The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and you can’t remember why you were wishing it was cooler just a few months ago. Winter is a time when electricity bills tend to rise as households crank up the heaters to beat the chill that creeps in at every corner. You can control your power bill this winter with a little bit of planning. The following tips will help

 

Thermometer showing cold temperature

  1. Turn off your appliances when you are not using them – The easiest way to reduce power consumption is to simply turn off your appliances when you aren’t using them, regardless of the season. Almost every gadget in your home – including your TV, gaming consoles, printer, and just about everything else – doesn’t completely shut off after being powered down. Then they enter standby mode, which is an operating mode that consumes a small amount of power. New Zealand wastes about $100 million in standby power every year as a whole. If you turn off your appliances at the wall when you are not using them, you can save around $100 annually.

  2. Wash clothes with cold water and pass on the dryer – Washing can be a daunting task in winter when nothing is dry let alone the washing, but washing in cold water and hang drying rather than using a dryer can save you huge amounts of power. About 90% of the energy necessary to run a clothes washer is consumed by the process of heating water. You’ll generally get a good clean by washing in cold water unless there are oily stains. You can reduce your energy usage by half just by changing your temperature settings from hot to warm. Using the cold cycle reduces electricity use even more. As for the dryer, these appliances seem like they were built to consume electricity.

  3. Put your heaters on timers – Heaters are the leading cause of high power consumption in winter and are a necessary evil. There are ways however to make them more friendly on your pocket at the end of each month. One of these ways is to install timers on them. Timers on heaters can prevent the room from becoming overheated and can reduce their energy usage when you don’t need them as much. They can also turn on and off at set hours so you won’t accidentally forget to turn it off and be heating your room all day when you’re not at home!

  4. Keep your house dry – More moisture means more work to heat. As a household, we produce about 8 litres of moisture a day, including moisture from bathing and cooking. Our homes tend to stay damper in winter due to the wet weather.  If your home is full of moisture, heating it will be more expensive. Therefore, keeping your home dry is one of the most efficient ways to reduce the heating costs to your home during the winter. Let the sun warm your home by opening your curtains during the day, opening your doors and windows and wiping away any condensation that has formed on your windows or walls. Try to avoid drying clothes indoors as this creates more moisture in the air.

  5. Improve your lighting – During the winter months, our lights are on for quite a while, later in the morning, and later into the evening. Electricity usage increases as light use increases when you multiply the cost of one bulb over all the light bulbs in your home, the total can mount up. It’s for this reason that we recommend using LED bulbs (rather than incandescent bulbs).  It’s not just that LED bulbs illuminate the space better, but they are also more efficient by up to 85%.

Stay warm this winter and save money. If you are after some more tips on saving money get in touch with us.