Mother's column – playing the energy game


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

A woman using candles, socks and a blanket to keep warm, while saving on her energy bill. Photo ANP, Rob Engelaar

Small moments of happiness from childhood sometimes just pop up as warm memories. For instance, I recently thought how wonderful it was when my mother used to put our pyjamas over the heating while we were taking a bath. What a joy to be able to put on such a pre-heated nightgown, still a little shaky from drying off!

We denied our children that happy feeling recently. In fact, we held a family competition to see who could survive the longest without heating. And we won gloriously, but that was probably because we had an exorbitantly high variable rate as a good motivation.

I almost felt a little guilty: countless fellow citizens had sleepless nights because of their energy bills, and we were making a game of it. But then I heard an economist on the radio fussing about the price cap. "It costs a handsome amount of money, and it is not nearly enough for people who are really in trouble. We should just use as little gas as possible, all of us. That's what the government should focus on. Because if less is consumed, prices will automatically go down."

So, actually it is not a bad idea at all to make saving energy into a game, even if you have a fixed contract with pre-war rates or if your money grows on trees. So: blankets at hand, vests out of the closet, and stand up straight!


Anyone who follows the news a bit has undoubtedly seen quite a few saving tips come along in recent months. Most of them are open doors, often disguised investments. But this one is really fun: sew a hay basket from old bedding and have your food cooked in it. Also super handy if you want your hands free when the kids get out of school.

If you are not skilled with the sewing machine, you can also wrap your pans in a sleeping bag or a duvet. This is how we have been doing it for years when stewing pears, according to good practice in Jan's family: first, let them boil in a bit of water with cinnamon. Then wrap the pan warmly and put it away overnight. That will be a guaranteed feast the next day.

But don't forget to settle on the sofa first with the pre-heated duvet over you. So comfortable! A thermostat set to 21 degrees is no match for that.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.