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5 Tips to help you be energy efficient

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If you have ways to be more efficient at home, on the farm or in business we would love to hear them!

 

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  1. Choose appliances and equipment with high energy star ratings.
  2. Insulate to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  3. Choose a price plan that rewards you for avoiding power use at peaks.
  4. Switch appliances off at the wall when not in use.
  5. Get fresh ideas from our energy efficiency blogs and Facebook posts.

By using energy efficiently you can enjoy lower costs, more comfort, or both. Here's some ideas to get you started on the path to having a more efficient home, farm, school or business.  If your favourite energy saving tip isn't here, please remember to share - you might see your store on this site soon.

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Be energy-wise
at home

You don’t have to give up comfort to be more energy
efficient.  Here’s some ideas to get the whole family using energy efficiently.

  • Target the biggest users - heating and water heating.  In a typical kiwi home about 30% of the energy is used for hot water heating, and almost as much for heating.
  • Try using a timer for shorter showers.  If a long shower is a must for you, consider a low-flow shower head or a flow restrictor.
  • If your hot water cylinder was made last century, it probably isn’t insulated. Covering it with a cylinder wrap will help you save.
  • When buying a new dishwasher or washing machine check how efficiently it uses water as well as electricity.
  • Being energy efficient doesn’t mean putting up with a freezing home.  The Ministry of Health recommends that rooms for children, the elderly and people who are ill should be kept at 20 ˚C.  Temperatures of at least 18 ˚C during the day and  16 ˚C in your bedroom overnight are recommended for other New Zealanders.
  • Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electrical heating as they are the only heaters that put out more energy than you put into them.
  • You can find out more about home energy efficiency, and find guides to help choose the home heating type that’s best for you, on the Energywise website.

Be energy-wise
on the farm

More efficient farming is good for farmers and the
economy. Here’s some links to farm efficiency information.

  • Irrigation is a major energy user for many farming operations.  A 2013 study in the South Island found room to improve the efficiency of 12 out of 14 irrigation systems studied, with an average payback period of only 4.4 years.  You can see the study and other tips for farm energy efficiency on the Energywise website
  • DairyNZ reports that the average New Zealand dairy farm spends over $20,000 a year on electricity, that electricity contributes 15c to the cost of every kilogram of milk solids produced, and that some dairy farms use three times more electricity than others for the same milk-solids production.  The recommend the EECA Business dairy shed electricity efficiency tool, and offer tips for dairy shed efficiency here.
  • If you are keen to improve energy efficiency in your growing or farming operation be sure to check whether you quality for the government’s feasibility study support here.

Be energy-wise
in business

Can you shave 20% off your business energy costs? 
EECA think you can.

  • Energy efficiency opportunities vary a lot with the type of business.  
  • Why not start by monitoring your energy use to how your energy use changes over the year.  If you have a smart meter your retailer may make this easier by making your daily power use available on-line.
  • Committing to an energy efficiency programme can help focus everyone.  You can find out how to do this here
  • Businesses with relatively large power use may qualify for government funding for energy efficiency studies and projects.   Check if your business and your project qualifies here

Be energy-wise
at school

Whether you’re a teacher, trustee or pupil you can make a difference.

  • A study of 20 secondary schools in NZ showed a typical school uses 50% of its energy for heating, 30% for ing, 12% for equipment and appliances and 8% for water-heating.
  • If your school is expanding, be sure to think energy efficiency before you build. You’ll find resources to help you at EECA.  There are even funds for feasibility studies, building and energy management projects, and loans for energy efficiency projects.

 

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