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saving electricity sustainability

Save electricity in Italy, our top sustainability tips and tricks so far

save electricityAt Tenuta le Mandorlaie we are a working farm, with power demands that go further than a normal household, that said, as part of our sustainability focus we want to save electricity and infact all resources whenever and wherever we can.

With the ever increasing costs of electricity in Italy and the problems and demands that electricity creation puts on our planet, it was always planned to work towards being 100% self sustaining when it came to our power demands.

15kw Solar panel installation, 10kw hybrid inverter with 12kw batteries

We decided to install a 15kwh Solar panel system with hybrid inverter and 12kwh of batteries to start our ‘save electricity’ plans, we are set to ‘self consumption’ as a priority and do not sell electricity back to the grid as the system is build solely around our needs, thus reducing the size and therefore cost of system purchase.

The below are the things that we actively have done, and carry out, in order to use our created energy most efficiently:

  • HIGH DEMAND APPLIANCES – Use high demand appliances one at a time, and during the sunny hours of the day when you are creating electricity from your solar panels, we cycle between the dish washer, washing machine and when required the clothes drier.
  • HOUSE HEATING – We have a heat pump underfloor heating system, it requires at least 4kwh on startup which lasts around 1 hours, then 1kwh per hour after this to operate. We monitor the incoming amount from the solar panels then turn on the heat pump when we are producing over 5kwh. We then run the underfloor heating heat pump
  • HOUSE TEMPERATURE – We heat the home for several hours and due to the construction of the underfloor heating, the cement encasing the pipes retains its heat, that said we never heat past 18degrees, and if we feel a bit chilly, we put on a sweatshirt!
  • CHARGE ALL YOUR DEVICES WHEN YOU CAN – Charge laptops and mobiles during the day when there is excess energy available from the solar panels.
  • SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM BATTERIES – In between heating the home, and using appliances we like to get as much charge into our batteries, this then allows us to power the home overnight.
  • LIGHTS – We changed all our bulbs to LEDs, this will mean less current draw, and hopefully longer lasting bulbs.
  • MOTION SENSOR LIGHTING / TIMERS – We use an array of motion sensors and times to control external lighting
  • ELECTRIC LAWNMOWER – We use a ride on lawn mower that gives us around 2 hours use, this is more than enough for our current needs.
  • SWIMMING POOL PUMPS AND SYSTEMS – As an Agriturismo and farm stay we have a small pool for guests and the systems and pumps are set to operate during the day, they are minimal in their demands as the motor is very efficient due to its design.
  • IRRIGATION – We irrigate our vegetable garden, orchard and vines in the hottest driest part of summer, we use a computer controlled irrigation system with 16 zones, all zones are time based to ensure we give just what is needed for each plant type, we run our irrigation in late afternoon, using the last of the days solar energy from our panels.
  • HOT WATER CREATION – We have installed a solar hot water heater of 180 liters, however this is not so efficient in the winter months, alongside this we installed a 180 litre hot water tank, heated using electricity, this will heat dependent on the temperature set, we try to shower in late afternoon in order to allow the solar panels energy to heat the hot water.
  • ENERGY PROVIDER – The energy market in Italy is open, this means you can choose your energy supplier based on price, services and other factors, we chose an energy supplier that provides 100% green energy. It is important to choose an energy provider that offer good customer service and possible green sustainability programs.

Becoming self sufficient when it comes to energy requires several things, an understanding of what you use and when, and the ability to adapt and change in order to become inline with your power generation times.

At Tenuta Le Mandorlaie we think that we are going in the right direction with our energy choices and usage, but will continue to tune and adapt our routines in order to use less resources.


Running the Farm estate of Mandorlaie is my full time job, ensuring that the grapevines, olive trees and vegetable garden is all healthy and producing excellent products for our clients. We produce Organic extra virgin Olive Oil and Organic wines which you can buy online.