These are my top 20 energy saving tips to reducing your electricity bill in the Algarve. Electricity from the EDP in Portugal is the most expensive form of energy and will represent a signicifant proportion of your overall energy costs.

  1. Use the EDP - (you may have to apply for this rate) - equivalent of economy 7 when you can. i.e. put your pool heater or underfloor heating on at night
  2. Avoid putting the lights on unnecessarily - switch them off when you leave the room.
  3. Replace incandescent bulbs with the new energy efficient light bulbs and get the same light for 80% less energy.
  4. Make sure you have effective insulation of doors, windows, walls, roof and floor,  which reduces the running costs of your air conditioning and underfoor heating systems.
  5. Reducing the intensity of your air conditioning by one degree Celsius represents a 10% energy saving.
  6. Buy equipment with category 'A' efficiency rating. i.e. 'INVERTER' air conditioners are always 'A' rated.
  7. Use an 'INVERTER' air conditioner over other forms of electric heating as it is one of the most energy efficient forms of heating.
  8. Try not to leave Hi-FI, PC, or audio visual equipment on stand by - standby mode can waste the equivalent energy of an electric light buld permanently switched on.
  9. Avoid leaving the fridge door open for too long when preparing food.
  10. Use washing machines and dishwashers always with a full load - which saves water, energy and time.
  11. Use low-temperature settings for washing machines and dishwashers.
  12. Try to use glass or ceramic containers when cooking in the oven - they help to lower the temperature needed for cooking by about 25 º C.
  13. Use the microwave to heat and cook small quantities of food.
  14. Use a laptop instead of a free standing PC - they are about 90% more energy efficient.
  15. Use rechargeable batteries which have a longer service life.
  16. Do not leave chargers or transformers in the plug socket after your unit is fully charged.
  17. Replace your electric hot water heating with a solar panel option
  18. If your Villa has 3 phase electricity, get an electrician to check that the loading on each phase is balanced.
  19. Use a pool heat pump or exchanger to heat your pool over a gas heat exchanger - they are so efficient that for every euro spent on electricity for the heat pump you will get back over five euros worth of energy, as opposed to gas which has a ratio of one euro to .70 cents energy return.
  20. Offset your energy costs with a Photo Voltaic solution and sell your electricty back to the EDP.