We’re coming into Winter, which means your power use goes up as you turn on all the things to keep toasty warm.
Before that happens, we thought we’d check in how you’re doing and give you some hot tips on how to save energy and smooth out your weekly bills. Think of it as a power health check (but without the cold stethoscope).
And, if you sign up with Volt you can go into the draw to win 1 of 10 $50 credits to get you started. It costs nothing to open a Volt, and is super easy!
What goes into my weekly bill?
Your power bill is made up of a number of charges from a number of companies, including generators, your local lines company, the company that provides the meter on your house, and your retailer (that’s us!). There’s also the Electricity Authority levy, and GST.
Our Freestylers experience the ups and downs of the wholesale market, so the supply and demand equation has a big impact on their bill from week to week - sometimes it’s way down low, other times it’s up high. It’s not quite the same for our FIXIE Flicksters, who have more price certainty with a fixed generation price that’s only subject to change every 6-months.
No matter what your price plan is, your weekly bill is heavily influenced by how much you use. And that tends to be much more over the Winter months.
Shift your use, maximise your savings!
Y’all will know that we’re all about putting you in control of your power here at Flick. So we thought it was worth reminding you about off-peak pricing that might be in your part of the woods.
For example, in Christchurch the difference between peak and off-peak rates is a whopping 13.5c/kWh. Shifting just a little really can go a long way! With Flick, we pass those potential savings directly onto you - instead of a flat rate that lets us skim any cream off the top, we pass your network's pricing on with no markup whatsoever. You can also check in the app at anytime to find out when off-peak prices apply. If you're unsure about if you have time-of-use plans in your area, check out your regional pricing schedules.
Am I on the right plans?
Pre-winter is the perfect time to check to make sure the pricing plan is right for you. Checking to see if FIXIE is more your style while the spot market rides the up and downs of high demand is an easy way to take the edge off the winter power bill.
Also, understanding whether or not you should be on a Low or Standard User Plan could mean that you can continue to make the savings you should. Distribution companies charge different metering rates for Low Users and Standard Users of electricity, to ensure there’s a fair spread of cost amongst users. User plans can affect your bill. Have a read of What's Your User Plan, Stan and make sure you're on the right track!
We reckon that you should be on the fairest power deal, full stop. It shouldn’t be up to you to save energy to make a regular bill affordable. That said, there just isn’t a way around the fact that winter = more power use = higher bills. So, it’s always worthwhile having some energy savings tips up your sleeve to help you make it through with no crazy surprises.
How energy hungry are different appliances?
Our appliances make up a big part of our bills. Hot water cylinders make up 28% of all power bills (according to EECA)! That’s some serious power hunger. But different appliances have a different impact on your bill, so knowing how much each appliance costs can help you save some mullah.
LED bulbs are worth their weight in gold
Nervous about the long winter nights eating into your lighting budget? Energy efficient lightbulbs can slash 80% of a household’s lighting costs - around $400 per year, or 20% of the average household’s total electricity cost!
LED bulbs also have an estimated 10 year life so the savings really add up over time.
Just changing a few bulbs in the house can make all the difference - read more over on the EECA energy efficent light bulbs tool here.
Cooktop or slow cooker? Make a stew to suit you
Cooktops are some of the most power hungry units - they use on average 1.7 units of power per half hour. That's nothing to scoff at! The good news is that you've got alternatives - the humble slow cooker.
A slow cooker uses on average a teeny tiny 0.043 units of power every half hour. To put that in perspectve, you'd need to use it for a whopping 19 hours to match the cooktop's half hour. Considering that most slow cooker recipies are around 6-8 hours - baby, you got a stew going.
Holy hecker, heat pump over heater any day!
We all know that the basic heaters are a bit of a money-sink: the average fan heater is 1.2 units every half hour. That's why, if you have the choice, use your heat pump! For that same half hour, you'll only use 0.5 units of power!
You can read more about heat pumps, and what yours might cost, over on the EECA website.
Drip dry or tumble dry? Drip, drip, drip.
The clothes dryer. While it makes all those sheets feel warm, it can be a bit of a sink on the bill. Sitting an average 0.875 units per half hour, and typically taking 1-2 hours to run, it can start to stack up!
Instead, why not give the good old fashioned washing line a spin? Get the washing machine running overnight, and hang it up bright and early in the morning! By the time you come home for your stew, those sheets will be crisp and clean.
How can I make my winter bills more predictable?
Your niece came to stay and used all the hot water (half hour showers, Jeanie, really?!)? We know that sometimes life happens, and you’ll have higher bills that no amount of energy savings tips can help - that's why Volt is on hand to help keep your bills smooth sailing.
You set what you want your regular payment into your Volt to be, as well as Volt threshold that's at the upper limit of your budget. When Jeanie's antics push the bill above the Volt threshold, we dip into your Volt to help out! Aaaand you can pause it anytime.
Want to know more? Check out how Sophie was able to create the ultimate in bill predictability with her flatties here!