Reduce your ecological kot print
31 energy tips for students


You have most likely already heard about it somewhere: the energy prices are rising sharply.

Energy price rise

The average gas price for the colder months October, November and December has more than doubled compared to 2020. The price of electricity has risen approximately 60 %. These high prices are expected to keep rising in 2022. The share of water in the utility bill is rather limited. But the water company of Brussels has announced that it will increase its rates by 15 % starting the 1st of January 2022.

Impact on the student

It may even impact you, the ‘kotstudent’. Consult your tenancy agreement or contact your landlord to find out how your utility consumption is billed.

Then you will normally not receive a separate final settlement at the end of the year.

In that case, you will be charged individually at the cost price that the landlord has paid to the energy supplier.

Pay attention: This usually includes your individual consumption and part of the communal consumption (like the heating, kitchen appliances, lighting in the hallway …)

You can control your consumption by paying attention to a few things. We’ll list some tips to help you keep the invoice as low as possible.

Do it for the planet

Money doesn’t matter? Do it for the planet! The European climate ambitions aim for a 55% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to 1990. Housing is responsible for 36% of energy consumption in Brussels. So we all have to reduce our consumption.

Sneaky consumers

Some electrical appliances still use power, even after they are turned off.

Did you know that almost 10% of your daily energy consumption is lost to electrical appliances in standby mode?


Tip 1

If you do not use devices regularly, do not only switch them off, but also unplug them from the socket. Examples include a coffee machine, a kettle, a microwave, a TV…

For example: a coffee machine has a standby consumption of 6-7 watts. You save about € 10 on an annual basis by pulling it out of the socket after use.

Tip 2

Unplug devices and chargers when they are fully charged.

A laptop in standby mode still consumes about a third of power. Even when a charger is not connected, it still consumes a very small amount of power.

On average, you pay €33 per year for a computer that stays plugged in when you’re not using it.

Tip 3

Make yourself comfortable: Get a power strip with an on/off switch to group your plugs together and easily turn off the power.

Tip 4

Nerd mode: purchase a timer and place it in the power socket. This allows you to switch your devices on and off according to a schedule.

Lights out!

Tip 5

Very obvious, yet often forgotten: Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

Whether it’s your own room, the communal hallway or the toilet. Remember that you also pay for consumption in the common areas!

Tip 6

Go for LED!

Incandescent lamps have not been sold for a while, but if you still have one in your room, it is best to replace it with a LED lamp. For the same light output of a 60 watt incandescent lamp, an energy-saving lamp consumes 18 watts and a LED lamp only 7 watts!

Incandescent lamp
60 watt
Energy-saving lamp
18 watt
7 watt

LED lamps are more expensive than energy-saving lamps, but they last a lot longer with an average of 35,000 burning hours instead of 5,000 burning hours. It also makes no difference if you switch them on and off regularly, compared to energy-saving lamps which do not last as long. In addition, LED lamps are more environmentally friendly: they contain fewer harmful substances than energy-saving lamps.

Hot – Hott€r – Hott€€st

Whether it’s a kettle, gas fire, or electric heater; heating consumes a lot of energy.

Did you know?

… you save 7% energy by turning the heating down one degree?

For comparison

The cost of having a lamp burn for 10 hours is 2 cents. Heating your room for 10 hours with an electric heater of 2,000 watts costs € 5. Did you know that by turning the heating down one degree you save 7% of energy?

Tip 7

This one has been told already many times, but it’s extremely effective: think about whether the heating really needs to be turned on.

A sweater, socks and slippers do a lot to feel comfortable in your room. Energy saving: 100%!

Tip 8

Give your radiator the chance to give off as much heat as possible to the room.

So do not place furniture in front of your radiator and make sure that your curtains do not hang too low along your radiator.

Tip 9

Don’t let the hot air escape!

Cover cracks, holes and crevices with weatherstripping where possible and use a draft roller to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Tip 10

Leave your curtains open when the sun is shining so it can warm up inside, for free!

At night it is best to close them to insulate the window, so the room cools down less quickly.

Tip 11

You don’t have continuous ventilation in your room? Then it is necessary to change the air regularly to remove harmful air, even in winter.

Opening your window for 15 minutes is sufficient. This prevents the walls from cooling down and your room will be warm again in no time.

Tip 12

Have fun together! Make use of the common parts of your room.

Organise a game night or curl up on the couch for a movie night. Body heat also helps to warm a room.

Tip 13

Common costs are divided among all roommates.

So also pay attention to the consumption in the common parts. Is your party in the dormitory coming to an end? Then turn off the radiators before everyone goes to bed.

Tip 14

Decorating = insulating
Make it a bit warmer in your room by putting carpets on your floor.

This is not only cozy, but also energy-conscious! Because of the carpets, less cold air can escape through the floor.

Tip 15

Set the radiator to number 3!

Did you know that the rotary knob on your central heating radiator has a built-in thermostat? The numbers correspond to a desired temperature and therefore do not tell you how quickly it should heat up. Once the room is up to temperature, close the water supply to the radiator.

Just chilling in my room

It’s of course best to always have your fridge and freezer plugged into the power outlet when you use them. Use these tips to avoid that they use more energy than necessary.

Energy labels

Don’t have a communal kitchen, or would you like your own fridge in your room? Pay attention to the energy label! For the time being, this ranges from A to G on the market. You can save several tens of percents annually.

What does a custom label product look like?

Tip 16

Empty your fridge, fill your freezer.

The less your fridge is filled, the less it consumes. So regularly remove spoiled products from here. Still a full fridge? Leave enough empty space between the products so that the air can circulate. The ideal temperature of a fridge is 4 to 6 °C.

Unlike fridges, freezers consume more when they are less filled. Don’t have any food to fill your freezer? Then use styrofoam to fill the holes! The ideal temperature of a freezer is -18 °C. Every degree colder costs 5% more consumption.

Perfect temperature

4° to 6°


Tip 17

Just defrost!

Defrost your freezer frequently. Ice build-up on the walls drives consumption up considerably!

You can defrost your freezer in 4 easy steps:

  1. Remove the content
  2. Turn off the device
  3. Place a bowl of hot water in the freezer compartment (for about 15 minutes)
  4. Clean the freezer compartment with a mixture of vinegar, lemon and water

Energy guzzlers

Do you want to save money by cooking yourself? Then don’t waste any energy with these tips:

Tip 18

Water kettles are real energy consumers

So only boil the amount of water you need and descale it regularly with vinegar.

Tip 19

Take your food out of the freezer an hour before you start cooking

This not only saves you time and energy, but it also retains nutrients better.

Tip 20

Give preference to the microwave oven to heat something up

Give preference to the microwave oven to heat something up, it saves 2/3 more energy than using a stove.

Tip 21

Don’t open the door of your oven while baking

As this can cause the temperature to drop to 20 °C.

Tip 22

Put a lid on the pot during cooking

This way up to 90% less energy is needed. Did you know that you can also cook pasta in hot water instead of boiling water? Wait for your water to boil, then toss in the pasta and turn off the heat afterwards. Your pasta can continue cooking in the hot water.

Tip 23

Use a small stove for a small pot.

After all, you want to heat up your food, not the air around your cooking pot.

Tip 24

One-pot dishes are hip, easy and energy-friendly.

By using only one pot, you’ll naturally use less energy and save time and water while cleaning the dishes. The internet is full of tasty one-pot recipes, but you’ll find our favourites here.

A drop too much

Water consumption takes a relatively small bite out of the utility bill. But remember that it takes gas or electricity to run hot water from the tap.

Tip 25

For the diehards: collect water while taking a shower with an empty bucket.

You can use this to flush your toilet or water your plants.

Tip 26

Place a filled water bottle in the reservoir

The water reservoir of a toilet contains about 8 to 10 liters. Don’t have a water-saving flush button? Then place a filled water bottle in the reservoir and save 20% water per flush in one go!

Tip 27

Limit time in the shower. The hotter the water, the higher the gas or electricity consumption.

Tip 28

Install an economy shower head

A shower with an ordinary shower head consumes 10 to 13 liters per minute, with an economy shower head you can reduce that by half, down to 5 to 7 liters per minute.

Tip 29

A leaking toilet or tap: Report this to your landlord immediately.

All tenants are jointly responsible for reporting problems.

The numbers tell the tale!

Keep an eye on your use and follow the impact of your behavior.

Tip 30

If you use the Brik model contract, you will find the reference to your individual meter for gas and/or electricity in Article 6. Take the meter reading regularly (provided the counter is accessible) so you can keep an eye on how your consumption is evolving.

A handy tool for this is (digital) or our meter sheet (on paper).

Tip 31

Would you like to know how much a device consumes? As a Brik tenant, you can borrow an energy meter. Contact us.