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What can you do with $1 worth of electricity?

You found a gold coin lodged down the back of the couch. Score! The question is: what can you do with it?

Not much, to be honest. You might be able to buy half a litre of petrol (slightly less if you’re in Auckland). You can pick up a frozen coke from your local fast food joint. If you really wanted to, you could check out Trade Me’s $1 reserve auctions and bid on all sorts of tat that nobody else wants.

Or you can buy about 4 kWh of electricity. What you can do with this electricity depends on your home and choice of appliances.

When you receive your electricity bill, it can be tough to envision what exactly is eating up all the power. To paint a better picture of where your electricity actually goes, we’ve rounded up the energy needs of a few common household appliances. Read on to get more insight into what you can do with $1 worth of electricity.

Heating your home

About a third of your power bill goes toward heating your home. The best thing you can do to reduce these expenses is to keep your home well insulated. You can achieve this by investing in quality insulation, replacing old windows with double glazing and sealing up cracks and crevices around your windows and doors.

Looking beyond insulation, the efficiency of your home’s heating largely depends on your choice of appliances. With $1 of electricity, you can use:

  • A heat pump for 2 hours
  • A 1 kW bar heater for 3 hours
  • A 2 kW oil heater for 1.5 hours
  • A 2.4 kW electric heater for 1.5 hours

While all these appliances will run for a reasonable length of time on $1 of electricity, the amount of heat they produce varies wildly. For example, $1 will get you about 3 kW of heat with a heat pump, but just 1 kW of heat with a plug-in electric heater, according to Consumer.

Heating your water

Hot water accounts for around 30 percent of your power bill. Being mindful of your hot water consumption, limiting shower time and investing in a water-efficient shower head can do wonders for reducing your household’s energy consumption. And if you need an excuse to avoid doing the post-dinner clean up by hand, remember that doing the dishes in the sink costs about twice as much as running the dishwasher (provided the dishwasher is full).

What can you do with $1 of electricity when it comes to hot water?

  • Have a small bath
  • Have a 10 minute shower
  • Run the dishwasher twice
  • Boil the jug 10 times
Powering your devices

There’s probably someone in your household who likes to moan about power hungry electronics, but the fact is that most modern devices are very energy efficient and can run for hours or days on just a few cents of electricity.

With $1 of electricity, you can:

  • Use a laptop for 33 hours
  • Watch TV for 20 hours
  • Charge your phone every night for four months
  • Use a DVD player for 11 hours (roughly the length of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Extended Edition, which clocks in at 682 minutes)
Running your household appliances

When it comes to reducing the power consumption of household appliances, the most effective thing you can do is look for energy efficient products. LED light bulbs, for instance, may have a higher upfront cost, but they’re considerably less power hungry than conventional light bulbs and will probably save you money over the long run. The same goes for fridges, freezers, washing machines and most other household appliances.

$1 of electricity allows you to:

  • Straighten your hair for 8 hours
  • Use a blender for 4 hours
  • Run your fridge/freezer for about a day
  • Charge your electric toothbrush for 2.5 months
  • Power a 100 watt light bulb for 34 hours
  • Power a 14 Watt LED light bulb (equivalent to a 100 watt standard bulb) for 10 days
  • Use a vacuum cleaner for 6 hours
  • Dry one big load of washing
Understanding the energy efficiency of your appliances

Thinking about buying a new energy efficient appliance? Curious about which device is sucking more than its fair share of power? Over at Energywise, you’ll find a handy running cost calculator, which allows you to quickly calculate and compare the annual running costs of a product based on its energy efficiency.

We’ve also heard that Energywise is going to be releasing a brand new feature that will allow you to input exactly what you want from a product (including the size, colour, brand, etc) and provide you with a list of specific product model numbers that meet your requirements. You’ll also be able to see the running costs and energy ratings of the products to help you make a more informed decision and better manage your power bill!

Want to get even more bang for your buck? Pulse Energy customers enjoy some of the most competitive rates on the market. Give us a call today to make the switch and start saving.

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