We challenge you to get your power bill down!
Here’s how you’re going to do it
Can’t resist a good challenge? Love finding new ways to save money?
We’re throwing down the gauntlet and challenging our customers to make this month’s power bill lower than last month’s.
To start, dig out your previous bill, write that number down and stick it somewhere visible to help you and the rest of the family stay on track with your money-saving goals.
Next comes the fun part: start saving! To get the ball rolling, we’ve rounded up a bunch of ways to help you save on your power bill, ranging from simple penny-pinching pointers to more difficult energy-saving strategies.
Difficulty level: Easy
Let’s start the challenge nice and easy. Most households should be able to adjust to these energy-saving habits without too much difficulty - but the impact on your power bill can be substantial.
- Wash clothes in cold water: A hot water wash can use up to 10 times more electricity than cold water, so always stick to a cold wash unless you have a particularly dirty load. Don’t stress about the quality of the wash - modern detergents work just as well in cold water as they do in hot.
- Run appliances with full loads: Your cleaning appliances use roughly the same amount of electricity regardless of the size of the load. To get the best bang for your buck, wait until your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer are full before doing a load. For further efficiency, always use the ‘eco’ setting if available.
- Air dry your laundry: Putting a normal load of washing through the dryer costs around $1, which can quickly add up over the month. Keep your power bill under control by air drying your laundry.
- Keep your appliances clean: Help your appliances run more efficiently by keeping them clean. That means dusting off the condenser coils on your fridge, emptying your dryer’s lint trap and cleaning the filters in your heat pumps.
Difficulty level: Medium
It’s time to kick things up a notch. While these power-saving strategies require a bit more thought, the savings are absolutely worth the added effort.
- Set a timer for heated towel rails: Keeping a standard 80 watt heated towel rail running 24/7 can cost around 49 cents a day, or almost $15 a month (and even more if you have multiple bathrooms). Enjoy the toasty towels without the bill shock by setting a timer for your heated towel rail (or purchasing a compatible aftermarket timer if your towel rail doesn’t have one).
- Switch off appliances at the wall: You might be surprised to learn that many of your appliances and devices still consume power in standby mode. In fact, New Zealanders collectively waste more than $100 million annually on standby power! Avoid contributing to this statistic by switching your appliances off at the wall when they’re not in use.
- Keep the house dry: Dry homes are easier and cheaper to heat. Keep your home free of unnecessary moisture by using extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom, wiping away condensation, airing out the house and avoiding drying your washing inside.
- Cook more efficiently: Ovens are notoriously power hungry and inefficient, but the good news is that you do have other options. Slow cookers and microwaves, for example, are wonderfully energy efficient, while the barbie uses no electricity at all. Exploring alternative cooking methods is the perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen while keeping your power bill down.
Difficulty level: Hard
Okay, we’re getting serious about energy efficiency now. Many of the power saving tips in this section require an initial investment but can save you significant amounts of money in the long run.
- Get some thick curtains: Investing in some thick, low-hanging curtains is a great way to prevent heat loss, improve the efficiency of your heating appliances and reduce heating costs. For best results, draw your curtains about 30 minutes before sunset to conserve heat.
- Smartify your home: These days, there’s a dizzying array of high-tech products on the market that can help boost the energy efficiency of your home. Smart lights, for instance, can be scheduled to turn on and off automatically at certain times and under certain conditions, while smart thermostats can help you save on heating costs. A full smart home fit out can be extremely pricey, so we suggest taking it slow and picking up a couple of gadgets here and there as the budget permits.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder: Energy is lost through the walls of your hot cylinder. Minimise this loss by investing in a hot water cylinder wrap and pipe insulation. This is particularly important for older cylinders - if you have a pre-2002 hot water cylinder, insulation could save you up to 1 kWh/day or more than $90 a year!
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances: If you’re planning on replacing an outdated appliance this month, be sure to look for an energy-efficient model. Most household appliances come with an Energy Rating Label, which makes it easy to compare energy efficiency. The more stars on the label, the more efficient the product - and the more you’ll save on running costs.
- Ditch the electric heaters: While plug-in electric heaters are cheap and can be useful for small spaces, they’re not great at heating larger living areas. Instead, consider upgrading to heat pumps, which are widely regarded as the most cost-effective option for most homes. See this blog post for more information on how to save money on your power bill in winter.
Save even more on your power bill
Looking for more ways to keep your power bill down this month? Make the switch to Grey Power Electricity and enjoy low-cost electricity, awesome customer service and the freedom that comes with no long-term contracts.