How to reduce your power bill
The cost of power adds up. A heater here, a computer screen there - put them all together and the bill can take a chunk of change out of your budget. But it doesn’t have to. Conquer the costs of these 7 appliances and lower your electricity bill with our saving tips.
Running costs were sourced from consumer.org.nz.
1) CLOTHES DRYER
The Cost: 80c to $1 per load
- Start the load on the line, then finish it in the dryer so you can run it for less time.
- Dry clothes of similar weights together e.g. towels and jumpers. Thin and thick clothes won’t dry at the same rate, so you end up drying for longer without needing to.
- Make sure the spin cycle on your washing machine is thorough. It takes less energy to spin the water out than it does to dry it out.
The Cost: 30c to 45c a load, depending on the age of the dishwasher
- Only run it when it’s full and hand wash things you need right then and there
- Stack bigger items at the bottom on sides and leave smaller, light items at the top. This will be more efficient and ensure a good clean every time, so you don’t have to run it twice.
- Eco washes and cool washes are cheaper, but they aren’t always as effective, especially with things like animal fats. Putting them through twice might actually end up costing more than just once on the heated option.
The Cost: Between 30 and 55c a day, depending on the age of the fridge/freezer
- Check the seal and make sure the cold air isn’t escaping. Condensation on the outside of the unit is a clear indicator of this.
- Fill the freezer up as much as possible, but keep the fridge about 2/3rds full if you can. This is generally the most efficient way to keep things cold.
- Always let hot food cool before storing.
The Cost: Between 4c and 11c an hour, depending on type
- Make sure to switch the TV off at the wall. Standby mode can still use lots of power.
- Remember to switch off the top box too, as some of them use a lot of power even in rest mode.
5) WASHING MACHINES
The Cost: Up to 46c per load for a large model on a warm wash and 4c for a cold wash.
- Use a cold wash as much as possible to cut costs down by 90% per load. This doesn’t sanitise though and might not be good for all stains. Alternating hot and cold washes may be a good compromise.
- Wash with a full load as much as possible to improve efficiency.
6) HEAT PUMPS
The Cost: Between 32c and 46c per hour
- Only heat the spaces you are using and make sure curtains are drawn before turning up the heat.
- Don’t put the setting as high as it will go - it won’t necessarily heat any faster, but it will use more energy and cost more. A low, steady setting is better. Turn it on 15 minutes before you are going to be in the room.
The Cost: Between $1.25 and $2.50 for every 24 hours
- Open up windows and doors to get moisture out, especially when cooking or using the dryer.
- Make sure you aren’t using a dehumidifier that’s too small for the space. The packaging or manual should indicate this.
- Some dehumidifiers also generate heat so you may be able to get away with using just a dehumidifier rather than a dehumidifier and a heater.