Simple ways to save money this winter
Consumer NZ, Warmer Kiwi Homes and the Electricity Authority have teamed up on a campaign to provide free and easy tips to help people keep their home warm and healthy this winter; and save up to $500 in the process.
The campaign focuses on how everyone can make savings by making tiny changes.
Consumer’s latest nationally representative survey shows three in five New Zealanders are concerned about the cost of energy.
“We know the cost-of-living is hitting many people hard,” said Consumer NZ Chief Executive Jon Duffy.
“New Zealanders’ wallets are having to stretch further than ever, and for some it’s the first time they have had to worry about covering the essentials”.
One place where everyone can make a saving is on their household energy costs.
Check your power plan
All electricity is the same, no matter where you buy it from. You may as well get it for the cheapest price you possibly can.
“Make sure you are on the best plan for your household,” said Electricity Authority Chief Executive, Sarah Gillies.
“The more households shop around for electricity on a regular basis, the more electricity retailers improve their products, services and pricing.
“Users of the Powerswitch comparison site, typically save between $300 and $400 per year when they change plan.
“It’s a free and easy comparison service. It only takes a few minutes to enter your details and compare the plans and providers available,” said Gillies.
Get the most out of your heat pump
“Heat pumps are great for heating bigger or less well-insulated spaces, because the running costs are so low – but it pays to know how to get the most out of it and maintain it properly,” said Warmer Kiwi Homes Manager, Henry Nepia.
“For anyone wanting to stay warm without breaking the bank, using a heat pump efficiently is a game-changer,” said Henry.
Warmer Kiwi Homes offers government grants of 80% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, and up to 80% of the cost of an energy-efficient heater to eligible households.
Cranking up the heat pump temperature on a cold day won’t make it work faster, but it will make it work harder and cost more money.
If you tend to have the heat pump setting high, choosing to keep it at its optimum setting of between 19 and 21 degrees could save you up to $320 a year.
Take a few minutes every two months to clean your heat pump filters. A clean heat pump will be more efficient and will save you money on your power bill.
Switch off appliances at the wall when you’re not using them
If something is plugged in at the wall but not being used, it’s probably still sucking up your power. Devices with a stand-by light are even more likely to be an unwanted drain on your household power bill.
Take a few seconds to switch your appliances off at the wall – this could save you up to $100 a year.
Shorten your showers to five minutes
A long hot shower provides a moment of bliss on a cold and blustery day. However it’s useful to know that longer, 15-minute showers are surprisingly heavy on the wallet: about one dollar each.
Cutting showers down to five minutes could save $5 per person per week.
Set a timer to help you keep your showers short.
Change your washing machine settings to cold wash
A cold wash performs well for a general-use wash and uses a quarter of the electricity per load than a warm wash.
A family doing four loads of laundry per week stands to save about $50 per year by switching to a cold laundry setting.
More details about how you can save money on your energy bills this winter can be found at Save500.org.nz.