News Reduce heating costs: “A lot can be achieved with little effort”
Wednesday, 24.01.18 , written by Anja Schlicht Proper heating needs to be learned. But how should consumers know if their needs are too high? Heating mirrors help to get a feel for the heating level in Germany or a region. However, if homeowners want to make their four walls more climate-friendly with subsidies, they face a “funding jungle,” says Tanja Loitz, managing director of co2online. >
Tanja Loitz from co2online (Source: www.co2online.de / Phil Dera)
By improper ventilation or radiators delivered owners and tenants pay each year too much money for a warm home. However, the greatest heat loss causes a bad energetic state of the house , explains Tanja Loitz. She is managing director of co2online. For example, the non-profit climate protection consultancy provides consumers with heating mirrors that enable them to assess their behavior and consumption.
In an interview with finanzen.de, Tanja Loitz explains how residents can reduce their heating costs , what potential smart technologies have for saving energy and why homeowners give away subsidies if they want to improve the energy-related state of their home.
Where do you get the data for the respective heating mirrors?
Tanja Loitz: The heating mirrors are calculated on the basis of real consumption data of residential buildings. In other words, the data comes from consumers who use our interactive energy-saving checks and enter their heating billing there, for example. All registered values are collected anonymously in our building database and then evaluated. For the heating mirror for Germany in 2017 , there were around 60,000 building data of centrally heated residential buildings from all over Germany.
How can people find out the reasonable cost of heating if there is no current heating mirror for their city or municipality?
Tanja Loitz: If there is no regional heating mirror, consumers can also evaluate the heating energy consumption and the heating costs of their dwelling with the heating mirror for Germany. That’s a first good orientation.
Anyone familiar with the year of construction of their home will get a more accurate result with the heating mirrors according to building construction years – because these heating mirror versions take into account that older buildings require on average more heating energy than newer buildings because the stricter requirements for energy consumption apply.
Incidentally, the regional differences in heating energy consumption have many causes. One of these is the weather – of course, this is quite different on the coast than in the mountains. Therefore, regional evaluations of energy consumption are more accurate than transregional ones.
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What, in your experience, causes the greatest amount of heat loss in an apartment or house?
Tanja Loitz: The biggest heat losses are caused by a bad energetic condition of the building, for example by missing insulation or leaking windows and doors . Overheating or improper ventilation can also increase consumption and heating costs considerably.
Here can be a lot of effort with little effort. A sealing tape for ten windows, for example, only costs around 25 euros. Consumers sealing their windows can then save more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours and 80 euros each year in an average 125-square-foot house. Anyone who bumps several times a day, instead of permanently tilting the windows, can even save up to 170 euros a year.
Assess own heating consumption
Consumers can see the current heating level for Germany under #. Accordingly, the cost range for a 70 square meter apartment is between 550 and 1,200 euros per year.
What tips do you have for homeowners?
Tanja Loitz: Homeowners should in any case check whether the heating pipes are insulated , whether a pump exchange is worthwhile and whether their heating system is optimally adjusted. Because many heating systems do not run efficiently, because a hydraulic balancing is missing. In the next step, owners should also seek advice from an energy consultant and discuss the costs and benefits of energy-efficient modernization of the entire building together with them – in many cases, the greatest savings potential can be found here.
Thanks to smart technologies, radiators can now be conveniently controlled via an app on a mobile phone or tablet. But the acquisition costs for the technology are not exactly low. What potential do you see in smart heating?
Tanja Loitz: There is a lot of energy-saving potential in smart technologies – how much that exactly depends, of course, on the individual case. On average, ten percent are realistic in our view . The biggest advantage is that the heating can be adjusted exactly according to the needs of the occupants. It is always heated only when it should be warm. And only as much as necessary. Of course, this is much more efficient than heating, whether it’s home or not. In addition, the comfort can be increased , even with relatively simple and affordable programmable thermostats.
In addition, users with smart helpers can better observe how much heating energy they consume . Only those who know how much energy they use and what their costs are is motivated to save money. In addition, waste and heating defects are detected faster – and not only after the next billing.
The government supports consumers who want to optimize their heating system through different programs. What is your experience: Do owners know what grants you are entitled to?
Tanja Loitz: Unfortunately, in many cases, potential is given away . For a homeowner, it is almost impossible to find all the support programs without help. That’s why we often talk about a funding jungle .
There are not only federal programs but also countries. Added to this are municipal subsidies and even subsidies from energy providers and manufacturers. Who should keep track? We therefore recommend not only our free FördermittelCheck, but also always a conversation with an energy consultant on site in case of extensive renovation projects.
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