Originally published September 2018
The cold hard fact … Kiwis are paying 79% more for electricity than we were in 1990. And that figure is inflation-adjusted!
A government report in 2018 highlighted the skyrocketing cost of electricity in New Zealand during a commissioned electricity price review. It revealed that overall households spend less than 3 per cent of their average income on power. However, 103,000 New Zealanders are spending more than 10 per cent of their income on electricity. And if housing costs are excluded, that figure rises to 175,000. These are the people that are considered to be in “energy hardship”.
Consumer NZ said that 25,000 people had their power disconnected last year for unpaid bills, according to newshub.co.nz.
What can you do about the cost of electricity?
You could pack up and head to the bush for an off-the-grid experience, but if you prefer the comforts of home a less drastic tactic may be required.
Basically you have two choices – reduce the cost of the electrity you use or reduce the amount of electricity you consume.
Reducing the cost of the electricity requires either the installation of an alternative power source, ie solar panels or a wind turbine (which is often a costly or complicated endeavour), or shopping around for the best prices to suit your household’s energy consumption. Powerswitch is a free website service that helps you work out which power company and pricing plan is best for you.
If you’re keen to reduce the amount of electricity your household is using, try our tips to reduce your power bill. Then be prepared to remind the kids to turn off the light at least a million times!
How much are you spending on power? Is the cost getting out of control? Join our discussion in the comments below.
This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.
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