This is not your usual ‘how to save on power’ article. We all know that insulating your house and choosing energy efficient appliances can help reduce your power bills. Here’s a list of the top 5 things you can do to REALLY impact those bills.
1. Shift your load
Did you know that the cost of power changes every 30 minutes? And that a lot of the time, power pricing is considered low? But most power companies don’t give you access to those low prices. They buy power at the market rate but charge you a markup, so when the cost of power is low, they pocket the difference. Flick Electric is different. Their spot price plan, Freestyle, charges you the wholesale cost of power plus a separate retailer fee, and gives you access to wholesale pricing information via their Flick app. A quick check on power prices before you switch on your appliances could make them cost a whole lot less to run.
2. Use timers
The price of power is dependent on supply and demand – the supply of energy available at any one time coupled with the demand for electricity from everyday New Zealanders. So at 6pm when a whole lot of people arrive home from work, start heating their homes and cooking dinner, the price of power tends to increase. If you’re with a company like Flick and utilising spot prices, understanding these daily trends and using timers to switch on appliances during low demand times can reduce your power bill significantly. No timer? Check out WeMo – a family of switches and devices that allow you to control your home from your mobile.
3. Choose your plan
User plans are designed to save you money by optimising the balance of daily rates and variable charges. Most people choose their user plan when they sign up with their power company, then forget about it. But small changes to your living situation can have a high impact on your power bill. Adding to the family, a change in working hours or new appliances and power tools can switch you from a low user to a standard user or vice versa. Ensuring you’re on the right plan for your situation is an easy way to reduce your power bill, and with most power companies you can switch plans once every year at no cost.
4. Analyse usage
Data tracking sounds daunting, but it can give you some very important clues about your power usage. When your household is asleep and all appliances are switched off, it makes sense that you should be using very little power. Usage-peaks overnight or during the day when nobody is home could indicate an issue with your hot water cylinder or other appliances that are inflating your power bills. Flick Electric is one company that provides an easy-to-understand dashboard that illustrates when you use power and how much. Check the Analyse tab to make sure your appliances aren’t using power without you.
5. Look beneath the surface
It’s easy to get sucked into a long fixed-term contract by shiny cash offers, prompt payment discounts and other add-ons that appear to be a good deal at face value. Before signing a 2-year contract in exchange for a $200 cash offer or a new tv, consider the long term implications. What you could save with an alternative company over those 2 years could far outweigh the initial upfront payment. And being locked into a long fixed term contract means you can’t leave the power company if you change your mind 6 months down the track. Prompt payment discounts are often just late payment penalties in reverse. Look beyond the clever marketing tactics of big power companies for honesty, transparency and fairness in practice.
Flick Electric customers saved an average $886 from June 2016 to June 2018 on their spot price product, Freestyle. Flick makes joining easy, they’re New Zealand’s ONLY Consumer Trusted power company, and winner of the People’s Choice award for customer satisfaction two year’s running (2017-2018)! Give them a call on 0800 435 425 to find out what you could be saving, or sign up online at flickelectric.co.nz.