+64 (03) 477 6111

Energy Use

  • It is important to keep your house warm during cold conditions hence any form of insulation (underfloor, ceiling or wall insulation, double glazing or use of blinds or curtains) is very beneficial. Insulation will reduce power or fuel use.

  • Maximise sunlight input to the house by location, design or construction or by reducing tree shades.

  • Minimise all draughts.

  • Use as many energy saving light bulbs as possible. LED light bulbs are more energy efficient than normal energy saving light bulbs.

  • If affordable use appropriate heat pumps rather than oil column, fan or panel heaters. Heat pumps have much higher thermal output per kW than electric heaters. For example an electric heater may use 1 kw power to generate 1 kw heat while a heat pump could use the same energy to generate 2 to 3 kw heat energy. Heat pumps are efficient because they extract heat from outside and transfer inside. Generally small heat pumps are more energy efficient than large ones and hence have high energy star rating (see EECA Energy Star® Heat pump website for further info). Heat pumps may appear to be costly initially but the comfort and returns in the long-term are worth it.

  • If affordable choose higher energy rating electrical appliances (see EECA Energy Star® site), the more stars the better.

  • If you have an old hot water cylinder either replace or insulate it.

  • Set your hot water cylinder temperature setting at 55oC. Higher water temperatures are not only a health hazard but also energy wasting.

  • Minimise hot water use. Washing machines can be operated without hot water. Most washing powders are equally efficient in cold conditions.

  • If installing a new wood burner choose a high energy efficient burner. Make sure your firewood is dry and protected from rain. Modern wood burners are significantly environmentally friendly and much more clean burning than even most latest coal burners. Use of coal burners not only affects air quality but also increases greenhouse gases.

  • If you can afford, install mini-wind mills or solar panels. Carefully estimate the returns against interest paid or opportunity cost.

  • Treat moisture condensation at the source. Use extract fans or efficient range hoods to reduce moisture build-up. Ventilate your home regularly by opening windows for a short period.

  • Minimise the use of dehumidifiers to reduce energy use. If you have addressed condensation issues at the source you would not need dehumidifiers.

Very useful information can be found on efficient heating, energy efficiency, energy savings and insulation at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website.