High power consumption

Question from Nicola updated on 24th August 2015:

My tenant is complaining of high power bills ($250 to $300 per month) and is implying I should have the wiring of the house inspected. I bought the house a year ago and had a full building inspection carried out which showed no issue with wiring/electrical. I lived in the house for six months and didn't experience high power bills. I have already had a flow restrictor installed due to the tenant(s) (there are two tenants) having long showers and running the hot water cylinder out. The tenant has also been running the A/C from 'time to time'. Am I obliged to do anything further here?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

This is a common issue during the winter!

High power consumption can be caused by a number of factors. These include the condition of the house (ceiling and floor insulation, type of heating, floor coverings, window and door frames, and shower head throughput), and also the habits and usage of the occupants. For example, using the air conditioning “from time to time” or having “long” showers are areas where the tenants may not even be aware of their contribution to the high usage.

The EECA Energywise website - http://www.energywise.govt.nz/ - has a range of calculators, checklists and advice on minimising your energy consumption. I suggest that you look through the checklists and the advice and hints that are published for property owners. You should also refer your tenants to the same site for advice on how they can reduce their consumption and costs.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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