Save energy, save money

Making small changes to how you use energy at home can have a big impact on your power bill.

On average, hot water and heating make up about two-thirds of household energy use, so it makes sense to tackle these energy uses first.

Read on for tips to get the most out of your hot water, heating and other energy-using appliances.

  • 1/3

    Around a third of your household energy goes to hot water

  • $50

    Save around $50 by switching to cold water washes

  • $80

    Save up to $80 by reducing water flow

Hot water saving tips

  • Use a cold water wash cycle when you wash clothes. Making this change could save you around $50 per year, based on 4 washes per week, and modern washing machines and detergents clean well using cold water.
  • Cut down the long showers to save money. A 15-minute shower costs about $1, while a 5-minute shower costs about 33c.
  • If your shower fills a 10 litre bucket in less than a minute, it's wasting water. Replacing your shower head for one with a more efficient flow rate of 9 litres a minute or less could cut your hot water use significantly. Even reducing the flow rate by 1 litre per minute could save a household of four around $80 per year.
  • Dripping hot taps could cost you hundreds of dollars a year (depending on how bad the leak is). Replace the washer or fitting - a new washer only costs a few dollars.
  • If you own a dishwasher, wait until it’s full loaded to run it – and put it on ‘eco’ wash setting if available. If you rinse your dishes before loading the dishwater, use cold water.

Heat water efficiently

Keep warm for less – winter savings tips


  • Insulation is the first place to start. You may be eligible for a grant for 80% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation. Grants are available for eligible homeowners – check out Warmer Kiwi Homes grants below.
  • Draughtproofing can make a big difference. Check your doors and windows for draughts on a cold and windy day, and then visit your hardware store to get the right products to seal the gaps.
  • When it starts to get cooler in the evenings, close your doors and pull your curtains across.

Insulate your home


  • When the time comes to replace your heater, consider fitting a heat pump if you haven’t already got one. They’re a great choice for larger rooms, while electric resistance heaters are good for smaller rooms.
  • You may be eligible for a grant for up to 80% of the cost of a heat pump. Grants are available for eligible homeowners – check out Warmer Kiwi Homes grants below.
  • Only heat the rooms you need to. Leaving your heat pump running 24/7 will use more energy than only heating when you need to.
  • For a healthy living environment, set your heater thermostat for between 18 to 21˚C. If you have older people or young babies at home, it might need to be a little higher.

Heat & cool efficiently

Make your heat pump work smarter, not harder

A lot of people believe that keeping a heat pump running 24/7 is an efficient, cost-effective way to heat their home. But in fact, that idea is actually a myth. When you do that, you’re actually using more energy and losing more energy overall, so it’s much better to just run your heat pump when you’re at home.

Get more tips and guidance on ways to make sure your heat pump is working as smartly as possible.

Check if you're eligible for an insulation and heating grant

1 min

Warmer Kiwi Homes offers grants of 80-90% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, and up to 80% of the cost of an energy-efficient heater, to eligible homeowners.

Get cheaper off-peak power

You can get cheaper electricity at off-peak times if you’re on the right kind of power plan. This can be particularly beneficial if you use a lot of power overnight for things like heating or EV charging.

Talk to your energy retailer about what would suit you best, or check your plan with Powerswitch.

Other ways to save

Using less electricity, and shifting electricity use to off-peak times where possible helps to reduce fossil-fuel generation needed to power the grid.

It pays to go electric

Powering your home with efficient, electric appliances can save you in energy costs – and slash your carbon footprint.  

We’ve done the math on key household energy uses such as heating, water heating, cooking and driving. The numbers show that the most efficient electric options make sense financially – both in terms of monthly running costs and overall lifetime costs. 

Discover how your household might stand to benefit from going electric.