HOUSEHOLDERS are being given tips on cutting power bills during the dark nights ahead.
As clocks go back on October 27 – possibly for the last time – consumers can follow some guidelines to reduce their winter fuel bills.
The time change is related to efficient use of light and energy saving.
In 1784, Benjamin Franklin, US ambassador to France, sent a letter to the Le Journal newspaper in Paris, proposing measures for energy saving.
These included charging people who prevent natural light entering their homes and premises, regulating the consumption of wax and candles and sound church bells at dawn to ensure people rise at the same hour.
It was in 1905 that William Willet proposed to advance the clocks 20 minutes every Sunday in April to gain light in summer and do the opposite in autumn, but the scientists opposed it and it was not until 1916 when a measure was taken for energy savings.
On April 30, 1916 during World War I, the Kaiser William II approved the time change to save coal, countries such as Germany, Austria and Hungary adopted this measure that lasted a few months.
In 1974 the time change became the norm and after the first oil crisis and in 1981 it was applied as a European directive.
Since then, all EU countries change their clocks to save energy although, according to experts in the sector, the change hardly alters household bills.
Official data suggests Spaniards save five per cent which is equivalent to about six euros per household per year.
The light and heating that is not used in the early hours of the day is spent in the afternoon as it gets dark earlier.
Online appliance sales company www.puntronic.com offers some tips to cut costs at home.
Natural light is a great ally and, while natural light reduces the need for artificial light, it also helps keep homes warmer due to the benefit of Spain’s daytime winter sunshine.
Unused lights should always be turned off even when leaving rooms briefly and LED lights should always be used as these use up to 80 per cent less power.
Appliances such as TVs and computers should be disconnected from sockets as ‘stand-by’ mode wastes energy.
Householders should review energy supply contracts to ensue they are on the best tariff and standing charge and ensure power is used at the cheapest time of the day.
Reading the instructions of appliances will enable you to calculate how much power each one uses.
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