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timmmay
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  #2658996 18-Feb-2021 13:15
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You don't have to do everything power hungry in an hour. The EK rates are pretty good - they actually went down recently. The free hour is a bonus and can be useful to do, mostly things like hot water, dishwasher, clothes drier. I wouldn't obsess about that though.

 

Yes hot water timers are installed by an electrician, takes 1 - 2 hours and the time is somewhere around $100 for a 15 - 20A timer.


Gurezaemon

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  #2658997 18-Feb-2021 13:20
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timmmay:

 

You don't have to do everything power hungry in an hour. The EK rates are pretty good - they actually went down recently. The free hour is a bonus and can be useful to do, mostly things like hot water, dishwasher, clothes drier. I wouldn't obsess about that though.

 

Yes hot water timers are installed by an electrician, takes 1 - 2 hours and the time is somewhere around $100 for a 15 - 20A timer.

 

 

That's interesting to know. How does that work together with the controlled circuit from power companies? 





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timmmay
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  #2659008 18-Feb-2021 13:44
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Gurezaemon:

 

That's interesting to know. How does that work together with the controlled circuit from power companies? 

 

 

My understanding is if you have ripper control it's in the meter box. The timer goes in the switchboard. So if ripple control is off your timer won't work. The hour of power is off peak so I would guess ripple control won't be an issue. It's no problem at 5am anyway.

 

EK Hour of power has limits. Their website has details but you can't select something like 7-9am and 5-9pm which are peak.




tchart
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  #2659075 18-Feb-2021 15:19
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Following this thread as in a similar situation.

 

Work from home + two teenagers who home school.

 

Our power bills (even in summer) are around $500.


CokemonZ
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  #2659076 18-Feb-2021 15:22
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I am in a similar situation, 4 kids, and WFH.

 

Moved to electric kiwi about a year ago, and put in moderate effort into the hour of power. probably 6 days a week dishwasher and laundry goes on during.

 

When we can we cram at least some showers into it. Typically get between 10 - 15% a day, low days 7, high days 19.

 

It seems to make a difference, also do the stay ahead for the extra $20 discount.


Hammerer
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  #2659140 18-Feb-2021 18:50
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Gurezaemon:

 

I'm looking to change my electricity provider - I'm with Mercury at the moment.

 

-I use a LOT per year - 11304 kWh/yr, but that's not the issue. I work from home with a large, power-hungry computer, and with 3 kids, so I can live with it. It also means that a higher-than-average amount of electricity usage is during the working day.
-After inputting details (including a month-by-month breakdown of usage), powerswitch.co.nz suggested Powershop and Electric Kiwi as the top two options, both saving $6-700 over the course of a year.

 

However, both of these appear to be very finicky - Powershop seems cheap only if you spend ages grabbing discounts and buying power in advance, whereas Electric Kiwi seems cheap only if you make use of the free hour, which I suspect I won't. Both of these options seem like a real PITA.

 

 

The one thing that you haven't mentioned is customer satisfaction. Electric Kiwi and Powershop are both solid performers. Consumer magazine has the top half as Flick, Nova, Electric Kiwi, Globug, Meridian, Powershop. I've also  seen EK and Powershop higher in another survey.

 

Personally, I wouldn't look any further as they are highest ranked for price on Powerswitch in your area just as they are in mine (Wellington). If you think their estimates are out - they are for me because solar water heating changes my monthly profile -  then add up your annual bills and submit the annual total so it is working from your actual usage for the year.

 

A further sweetener is that Powerswitch also offer a better deal if you got to Powershop from the Powerswitch site: https://www.powershop.co.nz/powerswitch/ says you get free power for the first weekend of each of the first twelve months with them. With Powershop, I find the best saving comes from buying all the specials then once a month loading up on the future power packs with the best discounts, i.e. furthest ahead. Last year, from memory, I saved about 2% for each month ahead I bought the power. Given the comparative cost was interest rates of 1/2% a month, I got significant savings.

 

FYI, we use up to 15,000kWh a year - high due to a long 1960s house with people home all day including one invalid. I'm currently with Nova (limited and not-timely power usage stats) but have used Powershop (twice), Energy Club, Mercury, Flick, Meridian over the last 10 years and all had their advantages. EK or Powershop are likely contenders if I need to switch.

 

 


Scott3
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  #2659179 18-Feb-2021 20:39
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We use a lot of power (not sure of annual, but July-Aug last year 1505kWh in 31 days as an example).

 

People home every day, No gas (except bbq), don't waste, but don't really hold back either with consumption. Recently got an EV too.

 

4 odd years ago was with flick exposed to sport prices. At the time it was a sweet gig. dam's full, low spot prices etc. Ultimately market conditions worsened, and a combination of a pregnant person in the household (couldn't really shed air con even if prices spiked) and me working out that it was not really worth my time to actively power time shift my energy use, so went to a normal plan.

 

Spent an evening getting quotes from every power company I could think of. Put it all into a spreadsheet against my estimated annual consumption. Many power companies collect info before they give you a quote or get back to you the next day. Ultimately Meridian followed up on my abandoned cart and offered me a even better deal (15.7c/kWh +187.85c/day incl GST), fixed for three years. - I'm in Auckland so prices will be lower than north land. Ran a market test roughly annual, but that deal was way to good for anybody to beat.

 

Just have come off the 3 year deal above, and Meridian was going to hit me with a fairly massive price increase. So I went around all the power companies again. Ended up with pulse energy (16.494c/kWh + 178c/day incl GST).

 

Was tempted by Meridian's EV plan (Day: 21.24c/kWh, Night 11.97c/kWh, daily 179.95c all incl GST, $300 signing bonus if I sign for 3 years, also fixed for 3 years), Didn't have any data on my power's time of use, but made a guess that it was mostly during the day so went the pulse route.

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Electric kiwi, even considering the hour of power, didn't come out cost effective for me.

 

 

 

High power users getting $500/mo bills should double check they aren't on a low user plan.




WyleECoyoteNZ
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  #2659273 18-Feb-2021 21:57
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Can you, relatively easily, change to gas for hot water\hobs? Whether gas be Bottled on Piped.

 

During early lockdown last year, I was WFH, PC with a 550W power supply running 8am - 10pm daily, plus everything else, and usage was around 650kW a month from April - September.

 

I have bottled gas for Hobs and hot water, and as a result use around 6300kW a year, so come in as a low user.

 

I put the low usage down to the Gas hot water and Hobs.

 

Provider is Contact, with smart meter.


  #2659306 19-Feb-2021 05:09
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WyleECoyoteNZ:

 

Can you, relatively easily, change to gas for hot water\hobs? Whether gas be Bottled on Piped.

 

 

why would you do that now that the government has pretty much said they are going to stop those installs in the near future?

 

you are a low user as you have shifted the cost from electric to gas. you would still be paying a similar price all up


K8Toledo
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  #2659331 19-Feb-2021 08:15
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timmmay:

 

That seems like a moderate amount of electricity. I used 13,572KHw last year, of which 3167 was free on Electric Kiwi hour of power. We keep our well insulated house at about 23 - 24 degrees with heat pumps, one 4 year old who has a bath every day, lots of showers. To make the most of the free hour you need to do things like get your hot water on a timer, which costs about $250 so there's a payback period.

 

Computers don't use all that much power unless you're doing CAD / 3D stuff / gaming. A modern PC at full power might use 150W (not just a guess, I measured it), plus a monitor, say 200W. 2KWh is 40c per say. The power to heat / cool the room is much higher. Have you measured your PC power consumption?

 

 

 

 

Was this measured with a Wattmeter or guesstimated by going off vendor TDP numbers?   150W is nowhere near typical power draw for desktops.... even laptops can draw ~100W.    

 

 

 

Under heavy load a mainstream/performance machine with dedicated GPU & Octacore draws nearer 450W minimum.       

 

 

 

Take the Z840 specs for example;  150W draw wouldn't require an 850W PSU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






timmmay
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  #2659337 19-Feb-2021 08:21
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K8Toledo:

 

Was this measured with a Wattmeter or guesstimated by going off vendor TDP numbers?   150W is nowhere near typical power draw for desktops.... even laptops draw ~100W.    

 

Under heavy load a mainstream/performance machine with dedicated GPU & Octacore draws nearer 450W minimum.       

 

 

Like I said, I measured it with a wattmeter. I measured my old computer with 2600K CPU at 100%, two hard drives working hard, two SSDs busy, no build in graphics card, it came in at about 110W. My HP Elitebook and dock are currently drawing 33W while I write this post, when I stop writing it drops to 17W. When I get the CPU to 100% it draws 80W. That doesn't include monitor. I'm measuring with a TPLink Kasa power meter.

 

Most people overestimate the power drawn by computers, and overprovision power supplies. Large GPUs do take a lot of power, otherwise they don't use all that much power.


Scott3
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  #2659529 19-Feb-2021 11:25
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Jase2985:

 

WyleECoyoteNZ:

 

Can you, relatively easily, change to gas for hot water\hobs? Whether gas be Bottled on Piped.

 

 

why would you do that now that the government has pretty much said they are going to stop those installs in the near future?

 

you are a low user as you have shifted the cost from electric to gas. you would still be paying a similar price all up

 

 

The phase out of gas has been proposed in a draft plan in NZ's climate change commission. No word yet from the government on if they are going to adopt it.

 

Also should note that the draft includes:

 

  • Ban on new Natural Gas and LPG connections in 2025.
  • Existing natural gas supplies to buildings phased out in 2050
  • Unclear when the availability of bottled LPG will be phased out.

Re bottled LPG, it is unclear when it will be phased out. Media has latched onto it as a potential ban on gas BBQ's, despite the report being in the context of installed home system (Heating / water heating / hobs). Personally I think that the amount of gas used from 9kg bottles for BBQ's is likely trivial in the scheme of our emissions.

 

But anyway, for natural gas, there is still 29 years before the phase out.

 

 

 

That said for me at least gas doesn't stack up financially

 

 

 

My electricity has a 16.49c/kWh marginal cost incl GST. Resistance electric cylinders are 100% efficient at heating water. They have standing losses, but MEPS standards require this to be less than 1.4kWh/day for a 135L cylinder. Works out to about $84/year (but of course can be of value to keep your linen cupboard dry).

 

$34 LPG 9kg bunings bottle swaps work when burnt in a 90% efficient appliance works out to 30.1c/kWh. No ongoing fixed costs.

 

$110 LPG 45kg bottle when burnt in a when burnt in a 90% efficient appliance works out to 19.9c/kWh. Bottle rental about $100 a year.

 

Piped natural gas (in auckland) works out to $8.8c/kWh. $450/year to stay hooked up.

 

 

 

Bottled gas costs outright more than my power.

 

Natural gas is a lot cheaper, but need to use about 5,500kWh of it a year to get to break even point with the monthly connection fees. Last time I was in a house with gas we hovered around the break even point, so little basis to justify the capital cost of a new natural gas connection & replacement appliances.

 

Should also note that those instant gas water heaters don't last as long as a cylinder. I would budget on having then replaced every decade or so.

 

 

 

On top of the above sticking with electricity is better environmentally, and there is a risk that gas providers will milk their remaining customers with excessive pricing as the fuel heads towards phase out. 


  #2659963 19-Feb-2021 19:23
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I'd imagine typical desktops and laptops (e.g. offices, home, etc) draw little power. 200-300W PSUs seem to be typical for mainstream desktops. However to be on the safe side these PSUs likely have enough headroom in case extra drives and/or cards (up to a reasonable amount of power) are added so don't really reflect the requirements of a machine at the time it's built at the factory. I've not seen a laptop with a 100W+ power brick. Highest I've seen is 85W, 65W being most common and there are some making do with only 45W. Perhaps we here on Geekzone are more likely to have high spec machines etc--we are the hot rodders of the computer industry so to speak.


nash
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  #2661552 23-Feb-2021 01:19
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I'm so glad we didn't switch to gas for water heading, I ran the numbers as well and it didn't stack up.

We've got solar and a Tesla battery, most days we are feeding back to the grid 10 kW or so, just wish there was a company offering decent buy back rates.

Gurezaemon

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  #2702825 6-May-2021 09:39
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Just a quick update on savings since the start of this thread - I eventually decided to go with Electric Kiwi.

 


We were previously with Mercury, and savings for the 2 full months since the switch were surprising: 
March 2020 $309    ->    March 2021 $223
April 2020 $303    ->    April 2021 $218

 

Contrary to what I originally suspected, I'm actually finding that being aware of usage on a day-to-day basis is making me rather enjoy rushing around at 20:50 (just before the "Hour of Power" (set for 21:00–22:00) making sure kids are showered, dishes are in the dishwasher, and the washing machine is ready to go. Following advice received, I've even started turning the water heater on at the start of the HOP to make the most of the free water heating.

 

I don't anticipate winter costs being all that different—we're in Northland, so during the day windows are often open, and in the evenings we crank the wood fire.





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