Do you live in a drafty house? Then there is a good chance that you will have above average high gas consumption in the winter half-year - and that you will pay more as of January 1 as a result of the new energy tax. Here an overview of quick measures to save money on the gas bill.
Most Dutch people will benefit from the new energy tax. Although the rates are going up considerably, especially for gas, that is (more than) offset by a large refund. It can vary considerably individually: the refund is a fixed amount, while the amount of the energy tax depends on the use. For example, the government is trying to make savings - in particular from natural gas - more financially attractive. So what can you do to reduce your gas use as far as possible, and to get as much financial benefit as possible from the new tax rules?
Cavity insulation, roof insulation, floor insulation (at ground floor) and in any case double glazing. This is how the classical insulation advice can be summarized. You can hire companies for it or do odd jobs yourself with insulating material from the hardware store, but in both cases you have to pay the price. However, the difference in gas consumption with a house without added insulation is so great that insulation pays for itself fairly easily: the annual gas bill quickly drops hundreds of euros. If you have two or more measures implemented in a house for sale, you can also receive a subsidy to cover part of the costs.
Good wall and roof insulation make the biggest difference and are actually indispensable for those who want to live in an energy-efficient way. But what if you are a tenant, you don't have time to do odd jobs for a while, or you already have the four major measures in order - and are you looking for some extra profit? NU.nl has a list of practical tips that you will hopefully benefit from:
1. Also look at the thermostat (before you close the front door)
The most important tip of all: don't forget the thermostat. Saving gas is more than insulating, it also (naturally) also depends on how high you heat. Is nobody home during the day? Then a few positions lower is actually that smart. Are you a forgetful type? Hang your house key next to the thermostat. Then smarter firing may become part of your regular departure routine.
Alternative: a smart thermostat. He knows when you are home and automatically adjusts the heating levels. You can save more manually, says the Consumers' Association.
2. Ventilate, but not too long
Good habit: just open the windows in the morning. But then you also bring in the coldest air. In the winter it is therefore better to do that later in the day. That can save 8 degrees. And don't forget to close the windows again. A house is blown over like this, and with a forgotten open window or back door, your heating keeps working hard all day.
3. Curtains closed - and open again (take advantage of every ray of sunshine)
You can take advantage of the weather forecast. Is it going to freeze fast? Closing curtains makes another difference for the weakest place in your walls: the windows. But don't forget to open the curtains during the day, especially with south-facing windows: they work like a greenhouse - and even the weak winter sun can bring a few degrees of free warmth into your home.
4. A green garden can help (preferably with tall trees)
Do you have a garden? Especially plant a few trees! In recent years the tip was mentioned after summer drought and heat: tiles out, plants in it. A green garden retains moisture and can provide shade, keeping it cooler in the summer. The reverse also applies in winter. Then it is mainly about the wind: on the outside of the house the air is always moving. But the slower that goes, the less heat the walls and windows are constantly releasing to that air. That is why it can make a big difference for heating costs if you have a corner house that is on the wind.
So for those who still wanted to prune that wild hedge before the winter, we have the simplest tip: don't do it. And where a tall tree does not fit, ivy may be an option to give an unprotected wall an extra blanket. All bits help.
5. Hot water contains a lot of energy (and you can recycle it)
Before we forget: we not only heat the air, but also our water with gas. That is why shorter showers, for example, are a common saving tip. But we do have one more: when you consider how much energy has gone into that water to heat it up, it is actually a great shame to always wash it away in the sewer immediately after use. For example, do you have a bath? After use, let your bath water cool down before you pull out the plug. This is because that heat draws into your house, so your heating has less to do.
Dishwashing pans, baby baths, cooking fluid from the pasta, you can also turn this into a hobby: hot water from the tap, cold water in the gutter. Immediately get rid of that dry air, which is bothering you indoors during the winter.