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Thread: Power usage - am I missing something?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Yorkshire, UK - Wellington, NZ
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    Default Power usage - am I missing something?

    Hi All,

    We have been in our rental place two weeks now and have taken meter readings today just to get an idea of what out power bill might come to. The place has 3 electric wall heaters (Atlantic brand) - one in the hallway and the other two in bedrooms. The heater in the baby's room is on all night (12hrs) - albeit at a low setting - as it is a chilly room. The heater in our room is on for an hour or so before we go to bed (plus electric blanket for the same amount of time), the other heater we do not use at all. We have a woodburner in the lounge.

    We use the cold wash setting on the washing machine and try to have 5 mins max showers - baby has 3 or 4 baths a week.

    Anyhoo, so my question is...is an average of $12 dollars (45 units p/day) use of power a day for the above excessive??? It seems a bit extortionate to me. We are with Powershop on the basis of the best deal for us according to the Powerswitch website.

    Do those electric heaters really cane that much power?? Would it be more cost effective for us to use plug in radiators instead?

    Any pearls of wisdom much appreciated, plus any other power saving ideas! Don't tell me to stop using the electric blanket though - that is non negotiable!

    Ta muchly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Units = kWh? If so 45 can be just fine.

    Is it a flat or a house? What is its construction? On ground or elevated; weatherboard or brick veneer; tiles or corrugated iron on the roof; double glazed; underfloor and/or ceiling insulation? Etc. etc.

  3. #3
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    Not sure what ours is a day but we have 2 wall heaters, 1 convection heater and an oil radiator. They are all on timers with the 1 wall heater and convection heaters on most of the time in the day in the living area. We also have 2 electric blankets for just before bed and 2 dehumidifiers which are on at night.
    We have electric for everything else and have 2 showers per day and 1 full bath (for kids) every 2 days. Our bill has run 222-279 $ per month the last 2 months after a 25% discount.
    Hope this helps.

    PS we are in a 5 yr old cold rental!

  4. #4
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    Jan 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    Units = kWh? If so 45 can be just fine.

    Is it a flat or a house? What is its construction? On ground or elevated; weatherboard or brick veneer; tiles or corrugated iron on the roof; double glazed; underfloor and/or ceiling insulation? Etc. etc.
    Single level house, elevated, brick veneer, corrugated iron, single glazed, insulated with HRV. Maybe we just need to get used to fuel costing a lot more than in the UK. I had heard it was expensive, just didn't imagine this much. I guess it may even out across the year if we use a lot less in the summer months?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hagabel View Post
    Not sure what ours is a day but we have 2 wall heaters, 1 convection heater and an oil radiator. They are all on timers with the 1 wall heater and convection heaters on most of the time in the day in the living area. We also have 2 electric blankets for just before bed and 2 dehumidifiers which are on at night.
    We have electric for everything else and have 2 showers per day and 1 full bath (for kids) every 2 days. Our bill has run 222-279 $ per month the last 2 months after a 25% discount.
    Hope this helps.

    PS we are in a 5 yr old cold rental!
    We are still trying to figure out how to set the heaters to timers - that will help a lot I think. Seems a shame to finally be in a house with heaters, but then not use them!

  6. #6
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    As I wrote before, 45 kWh/d is okay.

    The price being expensive here I'm not so sure. There are other countries where electricity is dearer!

    You are right in assuming that it fluctuates quite a lot over the year!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
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    Do those electric heaters really cane that much power?? Would it be more cost effective for us to use plug in radiators instead?
    Typical electric heaters whether fan type or oil filled radiator type usually draw around 2,000 watts. If you run 2 or 3 of these in a house, that's like 6kWs per hour. In terms of producing more efficient heating, there's really no other option then having a heat pump installed. However landlords aren't interested in having these units installed because it's the tenant that pays for the electricity. A tenant having a heat pump installed would only benefit the landlord when they move out. Other methods to lower heating costs also give the benefit to the landlord such as adding more insulation, double glazed windows, and draft proofing.

    We are with Powershop on the basis of the best deal for us according to the Powerswitch website.
    If you are running heaters throughout the night, I would recommend going with another power company that offers discounted rates during the night time. We're with Genesis and the day rate is around 24/kW/hr and 11/kW/hr (between 9pm and 7am). Actual pricing will vary depending where you live. I've looked at Powershop and they don't differentiate price between night and day rate. On my aunt's bill it says how many kWs used in day and night, and only shows 1 power rate of say 24 (so there's no knowing what the night rate costs).

  8. #8
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    Ah, I had been wondering about day vs night unit charge - that sounds like the way forward to us. Will do some investigating. Thank you for the tip!
    Last edited by Kensington; 9th July 2012 at 08:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    We just bought a house with double glazing, insulation, heat pump and under floor central heating like back home..can you tell we are done with being cold?


  10. #10
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    Looks good! However it depends on the location and what building element is insulated in what manner...

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