If you live in Auckland, Wellington or any of the other big cities in NZ, you are likely to be paying a considerable amount of money on your electricity bills. Wonder which appliances are costing you the majority of electricity and how you can reduce electrical costs? You’d be surprised.


Electricity costs for household appliances and how to reduce costs for each appliance

Here is a breakdown of typical household appliances in Auckland and what percentage of electricity you are using for each appliance, along with tips on how you can cut costs for every appliance


Water heating

This may come as no surprise, but water heating appliances use the most amount of electricity in a household, precisely 27% of your electricity consumption.


Tips to reduce electricity costs for water heating

  • Showers instead of baths – A warm bath is great for unwinding but on a regular basis it is much more cost effective to have a shower. Reserve those baths for the weekends or once in a while.
  • Reduce shower time – Having shorter showers will cut down electricity costs. To take it a step further, you could turn off the shower while soaping or shampooing. Goodluck with the teenagers but it can make a difference to the water heating costs.
  • Reduce the amount of water you use, fit a flow reducer in your shower heads
  • Don’t let the hot water run – Be conscious of turning the tap off when washing, or not just rinsing or washing dishes without the plug in.
  • Wash laundry with cold water – Try and do your laundry with cold water as much as you can. If you are in the market for a new washing machine there are some very efficient ones on the market that heat the water themselves.  Always check the energy rating.
  • Install a timer – Get a timer that turns off your electric water heater when it is not in use.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater, however always check with a professional before having this done as water temperatures must be at a minimum temperature to prevent health issues.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it is full. Try and do moderate time cycles and on eco-power mode.



Electronics and other electrical

Electronics such as your computers, laptops, television, etc take up 20% of your electricity consumption.


Tips to reduce electricity costs for electronics

  • Use a monitor or television that has a higher star rating. The higher it is, the lesser you have to pay for your electricity.
  • Don’t let your television or monitor run in the background when you are doing something else. Make sure to switch it off.
  • Adjust your computers energy settings – the higher the brightness and contrast, the more energy it consumes
  • Unplug your computer when you are not using it.
  • Use charges only when you need to charge an appliance then unplug them.



Keeping your food chilled and healthy comes at a cost. Your refrigerator uses up about 17% of your electrical costs.


Tips to reduce electricity costs for refrigeration

  • Adjust the fridge temperature to around 4° C and the freezer to about -15° to -18° C.
  • Let your food cool before putting it into the refrigerator.
  • Make sure the seals on the door are working properly, otherwise your refrigerator will be consuming more electricity.



Keeping your house warm costs about 15% of your annual electricity costs. These are likely to go up or down depending on the season.


Tips to reduce electricity costs for heating

  • Make sure your house is well insulated, so you don’t have to over-use your heater.
  • Keep your curtains drawn at night to prevent heat loss.
  • Keep doors closed so you’re only heating the areas you need to heat i.e. lounge or bedroom
  • Get a heat pump that suits your space requirements and has a good energy rating. You are likely to use your heat pump a lot in New Zealand weather conditions.
  • Use the timer on your heat pump – so you are using it only as long as necessary and saving costs.
  • Get Jenco Electrical to install your heat pump.
  • Avoid using oil filled column heaters if you can.
  • Keep the bathrooms well ventilated, a drier home is easier to heat. An extraction fan over your shower is efficient at reducing steam build up.
  • Install a heated towel rail timer, this can save up to $175.00 a year



Lighting on average takes up about 13% of your average electricity consumption.


Tips to reduce lighting electricity costs


  • Switch to LED lighting. They cost much less than other lighting fixtures.
  • Install dimmers if possible
  • Be conscious – don’t turn on multiple lights in a room if you don’t need it. Make use of natural sunlight.



Cooking doesn’t cost you much…with only 5% of your average electrical costs.


Tips to reduce cooking electricity costs

  • Once your stove is hot enough, you can use it for 5-10 minutes extra from the residual heat. Turn it off before 10 minutes before finishing your cooking if possible.


Clothes Drying

This may come as a surprise but washing and drying your clothes only costs 3% of your total electrical costs.


Tips to reduce electricity costs for laundry

  • Try to dry your washing outside whenever possible
  • Use the “economy” option on your washing machine.
  • Try and do full loads instead of smaller loads every day.
  • Adjust the water level depending on the load.
  • Make sure to spin your clothes in the washing machine before loading them into the dryer.
  • Make use of the natural sun when you can to dry your clothes. Letting your clothes air out also makes them smell fresh.
  • Clean the filter in your dryer regularly. This not only makes the drying more efficient but reduces the risk of fire.


Source: https://www.ea.govt.nz/ and Jenco Electrical Limited


Cutting down electricity costs can be hard, but with the right appliances and installation process, you can save a considerable amount of money on your power costs.


If you are looking to cut down on electricity costs, we are EcoSmart Auckland electricians and members of the ECANZ (Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand). This means we are trained specialist electricians who can provide advice and assistance on the best ways you can save power and reduce costs.