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European Sustainable Energy Week
News blog27 June 2024European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency3 min read

Every watt counts: Simple steps to cut energy use and emissions

By Šárka Jablonská, former EUSEW Young Energy Ambassador and ESG Project Manager for CPI Energo

Every watt counts: Simple steps to cut energy use and emissions

Reducing energy consumption in Europe is crucial for environmental and economic reasons. Lowering energy use cuts greenhouse gas emissions, reduces strain on resources, and decreases energy costs for households and businesses. While some believe individual actions do not matter, the aggregation of individual efforts can lead to substantial change. And individual actions are just one step away from collective ones. There are several practical ways to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint in our everyday lives, as every watt counts.

Energy efficient lighting 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce energy consumption is by switching from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer. This switch not only saves energy but also reduces the frequency and cost of bulb replacements​ and saves money even though the initial investment is higher. If every household in Europe switched one incandescent bulb to an LED, it would save 16.7 terawatt-hours annually, power 4.6 million homes, and cut CO2 emissions by 6.8 million tonnes

Action steps

  • Replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in your home and at work with LED bulbs. Just remember to recycle them properly. 
  • Use natural light during the day whenever possible.
  • Install dimmer switches to adjust lighting according to your needs.

Use Water Wisely

Saving water is not only crucial for conserving a precious resource but also for reducing energy consumption. Heating water is energy intensive. By using water more efficiently, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption. There are several steps you can take to help save water – low-flow showerheads, water heating optimisation, water saving habits, rainwater collection and more. If you have your own heating system, heat only the amount of water you need and then turn the heating off.

Action steps

  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and save around 10 litres per minute.
  • Fix leaks promptly to prevent water waste and save 15 litres of water per day.
  • Use cold water for laundry whenever possible and save up to 40% of electricity per year.
  • Turn off the tap whenever you brush your teeth, wash the dishes, or use the shower!

Reduce your digital footprint

The fact that the Internet is part of our daily life is something we cannot deny. However, the energy footprint of our digital activities, including emails, cloud storage, and streaming, is often overlooked. Data centres consume vast amounts of energy to store, process, and transmit data. By reducing unnecessary digital storage and optimising online habits, individuals can contribute to lowering emissions.

Suppose you are subscribed to the newsletter of ten companies that send you a weekly newsletter. Just sending these newsletters can cause approximately 26 kilograms of CO2 emissions per year, and if you do not remove them, it costs another 6 kilograms. If you unsubscribe, you can save the same amount of emissions every year that a diesel car would produce after driving 200 km. 

Action steps

  • Regularly delete old emails and unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters.
  • Optimise cloud storage by removing redundant or outdated files.
  • Stream content in standard definition instead of high definition when possible.
  • Use local storage solutions for frequently accessed files instead of cloud storage.


Every watt counts when it comes to reducing energy consumption and emissions. The first step is to realise your energy consumption and its consequences. By adopting these simple, practical steps, individuals can make a significant contribution to environmental sustainability and economic savings. Remember, the collective effect of individual actions can lead to substantial change. Therefore, it is key to spread the knowledge to engage people in taking more sustainable habits. Start today and be part of the solution for a greener, more energy-efficient future.

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About the author

Šárka Jablonská is a former EUSEW Young Energy Ambassador and a postgraduate student at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Her main research topic focuses on renewable hydrogen’s potential to replace natural gas. She also works as an ESG Project Manager for CPI Energo. CPI has its own portfolio of buildings; therefore, the topic of energy savings and energy use optimisation is one of the priorities.


Disclaimer: This article is a contribution from a partner. All rights reserved.

Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and should not be considered as representative of the European Commission’s official position.