There are a number of different causes of high power use. Here's how to check your power usage and work out what may be causing it.
Firstly see which meter is showing high use. Is it the hot water (controlled) or household 24 hour supply, or is it both of them?
Check the number of days that the power use has been high. Is the higher bill for more than 30 days? Is your bill an estimated reading?
Compare usage with a similar time the previous year and make note of the difference. Is it higher due the the season, or have you had visitors to stay?
Check if the Ajax valve is overflowing. For a low pressure system, the roof pipe vent will be on the roof, or for a mains pressure system check the outlet pipe on the side of your house.
Ensure you fix any dripping taps. It's also good to check the temperature of the hot water and ensure the thermostat isn't set too high.
Inspect your hot water cylinder. If it is old there may be heat loss through poor insulation or pipe lagging.
Finally check your hot water usage to make sure you aren't running hot taps unnecessarily. Showers use less hot water than baths, and fitting an energy efficient showerhead can reduce hot water use.
The age and condition of your hot water cylinder can also have an effect. Reduce heat loss by wrapping your cylinder and pipes.
Take note of the household appliances you are running. Pool filters, spa pools, tropical fish tanks, water pressure pumps and aerated sewerage systems can all increase your power use. Are there any new appliances that may be having an impact? Or have you had visitors to stay lately?
The number and age of refrigerators and freezers could be causing your high power use. They need to be regularly defrosted and check the seals are in good condition. They also work more efficiently when well ventilated and in a cool area of your home.
Replacing standard lightbulbs with energy efficient LED ones will help to lower your power use.
Thermostats or timers on heaters and electric blankets will help control heat levels and power use. Set your heat pump to 20 degrees C. Only use your heaters or heat pump to warm the room you are in and keep the doors to other rooms closed.
It might also be worth working out if you can get a better power deal from another power company by checking out the Powerswitch website - powerswitch.org.nz
You can also get in touch to borrow a check meter from us to test plug-in appliances.Contact us