We could all stand to save a little cash. Lucky for you, we're the pros when it comes to saving on electric expenses. First, let's set some reference points. How much is the average New Zealand energy bill?
The typical home in New Zealand spends a little over $2,100 per year on their power bill, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, totaling around $170 per month. These are averages though, in the winter months heating bills can run rampant. One New Zealand resident, interviewed in an article for Stuff NZ, noted that her home's electric bill was 40 per cent higher in the winter compared the rest of the year.
1. Hot water hacks
One of the easiest ways to save on your home electric bill is through your shower regimens. Did you know that a 15 minute shower costs $1 but a 5 minutes shower only costs 33 cents? According to Westpac New Zealand, cutting down shower time has the potential to save you $900 a year.
If you enjoy indulging in long showers, Westpac suggests investing in a low-flow shower head. These cost around $50 and have the potential to save a family of 4 over $500 a year. To determine whether or not you need one, you should conduct the bucket test.
Grab a 10-litre bucket and place it under the shower. Turn your shower head on and put it on your normal temperature, time its fill rate. If it's full in less than a minute, your shower is wasting water. The pressure from a low-flow shower head may not be as powerful as you'd like but there is a lot of saving potential if you make the switch.
2. Save the baking for late night
Warm cookies taste better at night anyway, don't they? But really, wherever possible try to put off using heat generating appliances until the sun goes down. Ovens are huge culprits of sucking up cooling power in the hotter months, explains Forbes.
If you bake a cake at noon when the sun is high, your house will have to work twice as hard to cool down. If you wait until 8 pm, you'll have less of an issue. Apply this same rule of thumb to clothes dryers and dishwashers and watch the savings add up.
3. Switch on the cool cycle
There are very few washing machines today that can't clean your clothes on a cold wash. Save the hot water for the absurdly dirty laundry loads, switch the water to cool for everything else. According to the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), using warm water in your washing machine can use up to 10 times more electricity than a cold wash, so get that ice water running.
4. Capture your home's heat
In the colder months, you want to make sure you are doing your due diligence to keep natural heat in. One way to do this is by drawing your curtains at dusk - capturing the warmth from the day time sun. Most high quality curtains are big enough to overlap window frames at each end and extend down to the floor for maximum efficiency.
You should also be mindful of draughts. Do your windows and doors fit their respective frames? If not, purchase some draught tape to seal up the gaps and prevent unnecessary cold air from flowing in.
5. Dust off that slow cooker
Food cooked in a slow cooker is not just delicious, it helps you save money as well. Stovetops and ovens take up quite a bit of power compared to crockpots. That's because the latter retains heat and reuses it resulting in minimal need for power generation. There are plenty of meals that can be whipped up in a slow cooker so when possible opt for those creations. Added bonus: crockpots take minimal effort, chop up some veggies, toss in some meat, sprinkle in some seasoning, pop it on low heat for a few hours and your work is done.
6. Be mindful of standby power
The EECA estimates appliances that remain on standby cost the average person $100 a year - making up around 7 per cent of your monthly power bill.
Leaving your power switches on throughout the house is a real money pit but the solution is simple. Purchase a couple of power strips and plug all your electronics and appliances into them, that way you will only have to remember to switch off two outlets.
7. Contact us!
Here at Contact we provide our customers with a variety of options to help them get the most savings possible. Pick a plan that best suits you and we'll take care of the rest. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help.