The Electric Kiwi blog

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  • 2pm or 10pm: Why timing is everything when it comes to free power

    timing everything

    All Electric Kiwi customers receive one free Hour of Power every day. We say, put on the dishwasher and washing machine, take a shower, make some toast – for 60 minutes, it’s completely on us.

    There are two free Hour of Power options you can choose: 2-3pm or 10-11pm.

    Why those times?

    The 2-3pm and 10-11pm hours are what’s known as ‘off-peak’ – that is, outside of the times (in the morning before school/work and in the evening) when New Zealand’s overall residential power load is highest.

    From a financial point of view, off peak power is in general cheaper to generate and purchase, so we can pass those savings on to our customers. But did you also know that a major benefit of shifting power use to off-peak times is that it is better for the environment?

    Because power is generated in real time, spreading New Zealand’s power use more evenly throughout the day helps to make our current renewable electricity resources more efficient and reduce the need for more non-renewable electricity sources. Nice!

    But what if I'm in bed or at work during those times?

    We want our customers to get the most out of their free 60 minutes. Even if you’re not home or in bed at those times, there are still easy ways to use your free power and save money.

    5 tips to maximise your Hour of Power:

    1. The easiest place to start is the washing machine and dishwasher. Set your timer on your appliance to start at the beginning of your Hour of Power.
    2. The dryer is another easy one to ‘set and forget’ (though in the name of energy efficiency we’d always recommend using the sun as a dryer if you can!).
    3. If your appliance doesn’t have a timer, plug-in timers can be picked up cheaply at places like Mitre 10 and Bunnings. There are also products coming on to the market such as the Belkin WeMo Switch, which is a Wi-Fi connected plug-in timer you control via a mobile app.
    4. For people who’ve selected a 10-11pm Hour of Power, you could charge devices, put on the heater or electric blanket before bed, take a shower or switch on the dehumidifier.
    5. For people with a 2-3pm Hour of Power who are home during the day, you could shift your power-using household tasks (such as vacuuming or ironing) or cooking into this hour.