One small leap for individual, one giant leap for energy security
We are all dependent on electricity and become extremely vulnerable without it. So we expect energy always being available when we need it and at an affordable price. Yet, at personal level, energy security seems something that is not in our hands. But did you know that energy saving can be your first step towards energy security?
What a great sensation is to come home, after being out in the cold, and enjoy this temperature contrast that we have in our rooms thanks to the heating devices. Considering our climate specifics, we are used to set our thermostat points at 22 °C. With that temperature our bodies feel comfortable. But do you have a notion, that if you reduce your thermostat’s setpoint just by 1°C, you will not only significantly save up on your monthly energy bill, but also contribute to the decarbonization of heating sector and increase of energy security without any comfort damage. In the light of the latest tragical events currently happening in the territory of Ukraine, it is of utmost importance to accelerate the green transition and become 100% independent in energy.
If you are more curious about the monetary aspect, you can simulate your savings using the following Thermostat Calculator, that measures in Fahrenheit, but you can use a simple converter to get Celsius degrees. According to that tool, if you set the thermostat points to 22 °C for the whole day and decrease 1°C only for the night period (by the way, it is healthier to sleep in the cooler environment), you will automatically save up around 6% on your invoice.
If you think that small household consumers cannot make any difference by decreasing the temperature of heating system by 1°C, then check this out. In 2020, the households accounted for 35% of final energy consumption in Estonia! So imagine if each household contributed. According to our calculations, if each household decreased its heating system temperature by at least 1°C, more than 2% of total energy consumption in Estonia would be saved. We are talking about energy savings up to 650 GWh! Considering that Estonian average household’s electricity consumption is around 3000 kWh, it would be possible to supply around 220.000 households for the entire year with the energy we save. And if you decides to decrease the temperature even more, or for example in periods when there is nobody at home, the impact will be even greater!
Undoubtedly, the monetary aspect is very motivational and important, but essentially it has a much deeper meaning. Probably you already know, that in 2021 the European Union imported billions of cubic meters of natural gas from Russia, accounting for around 45% of EU gas imports and to 40% of its total gas consumption. If each household in Estonia could make such a small action of setting the thermostat to one degree below, the impact would be felt immediately. It also can be considered as a small gesture of solidarity to Ukraine that shows that together we can lose the energetic dependency from others.
Another important (and seemingly more global) measure that everybody could take is to replace gas-fired boilers to the electric heat pumps. Somebody may be skeptical in relation to this idea, because probably using a heat pump in severe Nordic winter may result in a shocking energy bill at the end of month. But this is not true! Firstly, heat pumps have evolved a lot, they are designed to match efficiency criteria and produce heat while consuming low amounts of energy. But of course, you can also install solar panels on your roof and get the energy for free to make your heat pump working.
Successful energy transition will not be triggered by politicians and large renewable energy developers. It will be triggered by individuals like you!