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Advice cuts energy bills

Live Lightly team hits the streets

Published: 11 May 2018

Residents in the Waitematā Local Board area are being offered ways to cut their energy bills as part of the Live Lightly drive to save money, live a healthier life, and care for the planet.

Representatives from the local board’s energy advice project are currently contacting 200 households through home visits and email.

Residents are giving information about their energy use and receiving advice on improving it. A follow-up to find out how they are getting on and to get feedback on how to improve the programme will also take place.

The average Auckland home spends about $2500 on energy and heating each year, but simple steps can reduce that, saving a household money while improving their health and reducing their carbon emissions.

On top of leaving more money in people’s pockets,  this project engaged with 155 households in Waitematā last year and the estimated carbon dioxide saving courtesy of the changes people made was 22,000kg – the equivalent of planting two rugby fields out in trees.

First to adopt the plan

Local board chair Pippa Coom is proud Waitematā was the first board to adopt its own Low Carbon Community Action Plan.

"Since being the first board to adopt its own plan in 2015, we have championed projects like this pilot to reduce domestic energy use,” she says.

“Our daily lives are busy so it’s easy to forget our choices can have an impact on our quality of life and the environment.”

The Live Lightly programme covers six themes – move, eat, grow, energy, shop and talk. Suggestions are designed to be simple, cost-saving and effective. They range from using the bus or washing clothes in cold water to advice on home insulation.

“Live Lightly is about making it easy to spark conversations and offers easy actions to save money, live a healthier life and care for the planet,” says Auckland Council’s low carbon specialist Rebecca Hayden.

Here are a few small steps you can take:

Park it: Walk or cycle. Carpool and save on petrol and parking.

Use it: Plan meals, shop with a list. Use what you buy.

Grow it: Plant a fruit tree or vegetables. Use New Zealand produce.

Shorten it: Shorten your shower time.

Check it: Libraries have Heat Kits you can check your home’s energy efficiency with.

Reuse it: Shopping bags and cups, and loads of other things too.

Discuss it: Chat about it with friends.

Compost it: Set up a compost system.

Insulate it: An energy-efficient home saves around $1000 a year.

Buy it: Everything has a carbon footprint. Share, reuse, repair, and use sustainably-sourced products.

Visit the Live Lightly website, get some energy advice, head to the Waitematā Low Carbon Network  Facebook page, or see the board’s action plan.