A new government campaign launched in Belgium is encouraging citizens and households to reduce their energy consumption to “be smart with energy and help Ukraine.”
“Smart use of energy is good for your wallet, it helps us to become less dependent on Russia and it is good for the climate,” Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten said in a statement announcing the initiative.
The initiative will run for five weeks online and on all Belgian radio stations.
Campaign materials published on a dedicated website offered “five simple tips will help you save energy in the short term, without losing comfort.”
The tips include turning down the thermostat by one degree, check the energy rating on home appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, leave the car at home more often and consider using a microwave to re-heat food as – according to the campaign – it uses 4 times less energy than a stove or oven.
Van der Straeten also asked Belgians to prepare for the winter: “Belgian homes consume almost the most energy in all of Europe,” she said urging citizens to invest in better insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and solar water heaters.
To “set a good example,” the Belgian government is also reducing heating in all federal buildings by one degree a statement from Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s state secretary said.
Belgium imports 30% petroleum, 20% uranium and up to 6% natural gas from Russia according to figures from the country’s energy ministry.
Minister Van der Straeten reiterated that there is no problem in terms of supplies to Belgium, but “no one can predict how the conflict will evolve, but we can prepare now.”
Other European countries such as France and Germany have also taken measures to reduce their energy dependency.