Kiwis choosing blankets over heating bills

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New Zealanders would rather battle the cold with a blanket or add extra clothing layers than increase their heating bill, a new Canstar Blue survey has found.

Close to half of the women surveyed relied on blankets and extra clothes to keep warm in their homes in winter compared to 38% of men.

The cost of heating is a major factor for Kiwis, especially when it comes to electricity-related behaviour change, says Canstar New Zealand General Manager, Jose George.

“More than 60% of New Zealanders have altered their electricity habits, and of those 57% have done so in order to reduce the cost of their bill.”

Close to a quarter (22%) believe that their homes are not insulated properly, with 26% of Generation Ys unhappy with the state of their homes’ ability to hold heat, compared to 15% of Baby Boomers.

“Having a poorly insulated home is a quick way to lose money as any heat that you pump in to the house will be lost through cracks, ceilings, walls and floors. Check the EnergyWise website for more tips on keeping warm in the winter.”

Annoying flatmate habits

The irksome nature of leaving lights on is getting worse for Kiwis in shared living situations. In 2015, New Zealanders ranked excessive energy use as the number one argument between flatmates at 15% and leaving lights on as a close second at 13%. This year “light fights” was an issue for 19% of respondents.

Not switching off the lights when you leave the room has made its way up the ranks of annoying flatmate behaviours. This pet peeve is closely followed by long showers (18%) which are putting some flatmates in hot water.

More women (20%) than men (15%) have had arguments about the length of showers in a shared house while men’s tempers rise more for excessive energy use (17%) than women’s do (15%.)

Switch it off to save money (and your life)

More than a third (35%) of Kiwis remember to always switch appliances off at the wall when they leave home. While this is pleasing to see, nearly two thirds of New Zealanders are not switching appliances off at the wall, meaning that their electricity bills, and their fire risk, could be rising, says George.

“The New Zealand Fire Service estimates that 10% of all fires are caused through electrical accidents which means that appliances should always be supervised when in use and when not being used, should be switched off at the wall and unplugged.

“Despite sometimes being a cause of worry for some women, New Zealanders are doing a great job of switching off their hair straighteners when they are done with them with just 2% admitting to forgetting to turn them off.”

Gen X are the worst offenders when it comes to leaving appliances switched on when they leave home (31%).

Your power package

Those in Otago are most likely to have taken on a fixed term contact with their electricity retailer (29%) and are also most likely to pre-purchase power packs each month to save on their electricity bills (9%).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 35% of Kiwis are unsure if they are getting the best deal for their power usage, leading many to check the market, says George.

“Forty two per cent of New Zealanders have compared power prices in the last 12 months, with Wellingtonians (47%) most likely to have the wandering eye when it comes to scoping out the best price.”

Powershop takes out the award for the fifth time

Powershop is this year’s Canstar Blue Consumer Satisfaction Award Winner for the electricity providers category, scoring five-stars across the board. Consumers overwhelming rated value for money as their number one driver of satisfaction, says George.

“Providing value is something that Powershop excels in with the use of their app allowing consumers to take back control of their power bills. The app lets users monitor how much power they are using on a daily basis so they know when they need to cut back.

“This is undoubtedly why they have this year won the award for the fourth year in a row, and five times in total.”

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