Between food, transport and other household expenses, life can get expensive pretty quickly. And when you throw additional expenses – such as holiday spending – into the mix, those bills can multiply. With the help of the Government’s Energywise website, we’ve rounded up four ways you might be wasting power without realising it – and what you can do about it.
4 ways you might be inefficient with energy in your home
Leaving your appliances on standby
Appliances left on standby can cost you more than $100 a year on your power bills, according to Energywise. Home entertainment appliances, like TVs, stereos, game consoles and computer equipment are the major culprits, here. One way you can avoid this is to plug all the appliances into multi-plug boards, so they can be tuned off properly at the same time. Likewise, turn off other appliances at the wall to save on electricity.
Overusing heated towel rails
If you have a heated towel rail, only use it when needed. A heated towel rail left on 24/7 can cost you $170 per year to run. One way to get around this is to get a timer for a towel rail, so that it turns on automatically – but only at certain times of the day.
Keeping an old and inefficient fridge
Keeping an old fridge to chill drinks during a party might seem like a smart idea, but you could be frittering away more money than you think on extra electricity costs. In fact, if it is an old and efficient model of fridge, you could be spending $200 a year to keep it running! If you know your fridge is coming to the end of its life, consider turning it off or getting rid of it. Also, check the seals on your fridge door; if the door doesn’t seal properly, then the fridge will be using more energy than it needs to. The age and condition of the fridge will help determine whether it makes more sense to replace the seals, or to replace the fridge.
Not keeping an eye on what is happening in the electricity market
If you aren’t regularly reviewing your utility providers, including electricity, then you won’t know whether you are getting value for money. Make a point of setting some aside some time to check whether your current providers and plans are working for you. And, if not, to compare electricity providers in the market. As always, Canstar Blue reminds consumers that there is more to choosing a provider and product than just price; you want to know that you’ll also get good service and communication for your energy dollar. To help you narrow down your choices, Canstar Blue surveys New Zealanders on their level of satisfaction with their energy provider. To see how New Zealand electricity providers fare, use our free customer satisfaction ratings, below.