How To Save On Your Power Bill During Lockdown

Date Sep 3, 2021
Blog category Power
By Sieg C
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How does one save power during lockdown? More consumption results in a higher power bill, that's a fact. Pair this with increasing energy rates from major providers, and your power bill can get very expensive.

If this isn’t enough, the past winter has caused a huge strain on the country’s power grids. With the demand for heating amidst limited supply, your power bill can skyrocket quickly. Although the weather is getting a bit warmer these days, energy rates aren’t decreasing anytime soon as the power supply recovers. 

The Delta outbreak is very unpredictable, that’s why it’s important to save on your power bill as much as possible. Here are a few quick and easy tips to keep your power bill in control during the lockdown.

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Switch to energy-efficient appliances when you can

Besides the higher consumption, limited supply, and increasing rates, one of the culprits for pricey electricity bills is your power-hungry appliances. Even if your older appliances still work, it’s a smarter choice to switch out to newer energy-saving appliances. They consume less energy, lowering your power bill.

If you don’t have the budget to replace your old appliances, then configure them in a way that saves you money. For example, you can set your computer monitor to go idle after a few minutes of inactivity. For older fridges, defrost them regularly for better storage of your food.

Keep your screen time in check

These days, the weather is perfect to just tuck right under the sheets while binge-watching the newest TV series. The long hours at home makes it the best time to feel immersed in your favourite game, too. If you have children, this can keep them occupied while you work and accomplish your house chores.

All these devices left on standby for long hours add up on your power bill. Keeping the family’s screen time in check not only results in lower power bills, but also a healthier digital lifestyle. Instead of using gadgets, engage the family in activities such as board games, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, and even decluttering!

Don’t forget to turn off idle appliances

On top of minimising your screen time, make sure to switch off idle appliances as well. If you won’t use them for the next ten minutes, turn them off. Even if you’ll probably use them later, the idle time can consume energy. By simply turning off standby appliances, you can save up to $100 per year on your power bill! 

This is common for appliances such as light, desktop computers, heaters, and fans. When charging your devices, make sure to unplug from the outlet. This saves you on electricity and keeps your devices’ batteries healthy too.

Trap the heat inside the house

While the weather’s getting a bit warmer during the day, nighttime can still be cold. Instead of blasting your heaters in full throttle all the time, you just have to be wise not to let the heat escape your home. This way, you can warm up the home for a long time even without running your heaters.

By simply keeping your windows and curtains shut before sunset, you can avoid heat loss. Sealing any gaps or cracks in your doorways, ceilings, windows, and walls can keep your home well-insulated, too. With these simple tricks, your home can feel warm and cosy by running your heaters for only 10-30-minutes.

Take quick showers and dress warmly

Quick showers don’t only save you on your water bill, but also your power bill! If you take long showers in this weather, you use more hot water, which drives up your heating costs. If you can time your showers to be under 10-minutes, the better.

After showering, dry yourself thoroughly and make sure to dress warmly. It doesn’t matter how much you heat the home if you don’t dress warmly. Even at home, wear long sleeves and socks. If you’re going out for essentials, make sure to put another layer on!

Leave your oven open after use

Staying at home means unleashing your inner chefs! It’s the perfect time to try out cooking or baking your favourite dishes. The catch is, ovens and stoves are some of the most power-hungry appliances you have at home. That’s why you have to maximise them whenever you use them.

Leave your oven open after you use them. This way, the heat escapes the appliance to warm the entire kitchen. While it may not be as effective as a heater, it’s an efficient and clever way to utilise your oven. The plus side is, your oven cools faster, meaning that you can clean them just right after you finish your meals.

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Do your laundry with cold water

You may think that hot water can clean your clothes better. However, cold water can actually clean just as effectively, thanks to the better-quality washers and detergents available today. Cleaning with cold water also saves you from heating costs. It consumes less energy, saving you up to 20-40 cents per wash.

It’s also smarter to do your laundry in large batches, rather than several small batches. When drying your clothes, simply hang them outdoors. Unless you really need the clothes or the weather’s grey in the next few days, don’t use your dryer. This can save you up to $1 per load, which can easily add up to your power bill.

Maximise off-peak hours deal

Plenty of power providers offer off-peak hours or a free hour of power. This simply means that you can consume all the power you need during these off-peak hours, without getting charged for it. If you have a big batch of laundry or want to slow cook a meal on the oven or stove, this is the perfect time to do them!

Some companies that offer this deal are Electric Kiwi, Flick Electric, and Metlink, among others. Depending on your plan, you can get these off-peak hours at discounted rates or a full hour for free. Thanks to the mobile apps from these providers, you can control when you want to apply this off-peak hours deal.

Check if you’re eligible for Winter Energy Payment

Work and Income offers Winter Energy Payment, providing weekly payments to cover the heating costs of hard-hit households. This is especially useful during this lockdown as a lot of Kiwis have their incomes affected by the Delta outbreak. You get Winter Energy Payment automatically if you receive:

  • NZ Superannuation
  • Veteran's Pension
  • Jobseeker Support
  • Jobseeker Support Student Hardship
  • Sole Parent Support
  • Supported Living Payment
  • Young Parent Payment
  • Youth Payment
  • Emergency Benefit
  • Emergency Maintenance Allowance

Winter Energy Payments are available from May 1st to October 1st and are paid along with your other regular weekly or fortnightly payments. If you’re eligible for this payment, you receive:

  • Single with no dependent children will receive $20.46 per week
  • Couple and single with dependent children will receive $31.82 per week

Otherwise, you can also take advantage of the Warmer Kiwi Homes by Energy Efficiency and Conversion Authority. This is only paid out to areas in Alert Level 3. Due to travel restrictions, you may experience a delay in the grant.

Watch out for changes in power prices

Always be on the lookout for whenever power providers announce changes in their energy rates. It’s a crucial time for Kiwi households, that’s why they always keep their customers updated for any change in prices.

Most of all, watch out for exclusive discounts and benefits! Power providers are loading their plans with great deals to give you the best value for money. If you’ve found a better deal, don’t hesitate to switch. It’s easy and free, with no interruptions in your connection. For this, you can use our power comparison tool, right here at glimp.

Stay home, keep safe, and save big with glimp!.

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Christine Henare , 2021-06-25

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Chris Lerew , 2021-09-18

Good options, but ideally an option to combine & compare cost for best mobile + broadband option would be nice.

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Bryan Robinson , 2021-09-01

Friendly staff, gave me different options and were able to save me $30 a month