Slash Your Power Bill And Save
Sunday, August 30th, 2015
As New Zealanders, we all know that our weather can be very changeable. With this in mind, we've compiled some great power saving tips to help you transition into the next season. Here you will find advice on everything from insulation to hot water savers.
Windows and Doors
To keep heat in and reduce drafts, invest in thick, good quality curtains and make sure they have a thermal backing. The best curtains are those that reach the floor as this prevents heat escaping. Attach pelmets to the top of the curtain rail if possible.
If you live in an older house, you can do a lot to minimise heat loss. Door snakes are a popular and cheap idea to prevent draughts under doors. These are available from Bunnings and retail for around $5. Another alternative is to make your own using a rolled up towel, which can be sewn together at the ends. An old stocking can also be used for this purpose.
A simple trick to identify draughts is to light an incense stick and watch the direction of the smoke flow. If you find any areas that need attention use draught strip tape or silicon sealant available at Bunnings or Mitre 10.
One of the main ways you can save money on power is by installing good quality insulation. This will ensure that your home is at a comfortable and healthy temperature for living.
Research has shown that as many as 600,000 NZ homes are poorly insulated. The order of priority for insulating your home should be: ceiling, underfloor, walls, windows.
If you are on a low income, you may qualify for free ceiling and underfloor insulation if you meet the following criteria: Your home was built before the year 2000 and the home owner or main tenant has a Community Services Card and you have children under 17 years, adults over 65 years or someone with high health needs living in your home, or you are a landlord with eligible tenants.
Contact an insulation service provider to find out if you are eligible.
For home insulation, you can't go past Pink Batts. These are available from hard ware stores and come in a range of specifications to suit every home. Installing the correct type of insulation will save you power in the long run.
Hot Water Savers
Generally speaking if your shower fills a 10 litre bucket in less than a minute, it is wasting water. Studies have shown that reducing your shower flow rate by 1 litre per minute will save you around $80 per year. A visit to your local hardware store, will provide you with advice on efficient shower heads and flow restrictors.
Dripping taps not only waste water, but can create a dent in your savings. Try to replace the washer or fitting regularly as these are very cheap and can save you money over time.
When buying a new appliance, make sure the product uses water efficiently. These are similar to energy efficiency ratings and use a star to indicate how water efficient a product is.
To further your savings, make sure that your hot water cylinder and pipes are well-insulated. Hardware stores stock wraps which are priced around $60 and pipe insulation for around $5 per metre. Make sure your hot water temperature is set at 60 degrees at the cylinder and no more that 55 degrees at the tap.
Washing habits can also contribute to the unnecessary loss of savings. Try to wash your clothes in cold water as this can potentially save you around $70 per year. When showering, set a limit on water usage of 3 minutes per shower. If you are unsure use a timer to warn you when time is up. Save money on dishwashing by rinsing in cold water and only using the dishwasher when full. Make sure you choose the eco-setting.