8 tips to save money on your power bill this winter
Oct 16, 2023
Winter can be an expensive time for many New Zealand families and households. Shorter days and colder nights have many of us relying on heaters to stay warm – which has a big impact on power bills.
While we dream of those hot summer days ahead, here a few tips to help save money on your power bill this winter.
1. See if you’re eligible for the Winter Energy Payment
The Government introduced the Winter Energy Payment in 2017, to help support families with the cost of heating homes during winter. Around 1 million kiwis will receive the Winter Energy Payment this year. Read our blog to find out more about the payment and how to check if you’re eligible.
2. Compare electricity companies to find the best deal
Make sure you’re getting the best deal for your power by comparing electricity providers. Consumer has a handy online tool which helps you find the cheapest plan. The tool is free, easy to use, and independent.
3. Keep your home dry
The wet weather can make our homes damp in winter. The more moisture in the air, the harder your heaters work to keep the air warm. Keeping your home dry is one way to make sure your heaters run more efficiently over winter.
- Open your curtains during the day to let the warmth and sunshine in – especially on those sunny winter days!
- Wipe condensation off windows, sills and walls with an absorbent cloth
- Dry clothes outside on a drying rack, rather than inside
- Open doors and windows to dry your home
- Consider using a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
4. Switch appliances off when they’re not in use
It may seem like a small thing, but turning appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them is a simple way to reduce your power bill – at any time of year.
- Check around your home to see which appliances can be switched off at the wall when they’re not in use.
- Create a checklist to remind yourself (and others!) to switch off appliances when you’re leaving the house.
- Create a weekly challenge to help get all members of the household on board – for example, a prize for the person who switches off the most appliances!
5. Reduce your dryer use
Clothes dryers are one of the most expensive appliances to run – but we tend to rely on them more and more in winter. Reducing how often you use the dryer is one way to reduce your power bill in winter.
- Choose sunny winter days to do the big loads like sheets and towels
- Use a clothes rack to dry your clothes outside – you can move the clothes rack around to keep it in the sun throughout the day
- Regularly clean the lint filter, to help your dryer run more efficiently
- If you do need to use the dryer, hang your clothes on the line or clothes rack first to air them out and remove as much moisture as possible, to reduce the amount of time needed in the dryer
6. Dig out the electric blanket, hot water bottle, and wheat bags
Electric blankets cost little to run compared to electric heaters. Try to use one with a delay timer when you go to sleep so that it switches off after a few hours.
And don’t forget about the hot water bottles and wheat bags – they are an incredibly low-cost way of warming your bed, and your body.
7. DIY window insulation
DIY window insulation film can be applied to your windows to create an insulating layer of air between the cold glass and your room. These are low-cost (around $10 per pane) and easy to install yourself. You can find DIY window insulation online at Bunnings and Mitre 10.
8. Cook meals in a slow cooker
A slow cooker or crock-pot running all day uses 1/3 of the electricity compared with cooking a roast in the oven for two hours! Plus there’s something about coming home at the end of the day to the smell of a hot meal cooking in a crockpot.
Stay warm in a RoomMate Cabin this winter
If you’re looking for an affordable way to put a roof over your head this winter, check out our portable cabins for hire in Auckland and across NZ. RoomMate cabins are fully insulated to NZ residential standards, with Batts in the walls and ceilings, and underfloor insulation, to keep the cabins warm, dry and cosy.