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8 simple ways to reduce the amount of power you use

1.

Energy saving light bulbs
LED light bulbs use 85% less power and can last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

2.

Stand-by mode
New Zealanders waste more than $100 million per year by leaving appliances on stand-by mode.  Switch your appliances off at the wall when you are not using them.

3. Use your curtains
Draw your curtains 30 minutes before sundown to conserve heat. The Sustainability Trust in Wellington, The South Auckland Auckland Curtain Bank and The New Zealand Red Cross in Rotorua, Tauranga, Napier, Hastings, Hawkes Bay and Waiarapa can all help families in need. 

4.

Heated towel rail
Use a heated towel rail timer and get toasty warm towels for less. Set it for eight hours a day rather than leaving it on continuously.

5.

Washing machine
Wash clothes in cold water whenever you can and wait until you've got a full load before washing. 

6.

Hot water cylinder
By insulating your hot water cylinder with a cylinder wrap your hot water will stay warmer for longer.

7.

Dryer
Dry clothes outside wherever possible.

8.

Heating
Good insulation and efficient heaters (including modern wood and pellet burners, ENERGYSTAR heat pumps, and 4+ star rated flued gas heaters) make it easier and cheaper to heat your home to healthy and comfortable temperatures.

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.

Top 10 energy wasters

Here are 10 things to check in your home to make sure you are not using power you don't need to.  

1.

A faulty ajax valve
If you have hot water leaking onto your roof, chances are your ajax valve is faulty.This is an easy low cost job for any plumber to fix.

2.

Leaking hot water taps
One leaking hot tap can use around $40 in unnecessary power throughout the year. This can be solved quickly by replacing the washers in your taps.

3.

Hot water too hot
Water that’s over 60 degrees celsius when it comes out of the tap is too hot and uses excess power. Call an electrician to adjust your thermostat. 

4.

Inefficient use of heaters
Timers can help ensure you're not wasting energy on heating. Make sure you're also using the best type of heating for the space. 

5.

A lack of insulation
Ceiling and underfloor insulation can help reduce heat loss by over 50%. A well-insulated home costs less to heat.

6.

Poorly ventilated laundry
If your laundry is not well ventilated your dryer is forced to use the damp air it has just expelled, drying takes longer and your power bill increases.

7.

Extra high shower pressure
Hold a 2L ice-cream container to your shower head. If it fills in less than 15 seconds consider getting a low-flow shower head fitted.

8.

Faulty oven thermostats
Without accurate temperature control your oven wastes power and will soon cost you more than having the thermostat replaced. 

9.

Inefficient use of hot water
Put the plug in the sink when rinsing items or use cold water. A family of four could save $900 a year by cutting 15 minute showers to 5 minutes.

10.

Worn door seals
Fridges, freezers and ovens with worn door seals use unnecessary power. Most appliance centres supply and fit replacement seals.

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 is introducing 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 be contacted directly by 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? 

The Winter Energy Payment is $20.46 per week if you live on your own or $31.82 a week if you have a partner and/or children. 

When is it paid?

This is a seasonal payment and will be paid from 1 July to 30 September in 2018. 

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

How much power will the Winter Energy Payment cover? 

The picture below shows what one dollar’s worth of power can get you. So just one week’s Winter Energy Payment to a family could pay for running one load in the dishwasher, drying one large load of washing in the drier and cooking a roast dinner every day for the week. And there would still be the money to pay for a 6kw heat pump for four hours every day and watch 40 hours of TV.

Winter Energy Payment

Image courtesy of ERANZ

Looking for more energy saving tips?

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

Download now

Visit https://www.energywise.govt.nz/ for more information and advice about keeping your home warm and healthy while keeping your power bill down.