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New Zealanders still going cold over winter

Only 41% of New Zealanders have taken measures to make their homes warmer and over half are not using heating as much as they would like, according to research released by Canstar Blue today. The consumer research and ratings company announced Nova Energy as this year’s favoured duel fuel supplier.

Measures taken to reduce the power bill included making sure there are curtains in every room (84%), only heating the rooms they are in (73%) and putting rugs or carpets on the floor (61%). Only 31% of respondents used draft excluders on their windows and doors. Less than half of those surveyed thought their house was well-insulated.

Of those with insulation; 85% had insulation in the roof, 75% in the walls and only 57% had under-floor insulation. Just over a third (37%) of those surveyed had double glazing.

Canstar New Zealand General Manager, Jose George says taking active steps to keep housing warmer will reduce the ongoing burden of relying solely on heating and cooling devices to regulate a home’s temperature.

“While there is an initial cost, insulating windows and walls pays dividends, not just in terms of ongoing heating and cooling costs, but also by making your home dryer and healthier.”

And when it comes to power companies it pays to do your research according to Canstar Blue.

“It’s important that you compare your options based on your family’s needs and when and how you use power the most,” says George.

“Getting the right supplier for your area and routines can make all the difference come bill time.”

George says consumers shopping around as well as insulating homes and using more energy efficient appliances is starting to make a difference.

“Better insulation, energy-efficient appliances and shopping around for the best deal has led to the average annual power bill actually reducing over the last five years.”

The average annual power bill has dropped $120 over the past five years to $2056 per year.

Nova Energy came out top with consumers, being awarded five stars for value for money, bill and cost clarity, customer service and focus on environmental sustainability. Nova Energy was also the only dual fuel provider to be awarded five stars by consumers for overall satisfaction.

And what do consumers want in a power provider? Unsurprisingly value for money came out top (37%) with clarity around cost being number two (22%). 7% of respondents listed focus on environmental sustainability as a key driver of satisfaction.

Canstar Blue’s five tips for saving money on energy are:

1. Shop around - costs differ by company and by area
2. Insulate your home - there are a number of options depending on your budget
3. If you’re renting ask about insulation and choose the better insulated option
4. Buy energy efficient light bulbs and appliances - and if you’re not using them turn them off
5. Check whether bundling your utilities such as internet, electricity and gas saves you money.
The full findings from the Canstar Blue 2019 dual fuel consumer research can be found here.
Key findings
• 41% of respondents had taken extra steps to make their home warmer
• 46% of respondents think their house is well insulated
• 39% of respondents worry about how much their power bill will be
• 60% of respondents take measures to lower their power bill
• 58% of respondents don’t use heating as much as they would like to reduce their power bill
• 70% of respondents put on extra layers
• 76% of respondents turn appliances off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby.

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