How to save money on your power bill this winter: customer edition!
Power bills tend to increase over winter as we start switching on the electric heaters, taking longer showers and spending more time at home.
The good news is there are a number of ways to keep your home warm and cosy over the chilly months without spending a fortune on electricity. We reached out to some of our awesome customers for some nifty thrifty ways to save money on power in winter and rounded up a few of our favourites below.
1. Wash your clothes in cold water
Jenny from Hamilton says one of the easiest ways to save power is to start washing your clothes in cold water.
“Some people still think you need to use hot water to wash clothes properly, but most washing machines and detergents work perfectly fine with cold water,” says Sarah. “I honestly can’t tell the difference.
A warm cycle can use up to 10 times as much energy as a cold wash, which works out to an extra 20 to 40 cents per load. If you really don’t like the idea of cold washes, be sure to buy an energy efficient model when the time comes to replace your washing machine.
2. Know how to dry your clothes efficiently
Short days and bad weather make it tricky to dry your clothes outdoors. At the same time, clothes dryers are notoriously energy-hungry and cost about $1 per load, which can quickly take its toll on your winter electricity bill.
Thankfully, Gerald from Greymouth came to the rescue with the following tricks for drying your clothes more efficiently.
- Get the washing done in the morning so you’ve got more daylight to work with
- Use your washing machine’s spin cycle to remove as much moisture as possible before drying it.
- If it’s a nice day, hang your clothes outside on the line. Don’t dry your clothes indoors as it will make your home damp.
- Only use the dryer when the weather’s bad. Run full loads and always clean out the lint filter to help your dryer run more efficiently.
3. Use your heat pump wisely
Heat pumps are the most efficient way of using electricity to heat your home and can save you as much as $500 a year compared with a conventional electrical heater.
“Everyone feels the cold differently,” says Tracey from Auckland. “For my family, we keep the heat pump set to 20 degrees over winter. We found that to be the sweet spot for keeping our home warm without driving our power bill through the roof.”
Want to get even more efficiency out of your heat pump? Clean out the filter at least once per year, close your doors and curtains to retain the heat and always switch off the heat pump when it’s not in use.
4. Stop draughts
Heating accounts for more than a third of your home’s power usage. To help your electric heating systems work as efficiently as possible, it’s important to create a home that retains heat while keeping cold air out.
According to Aaron from Christchurch, one of the most effective ways to do this is to seal up the cracks around your windows and doors. Available at your local hardware store, draught stopping tape is cheap and easy to install, and can do wonders for reducing heat loss around windows. While you’re there, pick up some door snakes or draught excluders to seal up the gaps under doors.
5. Keep the showers short and sweet
There’s nothing better than a steaming hot shower on a cold winter’s day - but it’s a good idea to keep them short and sweet. A 15 minute shower costs about $1 in electricity, while a 5 minute shower costs just 33 cents, which means a family of four could save up to $900 a year just by cutting back on shower time.
“It’s not always easy to get the kids through the shower quickly,” says Kaia in Wellington. “So what we did is make a big playlist of songs that are all about four or five minutes long. You jump in the shower when the song starts and turn the water off the second it stops. The kids love it!”
Make the switch to Pulse Energy
Looking for an even easier way to save money on power this winter? Switch to Pulse Energy and enjoy competitive rates, awesome customer support and the freedom of no long-term contracts. Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 to find out more.