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448 posts

Ultimate Geek

#243343 7-Dec-2018 10:21
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This is a continuation from this thread posted about 1.5 years ago...


There seems to be a lot of competition around power companies, a lot of price changes, special deals to rope you in, so I guess a lot can happen over a year hence why a new post. I'm curious to see what peoples thoughts are about: 1. how much power you use monthly 2. what you've done to help reduce usage (besides obvious LED lighting swap outs or similar), 3. consideration of solar or if you have it, how you find it and 4. what automated solutions and/or 3rd party devices you have utilised to make power usage more efficient.


I'm with Contact Energy at present, moved to them from Genesis Energy about a year ago.  Under a contract, but once off it will move again.  I did get a reduction in cost when I moved, but it's still not cheap on the billing front.  Our house is 200sqm+, 2 adults, 3 kids, heat pump, swimming and spa pool to heat (large portion of the cost)  Heat pump on the pool runs often - obviously less or if at all over the peak of summer, but I am still considering solar at the moment (mates rates, around $12k for 5kW system) I assessed ROI, which worked out to be about ~10 years.  We have been in this house for 15 years, but aren't planning on moving for the next 10 years either.  I'm aware fixed line costs are a good portion of the power bill and these are likely to continue to increase, as "that's where the moneys at".


Our usage is probably averaging about 1600-1700KWh per month (est. < 1500KWh in summer, highest was a tad over 2000KWh in July) with $400+ monthly power bills.


This is a graph of my power usage over the past 9 months (I basically programmed up a small WEMOS D1 mini (ESP chip) with an LDR that sits in my power box.  The power box has an LED that flashes for every 1kW used, so the WEMOS simply counts these flashes and sends the data back every 15 seconds to OpenHAB home automation, the home automation then confirms its received the count and notifies the WEMOS to reset the counter.  It's fairly rudimentary, but mapping against my power bills it's pretty accurate)






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1615 posts

Uber Geek


  #2141060 7-Dec-2018 10:53
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2 adults, 120+ sqm, 3 store townhouse. heat pump installed in Aug. AKL


I'm with Meridian Energy, LED lights everywhere.

helping others at


Trade NZ and US shares and funds with Sharesies (affiliate link).
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Ultimate Geek
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  #2141061 7-Dec-2018 11:02
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Not hard to guess which days I was overseas for :)

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Master Geek

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  #2141062 7-Dec-2018 11:10
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2 Adults , single story new build , 190m2 (inc garage I think) , double glazed , no heater or heat pump used




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  #2141102 7-Dec-2018 11:22
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Our home is 270m2 two/three adults. Our main heating is reticulated gas as is our water heating and Hob . We do have a Spa Pool and a Sauna. In the period  1/10/2017 to 30/09/18 Genesis tells me that we used 10685kwh. I don't know how that compares to others and I have no idea what our Gas use was for the same period. 

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  #2141114 7-Dec-2018 11:37
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Two adults, one toddler (who has baths). Two heat pumps and we prioritize comfort over cost. Around 140 square meters, Wellington, no spa or pool. 13,563kwh between Jan 1 and 5 Dec this year, of which 23% was free with the Electric Kiwi free hour of power.


Example months:


Jan: 780kwh


August: 1600kwh


Nov: 980kwh

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  #2141120 7-Dec-2018 11:46
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Currently 6 adults including one invalid with higher power needs in ~150m2 house.


2017 was 14,376kWh at 20.404c/kWh. That's about as cheap as I'm likely to get it.


Here's my monthly averages with maximums and minimums for each month of the year. The annual average is 1,459kWh.





Here's my annual usage since 1993. I estimate a few years ahead which is why it shows 2019-2020.




  #2141155 7-Dec-2018 13:12
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Wow some really high values there


and its good to see some newer double glaised houses and how low their power is.


Here is ours, we are averaging about 750kwh a month for 2018. Full electric everything, dont really use the heat-pump much but in the kids room we did use a 1.2kw oil column heater. House is a 1950's weatherboard with wood windows, which leak like a sieve, buts its been insulated top and bottom.


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Uber Geek


  #2141210 7-Dec-2018 14:44
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Mine is just under 3,000 kwh for the whole of the last year, so averaging about 250 kwh per month. 


At that level I don't think it's worth spending any capex or risking rent increases for what would be minimal reductions in power consumption.


For reference : 50 sqm, one bedroom, electric hot water, single glazed, oil column heater, LED lighting.

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  #2141212 7-Dec-2018 14:59
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2 adults plus a toddler who loves her bath:



200 sqm modern build with double glazing and full insulation, 1 heat pump and a 2kw oil heater, spa running throughout the winter (August-mid Nov), gas hot water and cook top.


We are averaging about $3.50 a day in power from mid-Nov onwards (excl. GST). Other than replacing all the lights with LEDs when we moved in we haven't done much else to the house. I've had a brief look at solar as we have the perfect pitch and roof layout (albeit in Chch so ltd hours) for a solar install however the payoff is currently too long for us.

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Ultimate Geek

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  #2141226 7-Dec-2018 15:50
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3 adults living in about 230sqm including garage. Got a spa pool which pretty much runs all year round, lower temperature in summer obviously.


Changed fully to LED downlights at some stage during renovating our house, probably about 3 months ago, seems our lighting wasn't adding much to our bills ;).


We had a heat pump installed into our bedroom, and upstairs self contained area during the renovations, too, so some of the usage will be due to the one in the bedroom being used quite a few nights, I need to get the timer setup for that one.



July was 1384kWh, for sake of the shitty graph.

Quic "Sprinter" - Ref (Free setup): R536299EPGOCN



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Master Geek

  #2141242 7-Dec-2018 16:36
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New build at just over 200sqm with one adult occupant .  So pretty much full insulation and double glazing (I've been lazy and not done blinds/curtains just yet).


I have gas water heating via an Infinity system tied to the main gas line instead of bottles, then one heatpump and also ULEB wood burner as well.  All lights are LED and appliance and fixtures wise, I ended up going for things with slightly higher efficiency (things with inverters, and such), as well as toilets with less water usage and shower heads with lower flow rate etc.


Am on a low user plan power wise, and the house has been very warm and dry. I used the wood burner occasionally over winter, and didn't really use the heatpump at all save for using it a bit when I first moved in for the house drying time as such.


Power bills have been surprisingly low (I do have a $150 credit for first year which takes about $10 off a month), but from May-Sept bills have been between $32-35 per month, though only using 125-139kWh each.  From Sept-Nov and thus far, it has been $25-$28, using 118-130kWh.  Gas bills are around $35-40 per month, mostly showers though baths if I've overdone it with sports.




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  #2141249 7-Dec-2018 17:15
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333SQM house, 2 adult, 1 toddler.. ducted ac up stairs, highwall downstairs.. Gas for cooking but electric cylinder for water and gas fireplace in the lounge.. house is <10 years old 


LED's in and outside the house.. we have an electric hot/cool water thingy in the kitchen thats on all year around


I've never actually looked at this until today and whats weird is that we were overseas for the month of August....


Have recently just got a better gas and electric rate from our supplier after simply calling them asking for a better rate.. 









1623 posts

Uber Geek

  #2141253 7-Dec-2018 18:06
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Not doing to bad at the moment .. because the wife and kids are in Christchurch waiting for me to sell the house here and join them:



Grey bits are grid power used by house, green are solar+battery used by house, blue is exported power and the line is solar generation.

  #2141314 7-Dec-2018 21:51
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30 Staff running a manufacturing business 24/5








Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man

417 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2141542 8-Dec-2018 12:00
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- Mid 70's house with 40 y.o. insulation in ceiling only


- 380 sq m (but only 270 sq m on the main/upper level) with mostly only the two of us in it.


- 2nd hot water cylinder turned on only when we have guests/family staying


- two fireplaces for heating in winter but also have underfloor heating (electric, built into concrete floor) in whole house, although we usually only have the master bedroom and kitchen on at about 16 degC thru winter to keep the chill from our old bones!!  If we have visitorsin winter we usually turn underfloor on in their room/s as well (this is a real power hog!!)


- pool filter pump goes not so often during winter but probably 50% of the time in summer.  Big old chest freezer and second fridge/freezer in garage (for homekill etc)


Feels like we use a lot of power!! :-)


"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."
— most commonly attributed to Jonathan Swift, author/theologian

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