Top tips for warm and healthy homes

10 tips for reducing your power bill

  1. Ensure you’re on the right electricity plan. If you’re using less than 8000kw of power a year, it’s cheaper to be on a low user plan. Use tools such as to check you’re getting the best deal.
  2. Switching off your old second fridge could save up to $300 annually.
  3. Use the free energy from the sun to dry clothes on an outside line, instead of in an electric dryer. You could save around $200annually (and it costs nothing to do this).
  4. Run your heat pump on the most effective settings and clean the filter regularly to ensure it runs properly.
  5. Change to energy saving light bulbs. A change of just 8 energy saving bulbs equates to $150 savings per year.
  6. Check your shower usage. If the water from it fills a bucket in less than a minute you could save around $150 annually by changing to an efficient showerhead. Keep your showers short – in a household of three, each extra minute of shower time costs about $80 annually.
  7. Turning off appliances left on standby saves around $125 annually.
  8. Washing your clothes in cold water rather than warm water could save you $65 annually.
  9. Stop heat escaping, and draughts, with DIY double glazing and good thick curtains.
  10. Buy energy efficient appliances. ENERGY STAR is awarded to the top 25% most energy-efficient products.

10 tips for using your wood burner more efficiently

  1. Check if it’s OK to use. Does it have a Council building permit or consent? Was it installed before 2000? Burners installed before 2000 in some parts of Nelson cannot be used or replaced with another wood burner.
  2. Use Good Wood. This means dry wood with less than 25% moisture, left long enough after cutting to dry out before using it.
  3. Check for Council’s list of Good Wood suppliers
  4. Use the right wood at the right time. Lighter wood like Pine or Douglas Fir is good for kindling. Dense wood like Gum will burn longer and give more heat once the fire is burning well.
  5. Store your wood properly – split and stack in a criss-cross pattern for good ventilation and keep in a covered, dry place.
  6. Burning things like wet wood, plastic, rubbish or treated wood, is banned. It can create toxic fumes and damage your burner.
  7. STEP ONE for a good fire: When preparing to light your fire leave a bed of ash, put scrunched newspaper in the bottom, add small bits of kindling, add larger pieces of dry wood as fire catches hold.
  8. STEP TWO for a good fire: Light newspaper in several places. Have air control fully open to keep fire burning brightly, unless reloading you should keep the door closed.
  9. STEP THREE for a good fire: Never use the door to force wood into burner – it could break the glass.
  10. STEP FOUR for a good fire: Look after your burner – follow the manufacturer’s operation and safety instructions. Clean your flu every autumn and replace any damaged parts.