1. Check your shower usage. If the water from the shower head fills a bucket in less than a minute, you could save around $150 per person annually by changing to a water efficient showerhead (7-9 litres per minute) Keep your showers short – in a household of three, each extra minute of shower time costs about $80 annually.
2. Turning off appliances left on standby saves around $125 - $150 annually. Flicking the switch off at the wall means the appliance has no power running through it, reducing your power bill and minimising your risk of fire.
3. Washing clothes in cold water rather than warm water could save you $65 annually. Remember that 5 litres of moisture per load comes off clothes drying inside your home.
4. Stop heat escaping and draughts, with DIY double glazing and good thick curtains. Curtains are window insulation and need to be a minimum of 2 layers full length, puddling on to the floor with a pelmet or closed top curtain track.
5. Buy energy efficient appliances ENERGY STAR is awarded to the top 25% most energy efficient products. Most people don’t consider the yearly running cost when selecting an appliance let alone multiply that cost up over 10 years. It’s really worthwhile to check those savings and buying appliances with more stars.
6. Ensure you’re on the right electricity plan If you’re using less than 8000kw of power a year, it’s cheaper to be on a low user plan. Use tools such as powerswitch.org.nz or whatsmynumber.org.nz to check you’re getting the best deal. One of my collegues was able to save over $300per year by changing his power supplier.
7. Switching off your old second fridge could save you up to $250- $350 annually. I recently purchased a new fridge and my power bill has since reduced by $18.00 per month.
8. Use the free energy from the sun to dry clothes on an outside line, instead of in an electric dryer. You could save around $200 annually (and it costs nothing to do this). My friends wash on sunny days, dry their clothes outside and use their vented dryer to finish damp clothes off.
9. Run your heat pump on the most effective settings and clean the filter regularly to ensure it runs properly. During home visits I talk about heat pump use and give out a brochure on how to set heat pumps for winter heating, maintenance and temperature settings.
10. Change to energy saving light bulbs. A change of just 8 energy saving bulbs (either LEDs or eco bulb) equates to $150 savings per year. A family friend changed her most-used bulbs to warm LED bulbs and was astonished to see her power bill reduce by over $20.