Tips to save energy and money this winter

Simple changes to the way you use electricity can save you a lot of money. It’s surprising how even small changes can result in worthwhile savings.

 

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) website has dozens of tips to reduce your electricity usage and make savings in your home. These include:

  • A heated towel rail left on 24/7 can cost you $170 per year. You can buy timers that turn your towel rail on and off automatically at certain times of the day.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs and save $100 or more a year off your electricity
  • Dripping hot taps can cost you hundreds of dollars a year (depending on how bad the leak is). Replace the washer or fitting – a new washer only costs a few
  • Take shorter showers. In a household of three, each minute you add to your shower time costs an extra $70 a year.
  • If you have an old, inefficient model of fridge that you use as a second fridge to chill a few drinks, it might surprise you to know it could cost $200 a year to run. Consider turning it off or getting rid of it.
  • Use cold washes, unless you have an especially dirty load. Modern washing machines and detergents clean well using cold water. A hot water wash can use 10 times more electricity than a cold wash.

Heating our homes in the winter can be costly, here are a few ideas to make sure you aren’t losing heat or spending money on less efficient options.

  • Draw curtains at dusk to keep the day’s heat
  • Stop draughts. Make sure your windows and doors fit their frames. Use draught-stopping tape around windows and doors, and draught- excluders or door snakes along the bottom of doors.
  • Use a heater directly in the room you want to heat and keep the door shut (unless you have central heating).

All these tips (and more) on how to save energy at home can be found on EECA’s Energywise website at www.energywise.govt.nz