Many Kaiapoi households are unaware they could make substantial savings on their power bill by taking a few, often simple, energy efficiency measures. That is the conclusion of a project in which Community Energy Action Charitable Trust visited nearly 60 Kaiapoi homes for an in-home energy audit.
Switching electricity retailer, adjusting the temperature setting of the hot water cylinder and improving ventilation were among the most common recommendations given to Kaiapoi householders during the free Home Energy Check.
One of the most common recommendations to save money on power was to switch power retailer. “Based on a person’s current electricity use we can calculate which retailer can provide them with the cheapest electricity,” says Michael Begg, one of the trust’s energy advisers.
“We also found that a quarter the homes we visited had inadequate ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom. It makes a house very damp and thus harder to heat,” Mr Begg says.
The energy advisers also found many homes without good curtains or curtain rail systems. “Lined or thermal backed curtains help to keep the heat in but without pelmets they create drafts. If people do not like the look of pelmets, there are also enclosed curtain rails which fit close to the wall.” Low-income households can get free recycled curtains from Community Energy Action’s Curtain Bank in Christchurch.
A quarter of the hot water cylinders checked didn’t have the temperature set correctly. “Many hot water cylinder thermostats have gone out of calibration over the years.”
The project was funded by local electricity lines company MainPower. For free advice over the phone or per email from Community Energy Action’s energy advisers call 0800 388 588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The in-home audits are now available at a subsidised rate.