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Things you can do

There are lots of things you can do that can help reduce your energy usage, without spending a dollar.

1.

Use timers on heaters so you don't forget to turn them off when you don't need them. 

2.

Cutting showers from 15 minutes to 5 minutes each could save a family of four $900 a year!
3. Open windows on fine days, and wipe condensation off windows in the mornings to keep the air in your house dry.

4.

If you have extractor fans installed in the kitchen and bathroom, use them to avoid dampness.

5.

Draw curtains before sundown to keep heat in. But make sure you open them on sunny days to take advantage of natural heating from the sun.

6.

Cut back any trees or shrubs blocking windows on the sunny side of your home.

7.

Switch off electronics when they are not being used and unplug chargers when devices are fully charged.

8.  Only use as much water as you need in the kettle or when cooking.
9. Use the right size pan for your element when cooking so heat isn’t wasted
10. A microwave uses up to 70% less power than an oven so use a microwave when it’s suitable.
11. Turn your oven off a few minutes before the cooking time is up as it will stay hot enough to complete cooking for quite some time. Just make sure chicken is completely cooked before eating!
12. Let food cool down completely before you put it in the fridge or freezer so you don’t heat them up.
13. Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are full before switching them on.
14. Wash clothes in cold water. Most detergents work just as well in cold water as they do in hot water.

Things you can fix

Many of us have little jobs around the home we just never get around to doing but fixing some of these common problems can lead to energy savings.

1.

If you have water leaking onto your roof your Ajax value is faulty and wasting hot water. It’s an easy job for any plumber to fix.

2.

Dripping hot water taps can each use around $40 a year in energy, so replace washers at the first sign of leaks.
3. Make sure your hot water isn’t too hot. If it’s over 60°C when it comes out of the tap it’s wasting energy. An electrician can easily adjust your thermostat.

4.

Inefficient use of hot water means you are paying to heat hot water you don’t need. A common culprit is shower pressure being too high. To check your shower pressure, hold a 2L ice-cream container to the shower head. If it fills in less than 15 seconds think about swapping to a low flow shower head.

5.

Worn seals on fridges, freezers and ovens will lead to them using more power than they need to. Most appliance retailers can supply replacement seals.

6. Seal windows and doors to reduce heat loss and drafts. Sealing compounds and weather strips are available from DIY stores and are cheap and easy to use. If you don’t have double glazing window film can help to reduce heat loss.

How much power do your appliances really use?

Trustpower Energy Watch Monitor

Now you can find out with a Trustpower Energy Watch Monitor.

It lets you see, in real time, how much power an appliance is using and what it’s costing you to run.

If you'd like to borrow an Energy Watch Monitor for up to three weeks, you can do so for just the cost of the courier ($5.00).

Simply click here.

Things you can improve

These home improvements do take time and money but will make a big difference to the energy efficiency of your home.

1.

Ceiling and floor insulation can reduce heat loss by 50%. The higher the ‘R-value’ of the insulation, the more heat it keeps in.

2.

Install extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and if you use a dryer ventilate it to the outside. A dry house is easier to heat.

3.

Install double glazing. It can often be retrofitted to existing windows. 

4.

Insulate your hot water cylinder and hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.

5.

Switch to LED lightbulbs. They use 85% less power and can last up to 15 times longer than old style incandescent bulbs.

6.

When it’s time to replace your whiteware and other home appliances, look for models with a high energy star rating. 

7.

Use the right type of heater for the space. Heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat your home. 

The Winter Energy Payment

Paying for power to keep warm over winter can be a challenge for some people. 

That's why the New Zealand Government has introduced the Winter Energy Payment for people who receive New Zealand Superannuation and most beneficiaries. 

If you qualify you don't need to apply for the payment - you'll get the Winter Energy Payment automatically with other regular payments from Work and Income. 

What can I use it for?

It's up to you. You can use it to help pay your power bills over the winter months, or you could put it towards something that will improve your home over the longer term. Installing insulation, LED lightbulbs or energy efficient heating will all have benefits for years to come. 

How much is it? 

In 2021, the Winter Energy Payment will be $20.46 per week if you live on your own or $31.82 a week for a couple or people with dependent children. 

When is it paid?

This is a seasonal payment and will be paid from 1 May to 1 October in 2021. 

Visit Work and Income's Winter Energy Payment page for the latest information.

Other sources of help

HomeFit

If you want to assess if your home is warm, safe and dry, HomeFit is an easy online way for homeowners, renters and landlords to check. The HomeFit tool, developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council, will give you a straightforward guide as the best ways to improve your home. You can check out the HomeFit website for more information. 

Warmer Kiwi Homes

Warmer Kiwi Homes is a Government programme offering grants covering 90% of the cost of an efficient wood burner, pellet burner or heat pump (capped at $3,000 including GST), as well as ceiling and floor insulation. You can find out if you are eligible by clicking here.

Looking for more energy saving tips?

Download our poster below to find even more easy ways to save on your energy bill.

Download now