Energy saving tips

Some kiwis can save hundreds of dollars a year just by getting on a power plan better suited to them, or by implementing simple energy saving tips. 

There are lots of simple things we can do at home to save on power, so we can use that energy where it counts most – like keeping warm.

Take shorter showers

A family of four can save $450 a year by reducing their daily showers by five minutes. Slowing the shower flow by not fully opening the tap can also help you save. 

Check your shower flow

Take the test. If your shower fills a 10-litre bucket in less than a minute, the water flow is too strong and wasting water – each litre of hot water can cost about $80 per year. Instead, install a flow restrictor to conserve water. 

Turn off unneeded lights

Flick the switch and turn those lights off when leaving the room.

Reduce heated towel rail use

Leave the heated towel rails on for only short periods – not 24/7. Better still, if it’s not raining, dry the towels outside and switch the heated rails off at the wall.

Only boil what you need

Boil only as much water as needed. You can save up to $30 a year by halving how much water you boil in the kettle.

Close fridge doors

Be sure to keep that fridge door closed. The longer the door is open, the more cold air escapes and the more energy is needed to reduce the temperature again once the door is closed.

Fix dripping taps

Fix dripping taps and save energy. A dripping hot water tap can cost you up to $100 a year.

Wash clothes in cold water

Using cold water when washing clothes can save $80 a year. Also, if you use the washing machine at off-peak electricity times, you'll save even more. The off-peak times are from 11am to 5pm and 9pm to 7am.

Dry washing outside

Each dryer load costs about $1, so dry your washing outside where you can. If outside isn’t an option, stick with the dryer as drying clothes inside can make your home damp, which could make you sick.

Charge devices off-peak

Charge devices and use energy hungry appliances, such as ovens for baking, at off-peak electricity times – between 11am and 5pm, and 9pm and 7am

Sleep mode screens

Put your screen on sleep mode when it’s not in use. Even better, turn unused screens and other appliances off at the wall. That way, you’re not paying for the power to keep your gadgets on standby mode 24/7. 

Use LED lightbulbs

Switch on energy savings with efficient LED light bulbs. They use a lot less electricity and last longer too.

Only heat rooms you’re in

When using a heater, warm only the room you’re in, by shutting doors, plugging gaps and closing curtains when it’s getting dark. 
If you use a heat pump, use the timer to warm the room just before you get home and switch off when you don’t need it. Set the thermostat to above 18˚C (to combat damp and mould) but below 21˚C (to save power).

Switch off unused appliances

Before you go to bed, put your appliances to sleep too by turning them off at the wall. Appliances that are on standby mode may not be in use, but they’re still drawing electricity.

Use extra blankets

An extra blanket or two on the bed will not only keep you warm but save you energy and dollars not using that electric blanket.