This isn’t really news, but one of our major power retailers just made a record profit of $184M.
We say it’s not really news because this has been happening for a long time. This year’s reason? Due to increase rainfall over the last year, wholesale power has been abundantly available at lower prices to power companies. While a lot of us choose to fix the rate we pay for power, that means huge profits are made.
Since 2000 the average cost of power in NZ has gone from 13.9 cents per kW to 29.2 cents per kW and the average NZ Household will pay over $100,000.00 to power their house in the next 20 years with this same level of increase. The worst, and scariest thing, is the uncertainty around power pricing.
On the cost of power:
“The next nine months is anyone’s guess. We work with scenarios rather than say ‘it will be x’ because if we try to predict, it will be wrong. Where prices go is anyone’s guess.”
– Fraser Whineray, Mercury Chief Executive
Source: Stuff Business News
With huge power profits hitting the headlines, the case for Solar is getting stronger by the day. Without an alternative, kiwi households open themselves up to the risk of ever-increasing costs. Power is freely available to anyone willing to invest in the technology to harness it. While the average household is looking at close to $5000 per year in power costs, an investment of $10,000 in Solar now will save you $25,000+ over the next 20 year period.
Every day solutions to rising power bills
Stop putting appliances on stand-by
If your house is flashing with the little red lights of devices left on stand-by, you are wasting money. Turn them off and you could cut your power bill by about 10 per cent.
Stop using your dryer so much
Could you set up a clothesline in the garage over winter? Every time you use your dryer, it adds about $1 to your bill, which can add up fast. While you’re at it, switch to washing in cold water if you are not already doing so – hot water makes up about a third of your power bill.
Not having adequate insulation
If your house is poorly insulated, your heaters have to work a lot harder to get it to the temperature you want – and lots of heat wafts away into the atmosphere. Putting insulation in won’t make your house warmer on its own this winter but it should save you money on your heating bill.
Turn down your hot-water cylinder
Set your hot water cylinder for 60C. Any hotter than that is a waste of money and potentially dangerous. Check your water pressure at the same time. Your shower should not fill a 10L bucket in less than a minute.
Check out your downlights
Running 20 100W old-fashioned downlights may cost you more than a heater or heat pump. If you can, replace them with a modern LED version. There’s an upfront cost to this but it will save you in the long-term, so it’s a good option if you’re staying put for a while, or don’t mind packing your lightbulbs if you move.
Invest in Solar
Radiant solar energy is captured by Solar panels, even on cloudy days. Once it’s produced, it’s yours to use freely to power whatever you want. This can be used to slash your power bills by more than 50% immediately.