We all have that one person in the family who is over the top about switching lights off. But did you know there’s more effective ways to save coins on your power bill?

From irons to deluxe printers, we’ve uncovered six sneaky energy-sucking appliances—and some quick fixes to make sure you’re getting the most out of them. Send this list to the culprit who loves to ‘save power’ by sitting in the dark, because there’s bigger fish to fry.

Guilty Gaming Consoles
Let’s be honest—no gamer has just ONE console. Between Xbox and PlayStation, PS4 or PS5, Nintendo Switch, and VR headsets, the number of devices plugged in can quickly add up. What’s more, if you’re leaving these devices on standby mode, they’re unsuspectingly draining your power. Our advice? Find a safe place to store your console collection, and only plug in when you're ready to smash that high score.

Draining Desktop Computers

Dear avid WFH-ers, we've got news for you. Your trusty desktop is actually draining more energy than your laptop, UGH. When it comes to maxing out the efficiency of your home office space, a few simple steps can help you save both energy and money. A quick fix is to simply use your laptop over a desktop computer since they require less electricity to run and are more energy-efficient than desktops (PCs). Check out more energy-saving work-from-home tips here.

Pesky Printers
Do you leave your printer on all year round, only to use it for those random concert tickets once every few months? Guilty. This fix is simple: power down when it's not in use. On the flip side, if you’re planning to purchase a printer due to working from home more, it pays to do your research on energy-efficient models. Often fancy, multi-function printers can be real power guzzlers in standby mode, sometimes adding up to $10 a month to your bill—ouch.

Not-So-Invisible Irons

For a small appliance, irons sure know how to make an impact when it comes to energy usage. They can reach up to 2400 watts when powered up at a cost of 45 - 61 cents per hour. That’s more than your average cooktop! The trick to conserving here is easy. Batch-ironing large loads of laundry saves you from turning the appliance on and off for just one item of clothing. So block out your calendar, hit play on a good podcast, and get the ironing done all in one go.

Water Heater Wastage
We all know that hot water is a huge energy drainer, and that’s all because of the water heater required to get it up to temperature. In fact, hot water heating makes up a hefty 30% of a typical electricity bill for New Zealand households. So how can you get a handle on this? Simple swaps like opting for showers over baths, chucking your laundry on a cold cycle, or only running full dishwashers are what you can action immediately. Long term, check out Gen Less for their tips on efficient water heating.

Over-The-Top Ovens
This might shock you, but typically only 10% - 15% of the energy produced by ovens is actually used to cook your food—the rest is just heating the surrounding air. That’s some expensive air if you ask us. Gas ovens are the biggest culprits, so if you have the option, opt for a convection or fan oven. If you get into the nitty-gritty, you’ll find microwave ovens are where it’s at. They use approximately 50% of the energy produced to cook your kai (food)—win.


The information provided in this article is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for personalised, professional advice. Mercury recommends that you always seek appropriate advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances. Links to external, non-Mercury websites are provided as a reference only, and do not imply a partnership or endorsement of their content.