We’ve pulled together our top energy efficiency tips to help you save money on your monthly power bill.
Unison is proud to support the award-winning EnergyMate programme, a service led by Electricity Retailers' Association of New Zealand, which gives communities advice on how to heat their homes in an affordable way, use appliances efficiently and keep their home warm
To understand more about how the programme works visit energymate.nz, and to find out if the EnergyMate services in your area are a right fit for your whānau contact your relative provider:
Hawke’s Bay (Hastings & Napier) - Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust
027 310 4503
Taupō – Tūramatia
020 406 43236
Rotorua – Rotorua Whānau Services
027 414 4475
Our Energy Saving Top Tips
Get the best deal
Consumer’s Powerswitch website enables you to complete an easy questionnaire to find out if the energy retailer you are using is the best option for you. Visit powerswitch.org.nz to find out more.
Check you are on the right ‘tariff’
If you use less than 8,000kWh per year of power in your residential home, you should be on a low user tariff with your retailer. Take a moment to call and check – it could save you money!
Switch to energy efficient light bulbs
Reduce the amount of energy required to light your home by changing to energy efficient lighting. According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), energy efficient light bulbs use 80% less energy incandescent bulbs – change yours right away to start saving now! And of course, if you’re not using the room, turn the lights off!
Ditch the dryer
According to Consumer, a 5kg load in the dryer costs almost $1 – think of how many loads of washing you put in to your dryer each year and watch the cost add up!
Get dressed quickly
We all hate that blast of freezing cold air when stepping out of the shower, but braving it for two minutes as you quickly get dried and dressed, could save you a lot. Consumer has calculated that bathroom fan heaters cost around 58c/hour to run and heated towel rails cost 46c/day – if you leave your heated towel rail on for a whole month and have your bathroom heater running for about an hour a day (once the whole family’s showered), that’s just over $30 added to your monthly power bill.
If you really can’t part with your post-shower luxuries, limit the number of times you use your heater each month and try using a heated towel rail timer, which switches off your towel rail once towels are dry – check out heated towel rail timers for further information.
Beware of standby mode
When you’re finished using them, turn appliances off at the wall. EECA advises that, if you’ve turned off an appliance and the lights and clock are still on, they’re still using electricity. This applies for appliances like televisions, microwaves, DVD players, stereos, and computers.
Close the curtains to capture the warmth
Shutting the curtains at dusk helps trap the warmth from the day and stops the cool night air cooling your house. If you use electric heating such as a heat pump, this will help reduce the cost of warming your home.
Keep your home dry
Moisture in your home makes it harder to heat. Ventilating your house, drying clothes outside, using a shower dome and making sure there are no leaks in your home are just some of the ways you can help reduce moisture levels. If you do use a dehumidifier, use it in conjunction with a heater as it makes it easier for the dehumidifier to extract moisture and while doing so it will also pump out more heat than it consumes in electricity, thereby making it easier and more efficient to heat the room!
Keep the warmth in with insulation options
Check to see your home is adequately insulated against the cold. There are a few other options you might consider.
- Check your ceiling as insulation that is at least the height of your ceiling joists, and doesn’t have gaps.
- Install insulation under your floor joists. Styrofoam blocks can be easily installed, and you can also put a layer of black polythene on the ground under your house to stop moisture rising into your floor boards.
- If you are re-lining the walls in your home and they don’t have insulation, take the opportunity to install fibreglass or wool insulation.
- Block the drafts – if you have an older home, you might find the cool air seeping in through gaps in your door or window frames, ceiling hatches, chimneys etc. You can install weather stripping for around doors or windows, or check out tips for stopping other draughts here.
- Install double glazing. You don’t necessarily have to replace your windows – there are a number of options on the market now that allow you to retrofit double glazing without the hassle or expense of buying new windows.