5 easy ways to save power

Making it your mission to save energy at home is a no-brainer: spend less, and tread lighter on the environment. Here’s a bunch of practical tips and tools to make it happen.

1. Appliances 

  • Not using it? Switch it off at the wall. If the wall switch is on, you’re still using a bit of power.
  • Look for efficiency when you’re buying. Large appliances will have an energy rating from one to six. The more stars, the better.
  • Calculate how much your appliances use so you can identify the worst offenders.

EASY APPLIANCE WINS

2. Lighting

  • Make a habit of turning off the light as you leave a room. It’s a simple way to save.
  • Pick LED bulbs, instead of incandescent ones. They’re slightly more expensive to buy, but they last 10 to 20 years – and use way less electricity.  We’re talking 85% less.
  • Think outside the bulb. If you don’t get much sun or have a few dark corners in your place, a mirror can be a great way to reflect the light you do have, and brighten the place up.

MORE ON LIGHTING

3. Windows and doors

  • If your windows and doors don’t quite fit the frames properly, draught stopping tape works a treat in keeping the breeze out. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.
  • Got crying windows? You’re not alone. Luckily, there’s a cheap fix for that: insulation film. It has a similar effect to double glazing, but without the price tag. You can cover five windows for around $30, which will keep the heat in way better and get rid of condensation. Again, most hardware stores stock it.

KEEP THE DRAUGHTS OUT 

4. Hot water

  • Choose a shower over a bath and make it snappy. Showers use about half the water, energy and cost that a bath does.
  • Put your washing on a cold setting. It cleans just as well, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) says it saves up to 10 times the power.
  • If you’ve got a dishwasher, run it on the ‘eco’ setting.

MORE WAYS TO SAVE

 
5. Timers and sensors

Timers and sensors are a cheap and cheerful way of turning off things that aren’t being used.

  • Group your appliances (for example the TV, gaming console and decoder), with one timer. It'll sense when the primary load, such as the television, is switched off – and turn off all the rest. Clever, and cheaper.
  • Heated towel rail timers will cost you about $30, but save you way more every year. Those things chew through the power when they’re left on.
  • Keep path and security lights on only when they’re actually useful – in the dark.

BEST WAYS TO USE TIMERS
 

Calculate your appliances’ power usage

This calculation will help you work out how much power each of your appliances use, and what that costs.

  • Find the watts of your appliance (on the appliance itself, or the tag)
  • Multiply that by the hours used per day
  • Divide that by 1000 to get the daily kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage
  • Multiply that by the cost of your power.
    • Use a per kWh cost that includes Electricity Authority levies but excludes daily charges. You can find this on your power bill under ‘total electricity rate’.

For example:

  • 1000 watts (average clothes iron)
  • x 0.25 hours per day
  • ÷ 1000 = 0.25 kWh per hour
  • x 27 cents per kWh (example power price)
  • = 6.75 cents per day / 47.25 cents per week / $1.89 per month.

 
Extra savings and support

Warmer Kiwi Homes

If you own a home and have a Community Services or SuperGold card, you could be eligible for Government funding for heating and insulation.

CHECK ELIGIBILITY 

Winter Energy Payment

If you receive a benefit or superannuation, you’ll automatically receive a Winter Energy Payment during winter months to help pay the power bill.