We asked our MoveMaster customers to share their tips and techniques on shifting their power usage to save on their power bills. These real-life stories from our customers not only prove the effectiveness of power load shifting, but also provide practical tips for anyone looking to cut down their electricity bills.
From harnessing solar power to smart home automation, these experiences offer a glimpse into the future of efficient and cost-effective home energy use.
It's not just about numbers and graphs; it's about real people making smart choices and seeing awesome results.
Using Solar Power for Efficient Water Heating
“We have solar panels installed on our roof and use a standard hot water cylinder to heat our water. A power diverter is in place to redirect any excess solar-generated electricity to our hot water cylinder when our solar production exceeds our needs. Once the cylinder reaches its desired temperature, any surplus power is then fed back into the grid. The power diverter autonomously manages the energy supply to our hot water cylinder. It's programmed to activate at 5 pm for two hours in case there's no solar energy generated during the day, and again at 4 am for two hours, ensuring we have hot water in the morning.
Since we consistently require power at 4 am, I've scheduled our hour of power for this time. On average, we receive 30-40 kW of free power every fortnight, which translates into substantial savings of hundreds of dollars annually.”
Integrating Timers and Solar Power with Batteries
“Since moving to our new property and adopting a time-of-use rate, we've made considerable adjustments to our lifestyle. Our initial step was simple: avoiding the use of the dishwasher and washing machine during peak hours, which was easily manageable as we both work from home. We've also installed timers on our hot water system, ensuring it heats only during off-peak hours at night. Additionally, we're fortunate to have a solar power system with batteries. I've modified this system by setting the inverter to charge the batteries to 50% by 7 am, when peak rates begin. This charge level is sufficient to get us through the morning peak, even on cloudy days. The system is also programmed to fully charge the batteries before the evening peak. Typically, this is achieved solely through solar power, though occasionally it's supplemented by grid power during shoulder periods.
Our hour of power is set for midnight each day. At this time, the inverter recharges our batteries, and our hot water system reheats, leading to additional savings.
Overall, this strategy has been highly effective, saving us a substantial amount of money compared to the flat rate plans we've previously considered.”
Smart Timing Cuts Power Costs
“Initially, I switched to Electric Kiwi to capitalise on the hour of free power, recognizing that our hot water cylinder was our home's main energy user. I found myself constantly adjusting the hour of power to coincide with our shower times, which became quite a hassle. I eventually found a solution by installing a timer switch on the hot water circuit. We programmed it to activate the hot water for an hour each afternoon during the 'hour of power' and for three hours early in the morning before 7 am. This change has allowed us to shower at our convenience without the need to reschedule the hour of power. It's an excellent arrangement for us!
The most rewarding discovery was that simply by adding a timer to our hot water cylinder, we've been saving at least $60 monthly on our power bill. Hot water was a major energy guzzler, particularly as my wife frequently uses hot water. Now, the cylinder only consumes power during off-peak periods, mainly at the half-price night rate.
Additionally, we've set delay start timers on our washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher to run overnight while we sleep. Our heat pump is also programmed to pre-heat or cool the house during off-peak hours.
There's much we can do to transfer our power usage to off-peak times, and it's surprisingly easy.”
EVs and Smart Power Management
“My husband and I switched to Electric Kiwi after retiring. After considering various plans, we chose the MoveMaster account, anticipating the purchase of an electric vehicle (EV). This plan has proven to be an excellent way for us to save on electricity costs in multiple ways.
We now own an EV and charge it overnight at the lowest rate. If it only needs a minor boost, we charge it during our free hour of power. Since we have a spa pool and are home during the day, we've scheduled our hour of free power from 9 am to 10 am, which allows the spa to heat up. During this hour, we also run our washing machine and dishwasher and charge our laptops, phones, vacuum cleaner, earbuds, Kindles, and Bluetooth speakers.
I've set alarms on my phone to remind me to switch everything on at 9 am and off at 10 am. I also use our EV's charging app timer for overnight charging. Apart from essentials like the fridge, freezer, hot water system, TV, modem, and toothbrush, we switch everything off at the wall. We're adapting to this routine of turning devices on and off.
The MoveMaster account has made us more mindful of our power consumption, and the Electric Kiwi app is a great tool for tracking our usage.
It may sound like a lot to manage, but we've established a routine that works for us. We adhere to a rule that everything should be done calmly and without stress. When we have visitors, for instance, we're more relaxed and simply do what's feasible.”
Automation for Off-Peak Load Shifting
“We've been loyal customers for many years now, and while the Hour of Power is fantastic, off-peak load shifting has been a game-changer for us, akin to a ninja-level strategy.
Our home springs to life at off-peak hours, reminiscent of an automation scene from 'Home Alone,' just as we're getting ready for bed. With the arrival of off-peak time, our home buzzes with activity. The various aftermarket wall plug timers we've installed start clicking into action. In winter, our heaters begin to circulate warm air, while our trusty washing machine starts another load, regardless of the season. Outside, our electric vehicles emit a couple of out-of-sync beeps as they start guzzling free electricity. If we're particularly organised, the dryer in the garage hums to life, spinning the day's remaining laundry. Sometimes, we find ourselves scurrying around the house, plugging in other appliances that need charging, or we might use our Alexa voice automation system to manage any we might have forgotten.
The appliances work through the night, completing their tasks, and by morning, we're all recharged and ready for another day of family chaos.
Our top load-shifting tips include:
- Utilising electrical timers, especially Wi-Fi plug timers with app control from a local hardware store, which are particularly useful during the festive season for controlling lights and decorations.
- Pairing these Wi-Fi switches with a budget-friendly voice-activated home automation system helps orchestrate our electrical needs, including Wi-Fi lighting.
- Checking if new appliances have built-in timers or delayed starts to leverage off-peak power.
- Making the most of electric vehicles, which often have built-in charging timers, is ideal for economical transport. Adding a higher capacity wall charger at home allows for faster charging of the vehicle's batteries.
- Bathing the kids around 2-3 pm or showering after 9 pm, so the water cylinder heats up the next tank with cheaper off-peak electricity.
- Preparing meals early during off-peak or shoulder periods, as appliances like ovens and kettles consume considerable power.
- Avoiding the use of power-hungry appliances during peak times and using Wi-Fi switches to turn them off.
Joining EK has revolutionised how our family uses energy. By selecting quality electrical products, vehicles, and appliances, and automating their usage during the Hour of Power and off-peak periods, we stay prepared for the day ahead. These simple yet carefully refined changes have made us more energy-conscious and saved us significantly on energy costs, for which we are immensely grateful. Thank you for your excellent customer service and for continually offering fresh ideas.”
Smart Switches for Off-Peak Usage
“We've implemented smart switches and carefully managed appliance timings to maximise off-peak usage. Here's how we've maintained an impressive 77% average in off-peak usage while saving on energy costs:
- We installed an additional smart main switch equipped with a metering function.
- A similar smart switch was installed on the hot water circuit, which also includes timer and metering functions.
- We use a smart multiplug extension with four individually controllable power outlets and two USB outlets, all featuring timer functionality.
- The timers on the latter two are set to align with our chosen hour of power time slot. During this period, rechargeable batteries for our lawnmower, power tools, and electric bikes are charged automatically. We manually switch on other devices like the washing machine, ice maker, and begin pre-cooking the evening's main meal. Four rechargeable power banks are also charged, ready to power our mobile phones the next day. Instead of using a dryer, we dry our laundry on a clothesline, utilising the sun and wind.
These strategies enable us, a household of two retirees, to average 3 kWh per day for hot water and 3.5 kWh per day for general usage, while maintaining over 77% off-peak usage.”
What could MoveMaster mean for me?
Our MoveMaster customers are not just saving money; they're leading the way in smart, sustainable living.
Their journeys, filled with practical tips and a dash of ingenuity, show us that shifting to a time-of-use plan isn't just about cutting costs—it's about embracing a lifestyle that values efficiency and environmental stewardship. From the clever use of solar power and batteries to effective automation of household appliances during off-peak hours, these stories aren't just inspiring—they're a roadmap to a future where every home can be more energy-smart.
So, whether it's the middle of the day or the quiet of midnight, our customers are proving that a little planning and some smart tech can make a big difference to your wallet and the planet.