Electrical Blog14/01/2021by Dean Wilson0Tips to Lower Your Electricity Costs in Winter

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If you live in Christchurch like we do, or anywhere in NZ for that matter, you are no stranger to cold winter evenings. Keeping your power bill under control can be very tricky in New Zealand winters, which is why we have come up with some tips to help ease the burden on your electrical costs.

​Draw Curtains at Dusk

Close the curtains before sunset to keep the heat inside the house. Well installed curtains can help with reducing heat loss through your windows provided they are installed without gaps that allow airflow between the windows and the room. For this to work, some tips to consider are having curtains that are floor-length, or have pelmets above them. They should ideally be wider than your window frames and double layered with a thick lining. This will help with using your heat pump lesser and ultimately with reducing electricity costs.

Use Thermacell Blinds

If you use blinds in your home, choose thermacell blinds as they have excellent insulation properties. The honeycomb design traps air to buffer against the cold and heat, which makes it useful throughout the year.

Save On Hot Water

You have probably heard this many times, but reduce your shower time during winters if possible. According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), a 15-minute shower will cost you around $1, a 5-minute shower around 33c. A family of 4 could be saving around $18 a week just by taking shorter showers. That’s $900 a year!

Run Your Dishwasher and Washing Machine on Eco Mode

Using the economical mode of your dishwasher and washing machine can help save some of that electricity cost during winters. Additionally, use the cold water option on your washing as much as possible. This can save up to 90% of your washing machine’s energy use!

Heated Towel Rails

If you use a heated towel rail that is on 24/7, it would cost you about $170 a year to run according to EECA. Try and use the rail only when needed and turn off when not in use.

Turn Off Appliances on Standby

Not using an appliance? Unplug your devices and appliances when you are not using them. Examples of these are phone chargers, laptop chargers, TVs. It may not seem like a lot, but when you add it all up, it’s about $100 a year which you could easily save.

Get the Right Heat Pump/s

Getting the right heat pump makes a big difference in how much electricity you are consuming. For rooms that you use more often, get a more energy-efficient heat pump. Check the energy star rating to see how energy efficient a heat pump is. For smaller rooms, you could use electric heaters instead.

Switch to LED 

Change your light bulbs to LED lights. This can reduce your electricity costs from lighting by 75%. LEDs are also known to last longer, making them a better investment. For each light bulb that you change, you can save up to $20 a year.

See If You Are Eligible for The Winter Energy Payment

The NZ government offers extra payment called The Winter Energy Payment to help some kiwis with the cost of heating your home in winter months. This has been doubled in 2020 in response to Covid-19. Find out if you are eligible here.

Compare Power Plans

Make an informed decision about your power plan, so you can choose the best power plan that’s suited to you. According to the Electricity Authority, households in NZ can save an estimated $372 million a year if all households switched to the cheapest power deal available to them. Compare power plans here.

Go Solar

Yes, that’s right. Despite common misconceptions, solar panels do work in winters. In fact, these panels work more efficiently in cooler temperatures as long as there is sunshine. Of course, they generate more electricity during summers, but that is because we have longer days, and not because it is hotter in summer.
Solar panels are becoming a good investment in saving up on electricity in the longer run. Find out more about switching to solar power.

Dean Wilson

Founder and General Manager of Skilled Electrical

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