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Should you leave your heatpump on all day?

Newshub logoNewshub 7/08/2019 James Fyfe
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Temperatures have dipped lately meaning power bills will likely rise.

Low-quality housing means we often use a lot of electricity in winter to stay warm, with power consumption doubling during the cold months.

It's not all bad news though, increased energy efficiency means power bills are falling - the average annual power bill has dropped by $95 over the past five years.

So what is the best way to save money on electricity bills?

According to Cameron Burrows, CEO of the Electricity Retailers' Association, the answer is easy: invest in a heatpump.

"The best thing you can do is get a heatpump,"  Burrows told The AM Show on Wednesday. 

"The heatpump is incredibly efficient, it puts out so much heat and it's very cheap to run. [It's] far better than those fan heaters you're talking about."

Although fan heaters can be alright to heat small spaces, Burrows says they just suck power and use around three times more energy than a heatpump.

"They can be alright if you just turn them on briefly but for heating your home you need a heatpump."

Although heatpumps are more efficient, that doesn't mean you should just have it on constantly. 

"People think, leave it on during the day, they leave it on all the time at 20 degrees - just leave it, forget it, even if you're going out,' he said.

"That's not the case. You should turn it off when you're leaving the house."

It's also best to avoid the temptation to crank up your heatpump to 25C or 30C to quickly heat up a cold room.

"That's like revving your engine really fast and it actually just wears out the machine and really burns through your petrol, or your electricity, about 50 percent faster."

Top tips for saving money on your power bill 

  • Don’t leave your heatpump on all day if you’re not at home – and only heat the space you’re using.

  • Many homeowners are eligible for help with buying a heat pump or efficient wood burner from the Government (up to $2500) – and it’s already a requirement for rented homes.
  • Make a DIY draught excluder for under doors and around windows: stuff an old rugby sock with newspaper.
  • Compare plans on sites like Powerswitch some households can save $200+ a year.
  • Changing all the lights in a house to LEDs can save more than $100 a year.
  • EnergyMate is a new, free in-home energy coaching service for vulnerable families struggling to pay the power bill or keep their home warm. Run by ERANZ and funded by power companies, lines companies and the Government. Coaches help families get on the right power plan and help with energy efficiency tips – including giving the families free LED lightbulbs so they can make immediate savings.

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