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Winter is coming: when fiction becomes reality

Event reports 18 Oct 2022

'Winter is coming' is a phrase viewers of Game of Thrones will be very familiar with. And indeed, in Europe, winter is coming. Rising energy prices are already affecting hundreds of millions of families. 

With home appliances being at the heart of our homes, what can be done to contain this catastrophic spike?

First. Mobilising the demand and creating incentives for consumers to actively participate in the energy market is key to unleashing the full potential of demand-side flexibility, in a cost-effective manner. Strategically running your appliances, especially the ones used to heat and cool our homes, during off-peak hours could significantly reduce pressure on the entire electricity network. So, how can we encourage the integration of such energy-efficient consumption patterns by consumers? “Incentives must be introduced to truly alter consumer habits,” stated Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General. A tariff reduction offer, for instance, to users who operate their appliances during off-peak hours would alleviate the strain of record-breaking energy prices while creating a positive knock-on effect on the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. All towards leaving society and the environment in a more sustainable, self-sufficient place moving forward. 

Second. Making better use of what we have in our homes. Alone, the so-called ‘passive cooking’ of pasta would save up to 47% of energy and CO2 emissions, whileEnergy cooking with a lid on, saves up to 25% of energy. On top of this, did you know that a dishwasher consumes 10 times less than washing by hand? These are only some examples of the small, yet simple everyday actions Europeans can take today to get the most out of their energy use. “As APPLiA, we will soon be launching an energy-saving tips campaign, gathering the intelligence of global leading home appliances manufacturing companies, to advise consumers on small steps they could take on a daily basis to minimise their consumption rates,” explained Falcioni. However, this cannot come alone.

Third. Replacing old and less efficient appliances. Advances in the latest home appliance technologies have seen true energy savings come to the fore, with European homeowners increasingly looking to cut both energy consumption and utility bills. While the worldwide population has been growing over the past few decades, so has the rate of ownership and usage rate of appliances. Energy efficiency standards have played a key role in contributing to mitigating rising energy consumption levels. Despite this, there is more work to be done. With 1.6 billion people worldwide still lacking access to electricity, government action to support investment in energy efficiency is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to helping people escape poverty. “A tangible financial rebate, providing value for consumers to replace their appliances, has the ability to make a substantial leap forward when it comes to tackling climate change, enhancing energy security and combating the recession,” emphasised Falcioni. 

The rising energy crisis across Europe also risks negatively impacting the industry, triggering investment decisions abroad, with tremendous repercussions on the European economy. “This surely is something we cannot take the risk to afford,” concluded Falcioni. 

Solving Europe’s energy crisis conundrum requires each and every one of us to reflect on how we consume energy, leaving no stone unturned. APPLiA Director-General, Paolo Falcioni, was invited to speak on behalf of the home appliance industry at the high-level EU-U.S. Task Force convening on ‘Campaigns helping consumers to save on their energy bills’, hosted by the European Commission. 

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