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Saving money is something we could all do with, but when you are faced with utility companies who would rather see you spend money than save it, finding out how to save money on your energy bills can be a little tricky. There are plenty of ways you can cut your energy bill in Malta however and we aim to share our top tips and secrets with you.
Water and electricity are supplied to households via meters, so you pay for what you use and although there is no natural gas supply to properties in Malta, you can purchase gas canisters. Switching providers is not an option as there is only one electricity provider: Enemalta Corporation and one water services provider: Water Services Corporation. Gas canister prices are set by Liquigas or Easygas but, distributors can charge for delivery and cylinders.
A Word About Electricity Prices in Malta
If you live in Malta then you'll have an understanding of just how high energy prices can be, with the Times of Malta stating that the country has thesixth highest electricity tariffs in the EU. Yet it's not all bad news, the government made a decision to subsidise household tariffs which has stopped prices rising further.
The reason why electricity prices are so high in Malta is down to the resources used for energy production. Malta uses oil to produce energy and since the country doesn't have any domestic oil production it relies on foreign imports. Yet the Maltese government are addressing the problem with the construction of 3 new wind farms off the coast and an underwater power cable, which will connect Malta with the rest of the EU grid. Hopefully once these projects are completed then residents should start to see a reduction in their electricity bills.
Resident versus Domestic Tariffs
EU citizens who are registered as permanent or long-term citizens in Malta can qualify for residential tariffs for their principal address. Secondary homes are eligible for the more expensive domestic tariff, as are homes owned by people who are not permanent Maltese residents.
Check your utility bill to discover which rate you are on. If you think you are being charged the wrong rate, produce your Malta ID card or the new e-Residence card and contact your energy provider who will update your bill.
Using Less Electricity
Obviously the best and most environmentally friendly way to conserve energy is to use less of it. Here are a few ideas to help you cut back on your electricity usage:
- Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Those appliances which are left on all day are usually the most energy hungry such as fridge-freezers, so always check the energy rating of an appliance before you buy it.
- Standby Mode
Leaving televisions and computers on standby mode can cost a considerable amount each year. Get into the habit of turning appliances off, including your broadband router, when you are not using them.
- Ditch the Oven for a Microwave
Your oven may have an excellent energy rating but microwaves are still the most energy efficient way of cooking. Microwaves use energy to directly heat and cook your food, whereas an electric oven will merely heat up the air inside the oven.
- Switch your Desktop to a Laptop
According to the Energy Saving Trust, a desktop computer uses around 85% more electricity than a laptop. So make the switch and start to save.
- Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Change light bulbs to new energy efficient ones and try to make the most of natural lighting rather than turning the lights on.
Mirrors are a good way of reflecting light back into the room.
- Use a Gas Hob
Swap your old electric hob for a gas one as it will be much cheaper to use.
- Use a Low Heat Source in Winter
Low heat sources are much more effective ways of heating your home so choose a stand-alone heater in the winter.
Air Conditioning and Cooling Tips
Follow these helpful tips on keeping your home cool in the summer and you might just save yourself a huge summertime bill:
- Keep Curtains/Shutters Closed
The sun does a good job of heating up our homes by streaming light and heat in through the windows. Keeping the sunlight out can help keep our homes cool.
- Use a Fan at Night
You don't need the whole house kept cool at night-time, so turn the air conditioning off and just use ceiling or floor fans in the rooms where they are needed.
- Dispel Hot Air from the Kitchen
If you have an oven fan then use it whilst cooking to get rid of hot air, or use a floor fan which will cool the air and help move it out of the kitchen.
- Use a Dehumidifier
The humidity is often what makes people feel uncomfortable. So by using a dehumidifier you can get rid of this humidity. It may also help get rid of condensation which can lead to damp in many properties.
- Clean Air Conditioning Filters
By cleaning these every year you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning.
As water is also metered in Malta, it makes sense to conserve it with these water saving tips:
- Turn the Tap off
Don't leave the tap running to brush your teeth or whilst shaving.
- Fix That Drip
Turn taps off properly and get any drips fixed.
- Don't Power Shower
Power showers can use more water than baths, so replace it with an energy efficient showerhead.
- Use a Washing Bowl for Pots
Washing dishes under running water can waste dozens of litres of water.
- Wash a Full Load
Make sure you have enough washing to make up a full load as a half load can use just as much water.
Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Solar Energy takes energy from the sun and as Malta is blessed with a sunny climate you can benefit from low electricity bills. Water can also be heated with solar water heaters.
Under floor heating can make a huge difference in the winter and is incredibly energy efficient.
A micro-wind turbine can produce electricity for a household but your site would need to be assessed first to discover if such a solution is viable.