Here's How Much Money These Energy Saving Tips Really Save - Stuff

Here’s How Much Money These Energy Saving Tips Really Save – Stuff

With the cost of electricity rising, many New Zealanders will be looking for ways to control their electricity bills.

But how many tricks like turning off appliances on the wall and taking a shorter shower really are?

Research shows that some of our most popular energy-saving exercises don’t make much of a difference, and that others, like washing dishes by hand, can actually be less energy efficient.

However, there are some changes that can save hundreds of dollars a year – and just what devices absorb the most energy may surprise you.

Read more:
* How to avoid increasing your electricity bill while working from home
Seven ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home (and what that really means)
* Simple mistakes you might make with your dishwasher

Turning off the lights can save a few cents an hour, but switching the lights on will save much more than that.  (file image)

Chris McCain

Turning off the lights can save a few cents an hour, but switching the lights on will save much more than that. (file image)

Turn off the lights

Although flipping the switch when leaving the room It can save a few cents an hourThere are plenty of savings to be made by switching to LED lights, according to New Zealand Consumer Product Testing Team Leader James Le Page.

Despite the high initial cost of LEDs, LEDs quickly pay for themselves with reduced energy bills.

A mid-range LED costs $18, draws 9.5 watts of electricity and has a lifespan of 15,000 hours.

Le Page said a 60-watt incandescent bulb, which produces the same light, costs 50 cents but lasts only 1,000 hours.

“If the lamp was lit for three hours each day, the incandescent would use $17.08 in electricity per year, compared to $2.70 for an LED. That is a savings of $14.38 per year.”

This means that the LED bulb will pay for itself in just over a year and will last another 12 years if used for three hours a day, while the incandescent bulb must be replaced every year.

“These numbers show that you should not wait for incandescent bulbs to go out – it is more cost-effective to replace them with LEDs now,” Le Page said.

Televisions, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems cost only a few cents a year if left on standby.

Michael Hagerby

Televisions, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems cost only a few cents a year if left on standby.

Turn off appliances on the wall

If you really want to save as much money as possible, turning off appliances on the wall will completely eliminate energy use, says Le Page.

However, most devices use very little electricity in standby mode.

New Zealand consumer testing found some technologies, including televisions, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems, It only costs a few cents a year on standbywhile clothes dryers, game consoles, washing machines, and microwaves left on standby use less than $10 in electricity over 12 months.

At the other end of the scale, set-top boxes and some MFPs use more standby power.

In the case of MFPs, the power used in standby mode varies from nothing at all to more than $10 per month across the different models.

TV set-top boxes have been found to use as much power in standby as they did during use and can cost $53.75 per year, even if the TV never turns on.

take short showers

With about 30% of the energy the average household uses flowing into hot water, reducing time spent in the shower is a great way to cut costs, according to Power key Director Paul Fogg.

Every five minutes spent under the shower costs 33 cents, so by cutting daily showers from 10 minutes to five minutes, a family of four can save $450 a year.

Washing clothes with cold water

New Zealand consumer test results show that it costs much less to wash your clothes in cold water than it does to run a warm wash, says Le Page.

A cold wash in a front or top loader costs 3°C to 8°C per load, while a warm wash costs 13°C to 46°C.

One warm wash per day at 46°C per load will cost $167.90 per year. A daily cold wash at 8°C per load will cost just $29.20.

Research has shown that washing dishes by hand actually uses more hot water than running a dishwasher.

123RF

Research has shown that washing dishes by hand actually uses more hot water than running a dishwasher.

Washing dishes by hand

Research shows that washing dishes by hand actually uses more hot water than running a dishwasher.

A 2011 study conducted at the University of Bonn, Germany, found that, on average, households without a dishwasher use more than twice as much water to clean dishes that use a single dishwasher.

The research was supported by a private Consumer NZ test which showed that the average dishwasher uses 13.5 liters to clean a full load.

“By comparison, our test tub at two-thirds holds 13 liters,” said Erin Bennett, product test writer.

“To wash as many dishes as a full dishwasher would, you would need to run at least three tubs (39 liters), including pre-rinsing.”

Rinsing suds from dishes added another basin full of water, and more will be used if rinsing under a running tap.

“Although our tests show that dishwashers are generally more water efficient, there are many differences in hand washing, so it is important to consider how many liters of water you personally use,” Bennett said.

If you have an outdoor washing line, Le Page recommends using it.

Unsplash

If you have an outdoor washing line, Le Page recommends using it.

Dispose of the dryer

If you have an outdoor washing line, Le Page recommends using it. However, it is not recommended to dry the clothes from the inside on a clothes horse, as moisture buildup inside can lead to damp and mildew growth.

“If you’re choosing a dryer, especially in the winter when drying outside is not an idea, heat pump dryers use the least amount of electricity,” Le Page said.

“You can check if your electricity plan has cheaper periods, so you can save a few cents per load when using the dryer — some plans offer discounted off-peak rates or even free energy for a short period each day. Make sure you don’t pay a premium for Dry your clothes at peak times.

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