Some Electricity Saving Tips
From Us:

Click on each item to go to the description below:

  1. Ceiling fans

  2. Dehumidifiers

  3. Shower Domes

  4. Pelmets or tight fitting curtains

  5. Undersink mini hotwater cylinder or micro storage water heating unit

  6. Hot water vacuum flasks - Zojirushi

  7. Ceiling and Other Lighting Suggestions

  8. Cooking with a Pressure Cooker

  9. Controlling The Power to Your Hot Water Cylinder

  10. Keeping your Fridge Full

  11. Installing "Clerstorey" Windows above Internal Doors


Ceiling fans:

For homes with high studs, the room temperature at ceiling height can be several degrees higher than where the occupants are. Ceiling fans operated in the "winter" mode at slowish speeds help to bring this air down to where the people are. And if you have floor level heaters running on thermostats, the warm air coming down means that the thermostats will be able to turn off the heating sooner.


Dry air uses less energy to heat than moist air (it takes more energy to warm water vapour). A dehumidifier is a low cost option to help lower your heating bills. By running a dehumidifer in winter your room air is dryer, which not only means it feels warmer, but uses less energy to heat, and mold and fungi growth is suppressed also.

Shower Domes:

Fitting a shower dome over your shower reduces the amount of moisture entering your house and a house that is dryer costs less to heat as explained above (and your shower also feels warmer so you may not need the water as hot).

Pelmets or tight fitting curtains:

When you use curtains, a vertical layer of air is held between the window and the curtain. As this air cools, it sinks. This creates an "engine" which draws in warm air at the top of the curtain, and effectively pumps cooled air into the room at the base of the curtain. This partly explains the draughts felt at the gap between curtains and the floor. By using pelmets, or curtains that are tight fitting top and/or bottom, you can reduce the effect of this cooling engine and save some money on your heating bills.

Undersink mini hot water cylinder or micro storage water heating unit:

The hot water tap at a kitchen sink is used often. When hot water is needed, usually the householder would run through several litres of water waiting for the hot to arrive. This not only means that water may be wasted, but also a lot of the heat energy of the warm water is used to heat piping enroute to the sink. A micro water heater or mini cylinder under the sink avoids long pipe runs from the main hot water cylinder, which results in savings of electricity as well as water - particularly useful for people on tank supplies.

If using a micro storage water heater, we suggest that a switch be installed above the kitchen bench at a suitable and handy place, so that you can turn it off easily if you don't intend using the unit for a few hours - these units can heat the water in a matter of minutes, and turning the unit on when needed will save on electricity.

Hot water vacuum flasks - Zojirushi:

A high quality Japanese Zojirushi vacuum flask can keep boiled water hot enough for several hours, for making tea and other hot drinks. This means that you can boil the jug once and have hot water for several hours, saving on electricity used to reboil water. Although this product is not distributed in NZ, we have sourced some from the Australian distributor. They make great gifts!

Ceiling and Other Lighting Suggestions:

Changing ceiling downlights to ceiling buttons or pendant spot lighting allows the holes in the ceilings to be removed (repaired).

Without holes in the ceiling, this means that ceiling insulation can be applied over the entire ceiling of a room: means you can apply an insulation blanket across the whole ceiling. As the heat loss through ceilings tend to be a significant proportion of room heat loss (could be around 35%), being able to put a good insulation blanket across the entire ceiling will save on heating bills.

A number of other lighting options are also available which does not require putting large holes in the ceilings, including wall lights and pedastal lights. Wall lights provide a more intimate ambience than ceiling lighting, and pedastal lights are not only intimate and cosy, but can be moved around easily (and can be taken away with you when moving house).

Cooking with a Pressure Cooker:

Using a pressure cooker to cook food not only cuts down the time it takes, but some of the modern electric powered cookers have a "roasting" function also - at much lower power demand than an oven, so saving you money. The lower power demand also means you may one day be able to power them using photovoltaic (PV) power on your own roof.

Controlling The Power to Your Hot Water Cylinder:

Folk sometimes turn their cylinders off in order to save on their power bills (to save on the actual kWh units you are charged for). If you want to turn your cylinder off to save on your power bills, then it needs to be off for at least 16 hours a day to make any difference. With new cylinders, the standing losses are very low, so even turning it off for long periods of time may not get you much savings. If you are going away for a few days, then turning the cylinder off may save you money. Some folk turn their cylinder thermostat temperature down to save power, although NZ regulations require the cylinder to be heated to 60degC for legionella control - which means you can't turn it down too low.

If you are charged for "peak demand" from your power supplier, you may want to change your element to a smaller unit or install a cylinder timer.

Changing your cylinder element - if you change the element size to 2kW or 3kW from the larger 3.6kW or 4.8kW elements, this means that when it turns on, the amount of power the element draws is reduced. The water takes longer to heat, but for most users who don't drain their hot water cylinders completely and need it reheated as fast as possible this is not really a problem.

Installing a cylinder timer - a cylinder timer would allow you to select when you want power to be able to reach the cylinder so that your cylinder does not draw power at peak load, like when you are already cooking on a stove. Whether the cylinder actually uses the power or not is determined by the hot water temperature in the cylinder - the cylinder thermostat will decide. 

Keeping your Fridge Full:

If you keep your fridge full, then everytime you open the fridge door, only a small volume of cool air will escape. The fridge will be able to work less hard to cool any new air when the door is shut again. You can use bottles of water or other beverages or cans of fruit in the fridge if you don't have enough other perishable food to stock the fridge up. The trick is to minimise the amount of free air which can escape when you open the door.

Installing "Clerstorey" Windows above Internal Doors:

Remember the old houses that have windows above internal doors? Well, new houses could learn a thing or two: putting these "Clerstorey" windows above internal doors right up to the ceiling and making them "openable", means you can allow the warm air near the ceiling in one room to move through to another room - just by opening the windows above the door. Once the warm air has moved to the rooms you want, a ceiling fan on a "winter" setting can then move the air around the room.







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