Warm through the Winter together

Only those who have been living on another planet for the past few months have not caught on to the alarming rise in energy prices. And the ceiling has not yet been reached, the media and experts tell us.

It is a difficult period that we have to go through together. That is why on this page you will find all kinds of tips on how to be more energy efficient. We apply them at Howest, but they are also useful for you, regardless of whether you live at home or in digs.

And because we are an entrepreneurial college and together form a learning community, we also like to listen to you.

Do you have ideas, suggestions, comments? Send them to us at this e-mail address  bespaarenergie@howest.be.

At your workplace

Lighting

  • Provide toilets with time switches so the light switches on when entering and automatically switches off one minute after use.
  • Fit corridors and stairwells with timers or install motion sensors to avoid unnecessary lighting in these areas.
  • Place desks and work tables near the window if possible.
  • Use a desk lamp with LED lighting and switch off ceiling lights. 
  • Turn off lights in copy or storage rooms when you leave these areas.
  • Turn off lights when you leave your office, auditorium, workspace.

Standby Power Consumption / ‘Slumber’ consumption

  • Turn off all appliances completely when not in use! Also unplug them.
  • During weekends, switch off vending machines or adjust the temperature
  • Switch off coffee machines when not in use
  • Turn off electrical appliances like computers, printers, photocopiers, etc. outside office hours.

Heating

  • Avoid heating rooms when not in use (such as meeting rooms, sports halls and school buildings, even during weekends and holiday periods.
  • When staff have gone home, reduce the temperature in premises to a maximum of 16°C
  • Keep windows closed to prevent heat from escaping. If ventilation is necessary, do it briefly             (5 minutes) by opening all windows. 
  • Lower the temperature in office and public areas to a maximum of 19°C. Put on a thicker jumper and/or revert to grandma's vest or grandpa's long pants.

Lifestyle

  • Share a desk or workplace with colleagues

At home or in digs

Lighting

  • Avoid using decorative lighting.
  • Let sunlight shine in as much as possible.
  • Replace your old bulbs with low-consumption bulbs: an LED bulb uses less electricity than an incandescent bulb and provides at least 4 times more brightness.
  • Limit the number of lights in the room you are in and determine the amount of light depending on what you are doing (cooking, reading or other activities).
  • Turn off lights when you are not in a room

Household chores

  • Wash at lower temperatures, e.g. 30°C.
  • Hang laundry to dry instead of putting it in the dryer. After all, a tumble dryer uses a huge amount of electricity and even three times as much as a washing machine. Invest in a good drying rack and run the dryer as little as possible. The tumble dryer is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home. According to the most recent figures from CREG, the federal energy watchdog, you can save up to 125 euros a year if you don't use the tumble dryer at all or hardly at all.
  • Always put a lid on your cooking pots: you'll save 30% energy this way!
  • Let dishes cool in the air before putting them in the fridge.

Standby Power Consumption / ‘Slumber’ consumption

  • Turn off all appliances completely when you're not using them! Also unplug them.
  • Unplug the charger of a mobile phone or laptop when it is not being charged.
  • Turn off electrical appliances completely (computers, television, decoder, DVD player, hi-fi) and do not leave them in slumber mode.

Heating

  • If you have them, close curtains, blinds and shutters. 
  • Be sparing with hot water from the boiler (take a shower instead of a bath, don't wash dishes under running water, etc.). 
  • Lower the temperature in the house to a maximum of 19° C. Put on a thicker jumper and/or revert to grandma's vest or grandpa's long pants. A cuddly blanket makes it extra warm and cosy.

Are you sure lower temperatures are a good idea?

For those who understand Dutch, this is an interesting video in which prof. dr. Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, thermos-fysiologist at the Universiteit of Maastricht explains why there is nothing wrong with lowering the temperature in your living spaces.

Sceptical? Watch the video! I’m betting you will assume the challenge!

And another advantage: it is not only beneficial for your health but also for your energy bill!