and oil it must end as fast as possible. It is true, it is certainly not the fault of the citizens that it has come to this point, but this does not mean that all together we cannot make small collective efforts to reduce that dependence, save money and, at the same time, bring important benefits to the environment and, therefore, also to all of us.

Governments across Europe are moving in this direction, and Italy is certainly no less, but the European Commission itself has decided to help raise awareness among European citizens on the benefits of energy saving and the importance of caring for the energy efficiency with a collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA) which has published a report on the daily actions we can take to save money and also help Ukraine by reducing the need for Russian gas and oil and, consequently, by reducing the flow of money to Russia, money which is also used in the conflict at the gates of the Europe.

Nine recommendations that, according to the IEA report, can lead a household in Europe to save more than 450 euros per year on the energy bill, but also to the whole of Europe to save up to 220 million barrels of oil and about 17 billion cubic meters of gas.

Let’s see together how we can all collaborate in a small effort at European level without upsetting our habits too much and improving the quality of our life.

Turn down the heat and use less air conditioning

The IEA study estimates that the average temperature inside a home in Europe is above 22 degrees centigrade. The sacrifice asked of citizens is really minimal: even in winter, and this obviously does not apply to all countries, but in the case of Italy it is more than sensible, it would be enough. set the temperature between 19 ° and 20 °and therefore only lower it by one or two degrees, to save 7% of the energy used and to see the annual cost to be incurred by over 70 euros fall.

This applies to houses with independent heating, while for condominiums it is necessary to agree and intervene on the general boiler. In the same way, even increasing the air conditioning by one degree during the spring or summer period would save up to 20 euros per year per household.

Adjust the boiler or water heater settings

Very often, they explain from the IEA, boilers or water heaters installed in homes or workplaces are left with the default settings, without considering that you can play with them a little to get results that do not impact too much on the our daily life and which, however, allow us to save up to 8% of energy used for heating and to heat the water. The savings estimate made by the International Energy Agency is 100 euros per year.

Working from home

It may seem obvious, but after two years of the pandemic we realized how much gasoline is saved in the working from home. It goes without saying that it is not always possible to stay in smart working, but more and more often companies are giving the possibility to alternate the presence in the office with a working day from home. Encouraging this alternate mode, even working from home just three days a week, would allow us to save on average 35 euros per month in petrolalso considering the increase in the electricity used during the stay at home.

Use the car more economically

According to data from the IEA, most of the car journeys in Europe are made by single travelers. The solution? When possible it would be enough share the car with colleagues and friends, saving gasoline and money. This, especially for those who live in big cities, is not always possible, but even those who have no alternative to traveling alone can do their part by not exaggerating with the air conditioning and thus optimizing the consumption of their car.

Reduce speed on motorways

Speed ​​in the car also affects consumption and also in this case the effort required to reduce consumption is minimal: it would be enough reduce speed by 10 kilometers per hour to save up to 60 euros per year.

Leave your car at home on Sunday if you live in the city

Walking Sundays are nothing new in big cities, but even when local authorities don’t impose it, you can make a little effort. organize your Sundays without having to take the car. Leaving the car at home one day a week, explains the IEA, would save up to 100 euros per year per household.

Walking or cycling for short distances

The car is at the heart of the IEA’s suggestions, that’s clear. Even this point, although obvious, deserves mention: leave the car at home for short trips, if you prefer walking or using a bicyclenot only saves us up to 55 euros per household per year, but also helps reduce pollution and traffic.

According to data from the IEA and the European Union, one third of car journeys are made for less than 3 kilometers. There is no shortage of alternatives, only a small effort is needed on the part of the citizens.

Use public transport

To reduce the consumption of gasoline, it is clear, we must give up the car as much as possible. However, public transport is not always a valid alternative and it is here that the effort must be made not only by citizens, even at the cost of a slight additional nuisance, but also by city, municipal or provincial authorities to increase public transport. during peak times or by reducing the cost of tickets as an added incentive.

Take the train instead of the plane

Not just cars. The study by the International Energy Agency and the European Commission highlights what frequent travelers already know: for distances of less than a thousand kilometers, high-speed trains are a valid alternative, while for longer distances there are night trains that allow to optimize times. However, this is only valid in a few cases: according to the study, around 5% of air travel within the EU could be replaced by trains. Before booking a trip by plane, therefore, the suggestion is to always check if there is a valid alternative.

Source: GreenStyle by

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