Winter is just around the corner and with the price of power set to rise up to $1000 a year for some households according to Consumer New Zealand, our power bills are likely to take a hit in the coming months. With this in mind, there are a few things we can do to save power and keep those power bills down.
Switching up your power company
Power prices have increased over the last 20 years with no signs of slowing down. One of the best ways to save power is to switch providers as there are often no incentives offered for long-term customers, but plenty offered by competitors to entice you to make a switch.
Finding the cheapest electricity provider can feel a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, so when comparing prices, compare providers to see which has the best deal for your needs. Checking a power comparison website, like Power Compare, is the easiest way to figure out which plan is best for your household.
Be sure to check out Nau Mai Ra, the first kaupapa Māori energy retailer in Aotearoa who are driven to achieve power equity for whānau.
Plugging up areas where there a draughts
Plugging up draughts could be a great way to save some extra power as warm, toasty air has nowhere to escape and stays inside. Check for gaps under doors that let the cold air in, cracks and broken catches that form draughts. A draught stopper along the bottom of the door or a rolled-up towel can help keep the cold out and save you on heating.
Switch off / unplug anything you aren’t using
Looking for some simple ways to help reduce your energy use and lower your power bill for the month? Switching off the lights, unplugging devices and making sure power points are off when you’re not using them can be a massive power saver.
Switching off your lights for an extra two hours a day and unplugging unused appliances could save you around $15 a month.
Floor length or thermal curtains
Before the winter chill starts and in the heat of the summer, try upgrading to some thermal curtains. Medium to light coloured curtains with a white, thermally reflective backing can reduce heat gain during the summer as much as 33%.
The curtains would be preferably floor length, double lined and wider than your window frame rather than just covering the window. This can help trap any cold air coming through from gaps or cracks.
Which heaters are most economical?
Since heating accounts for about 30% of our winter bills, it’s good to know which ones are cheaper and which ones can save us a bit of money. Electric heaters are cheap to buy and safe to use.
A plug in electric heater is the cheapest option when it comes to upfront costs. A heater with a fan tends to work best in the living room as they distribute heat evenly. The most ideal way to check how energy efficient a heater is, is to check the energy saver sticker on the appliance.
Here’s a link for more information on different types of heaters and where they would be useful at: Link
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