We think that everyone in New Zealand should be only spending what they absolutely have to on power. A dollar saved on power can be put away for a rainy day or go towards a number of other important expenses! But financial reasons aren’t the only ones that make saving power a good idea. In this article we cover the reasons why managing your power usage closely is a good thing to do.
Why spend more on power when there’s the cost of groceries and other living expenses to think about? The costs of various power-hungry appliances can add up to hundreds of dollars lost each year. When you consider how that mismanaged power usage could have paid for a few weeks’ worth of groceries, that can really hit home.
New Zealand’s cost of living is not cheap and the amounts we pay because of location and population mean that most households need to watch every dollar closely. Even small changes like reducing shower time, refining cooking processes and turning down the heater temperatures can result in a noticeable increase of available funds in the kitty.
If you’re a low power user, the changes that may be incurred through spot pricing or daily rate changes won’t affect you like they do heavy users of power.
Some retailers and plans will charge consumers rates based upon the wholesale prices dictated on any given half hour period. As power retailers, we buy power from generators at costs set by the market. When there are challenges around generation such as a higher-than-expected demand or weather related influences, the wholesale price can fluctuate. For anyone who has a plan with their power retailer that is subject to spot pricing, there is greater exposure to big bill spikes across the year according to what’s happening with generation.
Powershop doesn’t engage our customers through spot pricing, we control our pricing by accounting for these spikes and troughs over the year using our pre-set seasonal pricing. This means that pricing reduces over spring and summer and increases slightly over autumn and winter.
If you are on spot pricing with your retailer, keeping energy conservation front of mind will help protect against some of these rate spikes. While you’ll still be impacted, the actual end cost won’t be as bad if you’ve adopted good electricity saving habits.
New Zealand has around 85% renewable energy generation, but this still has an environmental impact. While generators like Meridian are clearly committed to sustainability, the household appliances found in Kiwi homes often are not.
Reducing your power consumption puts less demand on the grid, and your home. Lights and appliances will last longer in most cases under less strenuous always-on use.
The best way to reduce your footprint on the environment is to switch off!
During a 12 month period NZ Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) programme helped Kiwis save a whopping $38 million on energy savings by removing lesser efficient appliances from the market - that’s enough to power 44,000 homes!
While EECA has done the hard work for you, here are some things to consider when replacing or adding another appliance to your home:
Make sure you're buying the right appliance for the job. For example: buying a small fan heater to heat a large area might be a cheaper option initially, but it will quickly cost you a small fortune in electricity.
Also, while shopping for that new appliance keep an eye out for the ‘badge of savings’ sticker found on the front of the appliance; this is a quick reference guide to tell you if an appliance is energy and/or water efficient - the higher the star rating the lower your electricity bill will be!
Get rid of old fan heaters or column heaters that don’t have safety or efficiency features. The technology in old equipment is not up to the modern standards. The design of these, especially with components that can wear over time through environmental or impact effects, aren’t a good idea to run for efficient heating and can present fire hazards.
As a society, we’ve never been a more connected. The downside is that devices and the internet can distract us from everything else that New Zealand has to offer, be it going to the beach, taking a ball down to the park, or even just enjoying our own backyards.
Getting outside doesn’t just need to be for recreation - why not get the BBQ fired up and cook lunch or dinner on the grill? During summer, there’s many opportunities for households to have days where minimal power is consumed. It just takes initiative and planning to do so.
Getting the kids involved in the running of the household can be turned into a learning experience that not only teaches them invaluable life hacks, but also puts their school education into practice and encourages them to create a smaller carbon footprint.
Connecting power consumption to saving money could be something you illustrate through a rewards system. Build out a chart of power saving activities that the kids need to do each day, with a prize at the end. Attaching electricity with money helps to build a sense of responsibility around consumption that otherwise may be difficult to grasp for a younger child.
And if you’re wanting to educate the kids on the environmental impacts, jump online and check out the many resources on YouTube and our Saving Electricity section.
Powershop’s Shop is designed to put more control into consumer’s hands around power usage. We also have Get Shifty available for some customers in parts of the country where savings can be gained from using power more in off peak times and less in peak times. If you’re interested in knowing more about our approach to Pricing, our full page on this has everything you need.
Powershop’s full guide on Saving Electricity
Energy efficient homes - EECA NZ