The tips and tricks to help you save on your next power bill

We’re always looking for ways we can save a bit of cash here and there, especially on the things we can’t live without. 

In this case, we’re talking about power. As the weather gets cooler, we’re going to find ourselves inside the house a lot more and our use of power go up.

James le Page at Consumer NZ has shared his top tips with Kirsty Wynn on how to reduce your power bill:

Give your heat pump filters a clean
Vacuum your heat pump filters to make them work a whole lot better. If you haven’t tackled this task since last winter, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in their performance.

Turn off unused appliances
Check the kids’ rooms to see if they’ve left anything unnecessary running. They’ll use a small amount of power while waiting on standby, add all these devices together and the costs can add up.

Set the thermostat to the right temp
You should be plenty warm with the thermostat on your heater set to 18-20C. Anything over that is a tad too much and you’ll be paying for the pleasure of making your place feel like the tropics. And make sure your doors and windows are closed.

You won’t need to run a dehumidifier as often if you open the windows. If you are working from home fling the windows and doors wide open to take advantage of the free ventilation provided by the wind.

Break out the slow cooker
Not only can you cook cheaper, tastier cuts of meat, but a slow cooker also costs peanuts to run. It’ll probably only cost you 50¢ in power to make a dinner that’ll feed the whole family.

Beware the Airfryer
Yes, they crisp food perfectly but Consumer warns to use the air fryer wisely. A large one will cost you around $25 a year if you use it three times a week in 30-minute stints. An oven sits at around the $33 per year mark – but this is for 3 hours per week. Because an oven has multiple racks it’s better for larger meals. Airfryers make the best chips though.

Use the clothesline
Dry your clothes for free outside. Even if you can’t dry your washing completely, hanging it outside to remove some of the moisture will save a few dollars as you won’t need to run your dryer for as long.

Switch to LED
LED bulbs can be expensive to buy but they are worth the saving in the long run. A standard 60W incandescent bulb costs about 50¢, but only lasts about 1000 hours. An equivalent LED lightbulb costs $18, but lasts about 15,000 hours. It works out at a saving of $14.30 each year for each bulb.

Wrap your cylinder
If you have a hot water cylinder, wrap it up with insulation. You need about 5cm clearance around the cylinder. And check your water isn’t too hot – it needs to be 60°C to prevent bacteria growing, but doesn’t need to be any hotter.

He also recommends using Powerswitch once a year because providers adjust plans and prices and household size and habits change.

This article was originally posted on the NZ Herald and republished here with permission and some edits.

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