Drive at lower speeds on highways, turn down the thermostat and use less air-conditioning, work from home, use public transport, and prefer trains to short-haul flights. These are some of the measures outlined on Thursday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the European Commission which, they say, would save EU households money, reduce EU reliance on Russian fossil fuels, support Ukraine, and help the fight against climate change.
“Cutting energy use also supports Ukraine by reducing the need for Russian oil and gas, helping to reduce the revenue streams funding the invasion,” the IEA and the EC say.
The EU has started discussions on a possible embargo on imports of Russian oil, and the bloc is reportedly in talks with oil-producing countries for potential deals to get quickly non-Russian oil supply. The EU, however, continues to be split on the idea of a Russian oil embargo, with Germany leading the group opposing an immediate full ban.
If EU consumers follow the recommendations outlined by the IEA and the EU today, a typical household in the European Union could reduce, on average, its energy bill by more than $490 (450 euro) a year, they say.
Turning down the thermostat at home by just 1 degree Celsius would save around 7 percent of the energy used for heating. Setting the air conditioner 1 degree Celsius warmer could reduce the amount of electricity used by almost 10 percent, the IEA and the EC note.
If all EU citizens were to follow the recommendations at home and in their workplace, it would save 220 million barrels of oil a year, which is enough to fill 120 supertankers, and around 17 billion cubic meters of gas, which is enough to heat almost 20 million homes, the IEA and the EC said.
“Citizens have the power to immediately cut their energy use and reduce their fuel bills. But it is government authorities – from the national to regional, city and local levels – that are ultimately best placed to incentivise energy saving actions,” the energy agency and the EU’s executive arm said.