We can save energy in the home by making a series of changes in our everyday lives that can have a significant impact on our energy consumption and how much we pay for our bills. Take Adiconsum’s word for it.
Pietro Giordano – President of Adiconsum, the Italian Consumer and Environmental Protection Association
The energy used by household appliances accounts for about 80% of our domestic electricity bills. If we want to save energy, first of all we need to learn to recognise the energy label on household appliances, which was renewed and extended to cover all products relating to energy consumption at the end of 2011. The new European energy label was designed to offer consumers more help when comparing and choosing the goods that enable them to use less energy (and therefore also save more money). It features 3 new classes on the energy scale that identify the most energy efficient products (A+, A++ and A+++), and new pictograms (explanatory icons) that give consumers more information about the products’ features and how they perform.
You need to check the energy label when you buy a refrigerator or a freezer, and you should also look for a quality label that is recognised throughout Europe, such as BSI in the United Kingdom or IMQ in Italy, which confirms that the appliance conforms to safety standards.
The EU ECOLABEL is another one to look for (a flower with stars for petals and the “E” for Europe in the middle). This label indicates an “environmentally- compatible” product that normally also uses less electricity.
Here are some simple yet important tips for saving energy and keeping your refrigerator and freezer in good condition: position the refrigerator in the coolest part of the kitchen (away from the oven and hob, radiators and windows), leave a space of at least 10 cm between the back of the appliance and the wall, and check that there is also space above and below the appliance to ensure adequate ventilation, set the thermostat of the refrigerator to a position midway between minimum and halfway; if the temperature is too cold, it can increase energy consumption by 10-15%, and is no good for preserving food. Do not put too much in the refrigerator, and try to leave space between the food and the sides of the fridge to allow air to circulate. Make sure you open and close the door on your refrigerator and freezer quickly and correctly: most energy is wasted by the dispersion of heat. Care and maintenance are also an essential part of prolonging the life of your refrigerator and freezer and saving energy: check that the rubber seals are in good condition (and replace them if necessary), clean the condenser (switch off the electricity first though), and defrost the appliance if the layer of ice becomes thicker than 5 mm.
How many times have you opened the fridge and it’s empty, or you’ve only found a few things and none of them inspire you or get your creative culinary juices flowing? What’s in my fridge is the app that could solve your problems and simplify your life. Ideal for people who live on their own, the app is easy to use and suggests recipes based on what’s left in your fridge. With simple, intuitive and minimal graphics, the app lets you post your recipes on Facebook and photograph the results of your culinary endeavours to share with your friends.