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Make Belgium less reliant on Russian energy and cook by microwave!

Under the slogan “I have impact” the federal government has launched a campaign to encourage people to use less energy. “Eleven million little bits make a difference” the government says. The government wants us all to help cut energy imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rocketing prices on world markets.

A website ikhebimpact offers tips for everything from microwave cooking to driving on the motorway.

“Belgium wants to be less reliant on Russian gas and oil.  The authorities, businesses and households can all help by consuming less energy” it says.

The government urges us all to lower our thermostat by one degree.  This could save you 240 euros a year.  “Only heat rooms that are occupied and keep doors closed” the website urges.

Lowering the thermostat can save you up to 7% on your bill experts say though they warn the campaign is unlikely to have any impact on gas prices that are fixed at an international level.

The website also urges consumers to lower the thermostat to 15 degrees an hour before they go to bed or head out for work as it should stay warm long enough for you to be comfortable until bed or you have to leave.

The government also wants us to be aware of appliances that use a lot of energy.  If you purchase a new washing machine, tv or freezer check the energy label. 

Minus 18 degrees Celsius is an ideal temperature for a freezer.  Every extra degree increases energy use by 5%! Defrost the freezer in time too: a 2mm layer of ice will increase energy consumption by 10%.  Keeping appliances like TVs, coffee makers and computers on standby uses a lot of energy and can set you back a tidy sum.

The government wants us to walk or use a scooter or bike for short distances.  “It keeps us fit but is also cheaper and more sustainable” the website says. Use public transport instead of your car and lower your speed on the motorway.  110km/h instead of 120km/h saves 12% in petrol and 18% in DERV. Cut your speed to 100km/h and you may be saving up to 25% in fuel.

For the government microwaves are king as they use 4 times less energy than induction cooker or a conventional gas cooker. The website also includes handy tips like use a lid on your cooking pot!

The federal government also encourages us to look at renovation and energy grants available from Belgium’s regional authorities. 

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