We are all trying to save money every day but this is especially true if you are retired and living on a fixed income. Whether you're looking to downsize your home or not, any saving, no matter how small, can bring you one step closer to the next item on your bucket list.
So, here we go. We are happy to share with you our top seven tips for saving on your energy bill, especially for retirees
Don't waste money heating unused space in your home
If you have a large home (some may even have more than one floor) chances are you have your favourite cozy corners where you spend most of your time. For instance, you may enjoy breakfast in the kitchen, then read in the lounge, later have dinner in the dining room and then head off to bed. If this sounds familiar then you may be using only a small portion of your house. Then why would you want to heat, cool and light all of it? It is okay to "close up" spaces such as extra bedrooms or a home office that are not used regularly. By simply closing curtains and shutting doors you will see savings. You can always open them up when guests are coming over.
Do a window and door inspection
The harsh New Zealand sun (and frequent rain) can take its toll on your windows and doors. A few tweaks and fill-ins with items from the hardware store can help you do quick and cheap fixes to keep the cold out and save you money as you would have less need to heat up your house.
Insulate your water heater
There are really affordable "blankets" that you can purchase to insulate your water tank and the outgoing pipes. This small step could save you around $80 per year because your water heater won't have to work as hard. Check with a plumber if you feel a bit hesitant to do this upgrade on your own.
Small changes to appliances can add up to big savings in power
It is not necessary to totally revamp all of your household appliances to get a cost savings. Instead, you can simply turn some of them off and think smaller. A ceiling fan or other air circulators can keep you cool while the air conditioning is idle. Forgo the heat pump and plug in an electric blanket. Use a toaster oven instead of the kitchen oven. These little changes can mean much lower energy usage.
They just don't make things the way that they used to, which is why you often choose to keep your older appliances. If any of your every-day appliances are over a decade old, they are more than likely due for a check-up by a professional. By being proactive in the maintenance of these things, like keeping your refrigerator coils clean, your items will run more efficiently using less electricity and costing you less.
Solar can save
Lighting up your footpath with affordable and low-maintenance solar lights is a great way to use the power provided by the sun. Solar fixtures near your front door will keep things safe and illuminated with little cost to you.
Having trouble with your bills
It can be tough to make ends meet when you are on a fixed income. Unexpected life surprises can mean that money is tight. There are resources that can help you with your bills. Call your local council to get information on services for seniors or go to www.familybudgeting.org.nz for advice and details of your local budgeting adviser. You do not have to go it alone. There is a lot that you can do to save money and energy each month. It is worth your while to make the effort to tweak a few things around your home. After all wouldn't you rather spend your hard earned money on something exciting?