Our tips to help you reduce your power use while working from home.
By James le Page
Test content team leader
More of us are working at home and you might’ve noticed that your usual power bill has climbed along with your tea and coffee costs. Luckily, there are a few things to try out to save a few dollars as we all feel the squeeze this winter.
Check your electricity plan
What plan are you on? Check your latest bill to see how much power you’re using before looking at Powerswitch to see if you can be saving money.
Set the thermostat to the right temp
You should be plenty warm with the thermostat on your heater set to 18-20°C. Anything over that is a tad too much and you’ll be paying for the pleasure of making your place feel like the tropics.
You won't need to run a dehumidifier as often if you open the windows. Staying at home means you can fling the windows and doors wide open to take advantage of the free ventilation provided by the wind.
Give your heat pump filters a clean
Vacuum your heat pump filters to make them work a whole lot better. If you haven’t tackled this task since last winter, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in their performance.
Choosing a heater
Electric heaters differ markedly in the way they distribute heat. We explain which type is best for each situation.
There’s no point boiling a full jug of water wen you’ve only got one cuppa to make. Only fill the kettle to the minimum mark if you’re making one cup, rather than wasting energy by heating a full one.
Open your curtains
Maximise the solar gains throughout the day by keeping your curtains open. However, now it’s getting darker an hour earlier, be sure to whip them shut when evening sets in to retain the heat.
Switch to LED bulbs
If you have an old incandescent bulb above your desk, it’s a good time to swap it out to an LED bulb. You’ll quickly recoup the cost of the new bulb in power savings.
Don’t sit around in a shorts and T-shirt because you’re at home. Cover up and put on a pair of slippers. You won't feel the chill as much or need to switch on the heating.
Break out the slow cooker
Not only can you cook cheaper, tastier cuts of meat, a slow cooker costs peanuts to run. It’ll probably only cost you 50¢ in power to make a dinner that’ll feed the whole family. Also, the prep can be completed either the night before, or in the morning before moseying into your lounge office.
Slow and multi-cookers tested
The faster your life, the better a slow cooker looks.
Check the kids’ rooms to see if they’ve left any rogue heaters running. Same goes for anything plugged into the wall you aren’t using. They’ll use a small amount of power while waiting on standby, add all these devices together and the costs can add up.
Use the clothesline
Dry your clothes for free outside – there’s no fear you’ll be at work if rain breaks out since you can dash outside if it does. Even if you can’t dry your washing completely now the days are shorter, hanging it outside to remove some of the moisture will save a few dollars as you won’t need to run your dryer for as long.
Could your next power bill be smaller?
Powerswitch is the free, independent way to check your power plan, and see if you could save - backed by Consumer NZ. So why pay more than you need to? Check in just 3 minutes - and make sure you know the deal.
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