How to shrink your winter power bill
Here are nine top tips you should follow to save money this winter.
Winter is coming, and while it might be tempting to turn the heater up to high, snuggle into bed with your electric blanket, and crank the dryer every time you do the washing, your power bill won’t thank you for it.
Here’s a few extra tips to keep your energy bill low this winter, without freezing in the process.
TURN IT OFF
If you’re not using an appliance, switch it off at the wall.
Keep your showers short and use a cold cycle to do your washing. Dripping hot taps could cost you hundreds of dollars a year so make sure they are fixed, and consider turning your hot water cylinder off when you go on holiday.
FIND ‘FREE’ POWER DEALS
With significant changes in the New Zealand electricity market in recent years, small changes in your behaviour can add up to big energy savings if you’re with the right company. Electric Kiwi CEO Luke Blincoe says: ‘‘We give all our customers a free hour of ‘offpeak’ power every day. So we have seen smart customers saving 10 per cent on average by timing when they’re doing everything from cooking and drying clothes, to heating their house – all for free within their ‘hour of power’.’’
INSTALL A HEAT PUMP
Heat pumps are the most efficient way of using electricity to heat your home, and also double as an air conditioner in the heat of summer.
BE ECONOMICAL WITH YOUR ELECTRIC BLANKET
Turn your electric blanket on an hour before you go to bed then off when you jump in. Better yet, set a timer on it to turn on and off.
Tighten door hinges, use draughtstopping tape around windows and doors, and use door snakes to prevent cool breezes from making their way into your home.
SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST PRICES
Some energy companies are much cheaper than others so do your research on a site like Powerswitch – in particular, the fastest growing companies in New Zealand over the past year have been smaller companies like Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric. If you’re not sure which supplier to go with, ask for recommendations on Neighbourly.
USE ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS
It’s time to replace old incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
CHECK YOUR INSULATION
If you own your home, insulation is an essential investment. If you rent, ask your landlord to take a look at your insulation.
Check out the Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes Programme too; you might qualify for free insulation.
In addition to insulating the walls, you can also insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
Insulation is an essential investment for any homeowner.