What can you do to save money? :

By Hayes Knight – 22 June 2010

SMEs and householders can make choices and take action to lessen the impact of increased electricity and fuel costs caused by the Emissions Trading Scheme.

These actions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also give health benefits. Some of these choices can be made now and take little effort or investment; others take more investment and effort but have larger potential benefits.

  • Inflate your tyres correctly and you’ll use up to five per cent less fuel.
  • Walking and cycling are ideally suited to short trips. It is good exercise and can save you money on fuel.
  • When buying appliances, look for the energy rating label and the ENERGY STAR mark to help you save money and electricity – the more stars on the energy label, the better the energy efficiency.
  • Switch off appliances at the wall – the average household could save about 10 per cent on its power bill if appliances on standby were switched off.
  • A well-insulated home takes less energy to heat – ceiling insulation can save you up to $400 a year.
  • Consumer has developed a free tool called Powerswitch. It enables consumers to enter in their data and see which supplier can offer the cheapest plan. It helps to complete this assessment with a recent power invoice in front of you. www.consumer.org.nz/powerswitch
  • Fuel$aver is a useful website that provides information to compare the fuel consumption of different vehicle models. The website enables drivers to calculate vehicle fuel costs by considering their vehicle model, the distance travelled, the kind of fuel that is used, and their driving habits. Visit www.fuelsaver.govt.nz
  • The Right Car website offers advice on choosing cars that use less fuel, produce lower emissions and have improved safety features.
  • The Government introduced the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart scheme on 1 July 2009, which contributes 33% of the cost of insulation in homes built before 2000, up to a maximum of $1,300. Funding may also be available for installing clean heat devices. This scheme can benefit small business owners who use their homes as offices.
  • Funding is available from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority for installing a solar water-heating system. This is either in the form of a contribution of up to $1,000 towards the cost of a loan to pay for the system, or a one-off payment of $1,000 towards the cost of installing a new system. To find out more about the criteria, visit www.energywise.govt.nz or call 0800 762 7837.

For further information on saving money and maximising profits. Contact a Hayes Knight adviser.

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