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Government to reverse safer speed limits
Government to reverse safer speed limits

21 June 2024, 9:23 PM

In a controversial move, Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced plans to reverse safer speed limits, particularly around school zones, citing a shift towards smaller safety zones and reduced timeframes. Under the new rules, a mere 150-meter radius around school gates will enforce a 30 km/hr speed limit strictly between 8:00-9:30 am and 2:30-4:00 pm. This decision comes despite statistics from Auckland Transport revealing that 85% of fatalities and serious injuries near schools occur outside of these specified hours, raising concerns among safety advocates.Bike Auckland Chair Karen Hormann voiced strong opposition, stating, "We see a disconnect between the Government’s goal of protecting young New Zealanders and the clear evidence suggesting this move could have adverse effects. Communities are advocating for expanded, not reduced, safer speeds."Hormann highlighted concerns over the economic justifications put forth by the Government, questioning the potential trade-offs in safety for supposed benefits. She argued that establishing permanent safe speed zones has proven more effective in reducing accidents and is cost-efficient. Data shows a 30% decrease in fatalities where 30 km/hr limits were implemented, contrasting with a 9% increase in deaths across other areas during the same period. A recent consultation in Auckland revealed that 78% of school leaders support the continuation of permanent safer speed zones.Expressing further apprehension, Hormann added, "A 150-meter zone does little to ensure safety beyond the school gate, severely limiting transport options for families at a time when affordable mobility choices are crucial."Currently, over one-third of Auckland’s roads maintain 24/7 safer speed limits, which will see significant reduction under the proposed rules, affecting broader school zones than initially proposed. A survey by Auckland Transport indicated that 74% of residents were willing to accept longer travel times to ensure safer school environments.Dr. Jamie Hosking, a public health researcher at the University of Auckland, warned about the broader consequences on active transport modes, stating, "If walking and cycling feel unsafe, more people will opt for cars, increasing emissions and air pollution, and reducing physical activity."Dr. Nicholas Walker, a father and bicycle commuter, emphasised the importance of safer speed limits, saying, "As an obstetrician, ensuring safe arrivals is paramount. We must prioritise safer speeds around schools to prevent avoidable accidents."Bike Auckland is urging the public to participate in the ongoing consultation until July 11, encouraging community engagement to shape future policies on safer speed limits.

Government boosts public transport funding
Government boosts public transport funding

21 June 2024, 6:04 PM

The government has announced a record 41% increase in funding for public transport services and operations, along with the rollout of a National Ticketing Solution (NTS), Transport Minister Simeon Brown said.“This government is committed to supporting public transport to provide more travel choices for New Zealanders," Brown said. "The NZ Transport Agency Board has confirmed indicative funding from the National Land Transport Fund for public transport services and operations will increase by 41% compared to funding allocated between 2021 and 2024."The funding boost aims to deliver reliable services to commuters nationwide. Alongside the funding increase, the introduction of contactless debit and credit card payments for public transport users through the NTS will enhance convenience and consistency across the country. This rollout will begin in Auckland later this year, followed by Timaru in December 2024, Christchurch in early 2025, and all other regions by the end of 2026.“This solution will enable the public to choose the payment method that works best for them,” Brown said. “This includes contactless debit or credit cards, as well as digital payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay on mobile phones and smart watches, while still having the option of a pre-paid transit card.”The NTS aims to provide a unified ticketing system, allowing local councils and transport operators to better monitor demand and allocate resources effectively. This system is expected to drive better value for money and make public transport easier to use for New Zealanders.“Our government is committed to investing in reliable public transport services and technology so that local councils can deliver the services New Zealanders need,” Brown said.

Auckland Police seek alleged million-dollar money mule
Auckland Police seek alleged million-dollar money mule

21 June 2024, 4:04 AM

The Auckland City Financial Crime Unit is appealing for assistance in locating Ayom Wek, 31, who is wanted for alleged involvement in significant fraud cases totalling $1.8 million.Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Bolton stated that Wek is implicated in a term deposit scam affecting multiple New Zealanders. "Police investigating the term deposit scam have identified Wek as part of our enquiries," Bolton said. "At this stage, we have received five reports relating to this man, each with hundreds of thousands of dollars behind them."Wek is believed to reside in Auckland Central, and authorities have issued warrants for his arrest. "As part of our ongoing enquiries, we are now seeking his whereabouts in regards to these significant reports of fraud and warrants to arrest have been granted," Bolton added.The police have also issued a border alert to prevent Wek from leaving the country. While there is no indication that Wek is currently active in committing further offences, the community is advised to exercise caution."We continue to urge anyone seeking financial advice or those looking to invest in a term deposit to proceed with caution," Bolton advised.Ayom Wek.Anyone with information on Wek's movements or location is urged to contact police immediately via 111. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 0800 555 111. For further assistance, the public can contact the police through their 105 phone service or online at the police website, referencing file number 240525/8716.

Auckland ramps up breath testing efforts
Auckland ramps up breath testing efforts

21 June 2024, 12:09 AM

Auckland Transport (AT) and NZ Police have conducted a record-breaking number of breath tests over the past year, with over 900,000 tests administered between May 2023 and April 2024. This initiative aims to curb alcohol-related crashes, which account for around 15 percent of deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads annually.“We want Auckland road users to know there will continue to be elevated levels of breath testing throughout the rest of the year so people will make informed choices about their transport options, particularly where alcohol will be involved,” said Teresa Burnett, General Manager Transport Safety at AT.The number of breath tests has been steadily increasing, reaching a new peak this year compared to the 700,000 tests conducted in 2013. This increase reflects a concerted effort by AT and NZ Police to enhance road safety.Acting Inspector Jason McIntosh, Relieving Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager, highlighted the collaboration between road policing managers and a dedicated team of officers as key to the successful increase in breath testing. “Our aim is to raise awareness of the drive drink free message and encourage positive behaviours, rather than focus only on those people found to be breaking the law,” he said.Research indicates that 50 percent of Aucklanders believe they won’t be caught driving under the influence, despite 77 percent of drivers charged being male according to 2023 Ministry of Justice data.To address this, officers will maintain a visible presence across the region to deter unsafe driving behaviour. “By significantly increasing alcohol breath testing across Tāmaki Makaurau, the message we are sending is clear and we hope people pay attention,” said McIntosh.With enhanced public transport options available, AT encourages residents to plan ahead, using public transport, sober drivers, or taxi services to ensure safe journeys home. “Make sure you know all of the options available to get you home safely, just in case things don’t go to plan,” advised Burnett.This initiative underscores the community's shared responsibility to drive safely and avoid unnecessary risks, particularly those associated with drinking and driving.

Warning after scammers steal millions from Chinese Kiwis
Warning after scammers steal millions from Chinese Kiwis

20 June 2024, 7:37 PM

Members of the Chinese community are being warned about an investment scam emerging on some social media.Police are investigating two cases where victims have been conned out of millions of dollars.Detective Senior Sergeant Rob Hunkin, of Counties Manukau CIB, said the scammers were initially contacting victims through WeChat or Telegram asking them to "invest" in an Australian investment platform."Once victims are hooked, an initial investment payment is made by international bank transfer."Eventually, the scammer will advise victims to pay into the scheme further in cash only."Payments were then being made in person with offenders going to a victim's house or pre-arranging to meet them at a set location."The truth is that there is no investment platform - this is a scam," Detective Senior Sergeant Hunkin said."Police are continuing to investigate these two cases, but we need the community's support to help raise awareness of what is happening."He said police recognised the schemes might sound rewarding.Scammers were continuing to reinvent ways of deceiving people out of their money, Hunkin said."Our advice to anyone is to be extremely cautious if you are ever approached about making an investment into a project or scheme."It is essential that you do research to ensure the company is genuine before you hand over any money."If you cannot verify whether a person or scheme is what they say they are, never hand over any money and cease any contact."A legitimate investment will never require cash being handed over.He urged people to share the police's advice among their families and friends."The last thing we want to see is more people fall victim to these scams."Advice to prevent being scammed:If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Seek advice from a trusted friend or family member, or someone who has knowledge of investments before sending any money anywhereIf you are being contacted by scammers, cease communicating with themNever hand over any money, as well as a personal or financial informationAnyone who suspected they might have been the victim of fraud, should contact police online, or call them on 105.

Liquor firms fined for illegal imports
Liquor firms fined for illegal imports

20 June 2024, 6:54 PM

Two companies were fined a total of $244,000 for attempting to sell thousands of bottles of illegal liquor, avoiding rules designed to protect consumers.Golden Grand Trading Limited and Mayajaal Holdings Limited were sentenced in April in Auckland District Court after a successful prosecution by New Zealand Food Safety. Golden Grand Trading pleaded guilty to three charges under the Food Act 2014, including operating as an unregistered importer, while Mayajaal Holdings pleaded guilty to one charge.Judge RJ Collins fined Golden Grand Trading $142,000 and Mayajaal Holdings $102,000. Additionally, both companies were ordered to share $36,000 in costs for disposing of the alcohol.The investigation revealed the companies supplied illegal liquor to retailers between 2016 and 2019. The offences involved 5,534 bottles of imported liquor with either missing lot codes or fake lot codes, valued at approximately $292,526. The non-compliant alcohol was seized from the companies' distribution warehouse. Compliance investigators also recalled 30 bottles, seizing seven from a liquor store and two from an online purchase.Vincent Arbuckle, deputy director-general of New Zealand Food Safety, explained the importance of lot codes: "Lot codes ensure traceability in the event of a product recall and assure consumers that the product contents are genuine and unaltered."Arbuckle emphasised the gravity of the violation: "Label integrity matters. When businesses circumvent the rules, they deceive consumers and potentially endanger them."Despite testing confirming the liquor's authenticity, the lack of proper lot codes could complicate recalls, undermining consumer safety. Arbuckle stated, "Our responsibility is to consumers and their safety."The investigation found that importing liquor without lot codes was nearly 7.5% cheaper, a cost-saving measure that led to the non-compliance. Golden Grand Trading had previously received a warning in 2012 for similar violations, resulting in a significant amount of alcohol being destroyed.This week's sentence is part of 'Operation Spirit,' a broader compliance investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries. In 2022, another Auckland liquor importer was fined over $150,000 for tampering with lot codes.Arbuckle concluded by urging food importers to adhere to updated rules: "We encourage all registered food importers to check the Ministry for Primary Industries website to ensure compliance."An application to the court will be made to destroy the seized liquor at a specialised waste disposal plant.

GDP growth slows to 0.2 percent
GDP growth slows to 0.2 percent

20 June 2024, 6:00 PM

A slight rise in GDP for the March quarter underscores the need for stronger economic measures, Finance Minister Nicola Willis said.Stats NZ released data showing a 0.2 percent increase in GDP for the quarter ending in March. While this marginal growth remains technically positive, Willis pointed to the ongoing economic challenges faced by New Zealanders."Today's data is technically in the positive, but it is a reminder of the reckless spending and economic mismanagement of the previous government," Willis said. "New Zealanders are feeling the long shadow of a prolonged period of high inflation, with high interest rates contributing to a deeper and more persistent downturn than previously forecast."Willis acknowledged the difficulties many locals face, citing the ongoing cost of living crisis. "I know how tough it is for people right now who are still struggling," she said. "We have a plan to turn things around. Our Government knows New Zealanders are hurting and need hope for the future."The government's strategy focuses on prudent spending, lower taxes, and rebuilding economic foundations. Despite current hardships, Willis highlighted a promising outlook based on Treasury's Budget forecasts. "While it’s hard to see through the immediate conditions, Treasury’s Budget forecasts show an improving outlook from the second half of this year, with inflation coming under control, interest rates dropping, and growth recovering," she noted.Recent data shows inflation tracking in a favorable direction. Food prices rose by only 0.2 percent in the year to May 2024, marking the smallest increase since September 2018. Willis believes this trend will ease the financial burden on families.Tax relief measures and support for early childhood education are also set to benefit New Zealanders. "From 31 July, Kiwis can look forward to tax relief in their pay packets, and eligible families will benefit from the FamilyBoost payment starting 1 July," Willis said.She encouraged residents to visit Budget.govt.nz/taxcalculator to see the potential benefits of the tax relief package. "Our Government is working hard on the drivers of productive growth: better education and skills, improving infrastructure, more competition and less red tape, stronger global connections, and a smarter approach to science and innovation," she concluded.

Power outage disrupts Northland traffic
Power outage disrupts Northland traffic

20 June 2024, 4:05 AM

Extreme wet weather in Northland this morning has led to a widespread power outage, causing significant disruptions across the region. The outage has primarily affected traffic, with police urging motorists to exercise patience and caution, especially at intersections where traffic lights are not functioning.Authorities have deployed officers to manage traffic on main roads and key intersections, ensuring a visible presence in business areas throughout the Northland District. Police are advising locals to travel only if necessary and to avoid the Whangārei CBD to minimise congestion and enhance safety.“We ask motorists to only travel if necessary and the best practice is to stay off the roads to stay safe,” a police spokesperson said. "We thank motorists for their understanding."The power outage occurred around 11 a.m. when a 220 kV transmission tower near Glorit unexpectedly fell. This tower supports two high-capacity circuits, crucial for supplying most of Northland’s power. The collapse led to immediate and extensive power disruptions. Transpower is working to restore capacity using a lower capacity 110 kV network, but full restoration will require bringing at least one of the 220 kV circuits back online.Transpower crews are currently on-site assessing the situation and exploring options to restore further power. Meanwhile, local sources such as the geothermal generation at Ngāwhā are helping to supply some electricity. An operational Grid Emergency Notice has been issued, extending until noon tomorrow, with further updates expected based on ongoing assessments.Transpower has assured the community that the area around the fallen tower is secure and that their priority remains restoring power. The cause of the tower's collapse is still unknown, but a full investigation will be conducted. For the latest updates, locals are encouraged to check Transpower’s website and Facebook page, as well as their electricity retailers and local lines companies.

Economy limps out of recession as GDP grows 0.2%
Economy limps out of recession as GDP grows 0.2%

20 June 2024, 12:00 AM

The economy has edged out of recession, driven by service industries and energy production.Stats NZ data shows gross domestic product -- the broad measure of economic growth -- rose 0.2 percent for the three months ended March, with annual growth of 0.3 percent.The numbers were stronger than economists had expected and followed two quarters of contraction."There were a range of results at industry level with eight of the 16 industries rising this quarter," Stats NZ's Ruvani Ratnayake said.The main contributors to the gain were rental, hiring and real estate services, and increased electricity generation, but there was also a slight lift in retailing.The biggest falls were in construction, business services and manufacturing, which was partly offset by increased dairy exports.The growth in population resulted in each individual's share of the economy shrinking 0.3 percent during the quarter, the sixth consecutive quarterly fall. Annually, the per capita decline was 2.4 percent.Household spending rose 1.6 percent for the quarter, but government spending was marginally lower.Real gross national disposable income, a measure of the country's purchasing power, rose 0.9 percent for the quarter, but was still 1 percent lower than a year ago.New Zealand first-quarter growth was better than Australia, but lagged that of most of the country's major trading partners.Economists have said the Reserve Bank's high interest rates policy to get inflation under control has been the chief cause of the economic downturn and recessionary periods.Forecasts for the rest of the year point to tepid growth at best, with cuts in interest rates seen as the necessary factor to help revive economic activity.

Tuipulotu returns for Super Rugby final
Tuipulotu returns for Super Rugby final

19 June 2024, 10:59 PM

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu returns to the starting XV for the Super Rugby Grand Final against the Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday at 7:05 pm. The match is sold out, with the Blues hoping to release additional tickets later this week.Tuipulotu is back just two weeks after tearing the medial ligament in his right knee and was cleared to play after testing his knee during training on Tuesday. Blues Head Coach Vern Cotter emphasised the thorough medical consideration behind the decision.“Patty’s a Blues man through and through and came to us this week pretty keen to play in a Grand Final,” said Cotter. “He tested the knee on Monday in the gym, then on the grass yesterday. He’s pulled up well and has the all-clear from our medical team – he’s a welcome addition to our pack, our talisman lock and leader.”Blues Team Doctor James McGarvey commented on Tuipulotu’s recovery: “Patty felt good on Monday and with strapping found he was able to do everything rugby related with minimal symptoms. Given it’s a final, he decided to try to work through the week and play.”Cotter has made minimal changes to his semi-final-winning side, with Josh Beehre making way for Tuipulotu and Bryce Heem returning from a calf injury to take a spot on the bench.“There’s a deep desire in this group to go the whole way but to do that we need to be clear in our thinking, disciplined and not let the occasion get the better of us,” said Cotter. “The Chiefs will be coming to spoil the party. We’ve got a sold-out Eden Park that we hope will be awash in blue. This will be a great occasion, and I can feel the excitement building in the group.”Go the Blues!

World Vision challenges Kiwi students
World Vision challenges Kiwi students

19 June 2024, 9:03 PM

Thousands of students across New Zealand are preparing for the World Vision 40 Hour Challenge, aiming to raise funds to combat climate change. The event supports efforts to restore forests in Asia-Pacific countries like Timor-Leste.“This year is the 50th year of the campaign and our focus is to fight the impacts of climate change for children,” said World Vision’s National Director, Grant Bayldon. “By taking part in the World Vision 40 Hour Challenge, Kiwi youth can play a part in working to make a difference in this vital space.”Prominent Kiwis, including rugby player Caleb Clarke, content creators Win Wolf, Judah Metu-Teaukura, and Liv Martin, actor Kimberley Crossman, singer/songwriter Paige Tapara, and climate advocate Brianna Fruean, are fronting this year’s campaign. Clarke highlighted the importance of giving back, stating, “The World Vision 40 Hour Challenge is really special because it gets New Zealanders on board to help other people around the world in need.”Several landmarks, such as Auckland's Sky Tower and Eden Park, will light up orange from June 21 to June 23 in support of the initiative. Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner expressed pride in supporting the cause, especially as it coincides with Clarke’s participation in the Super Rugby Final.The World Vision 40 Hour Challenge encourages young people to engage in activities like planting 40 trees, spending 40 hours outdoors, or completing a 4km beach clean-up to raise awareness and funds.World Vision aims to restore one billion hectares of global forest over the next decade, potentially removing up to a quarter of the world’s carbon from the atmosphere.

Government modernises Public Works Act
Government modernises Public Works Act

19 June 2024, 8:17 PM

In a bid to address New Zealand's infrastructure deficit, the Government announced a modernisation of the Public Works Act. The move aims to facilitate the faster and more cost-effective construction of essential public infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk said.An independent panel will review the Act over the next eight weeks, recommending pragmatic changes to expedite large-scale projects. "Critical infrastructure projects like schools, roads, water services, and energy projects have not kept pace with our nation's needs," Penk stated.The outdated Act has delayed projects by up to five years, adding time, cost, and uncertainty for taxpayers and planners. "Every year, millions of dollars are spent litigating under the Act," Penk noted. "Updating the Act is part of a broader reform to make infrastructure delivery quicker and more efficient."The review panel, to be appointed by the Chief Executive of Land Information, will deliver its findings to support the legislation, which is slated for introduction in mid-2025. Minister for Building and Construction, Chris Penk.Public feedback will be invited during the select committee process.Meanwhile, the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides an overview of planned projects, has surpassed $120 billion in value. Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop highlighted the Government's record investment to rebuild the economy. "The pipeline shows local government and the private sector are also meeting the infrastructure challenge," Bishop said.Infrastructure Minister, Chris Bishop.Currently, there are $44 billion worth of projects under construction, with projections of $12.1 billion in spending for 2024 and $11.6 billion for 2025. "Almost 70 per cent of the projects in the pipeline have confirmed funding sources," Bishop added.Insights from the pipeline will contribute to the development of a 30-year National Infrastructure Plan, led by the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. "I encourage all infrastructure providers to participate and maintain their project information," Bishop concluded.Key points in the Pipeline:$121.2 billion total project value as at March 31 (up 11.7 per cent from December 2023)1356 projects greater than $10 million82 contributing organisations, including 37 councils that represents around three-quarters of all rates revenue collectedNew Zealand Infrastructure Commission projections show a spend of $12.1 billion in 2024 and $11.6 billion in 2025. Three-quarters of all projected spend occurs within 3.5 years.

Foodstuffs merger raises competition concerns
Foodstuffs merger raises competition concerns

19 June 2024, 7:24 PM

In the ongoing debate over New Zealand's grocery sector, folks have become increasingly concerned about the proposed merger of the Foodstuffs co-operatives. Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island, currently operating independently, have approached the NZ Commerce Commission to merge into a single entity: Foodstuffs NZ.The OECD's recent Economic Survey highlights that New Zealand's grocery market is dominated by two major players: Australian-owned Woolworths and New Zealand's Foodstuffs. These giants set prices and profits significantly higher than international standards. The OECD suggests that breaking up this duopoly might eventually be necessary, although it acknowledges the complexity of such an action.Emeritus Professor Tim Hazledine from the University of Auckland’s Business School has voiced concerns about the merger, arguing that it could reduce competition further. “The co-ops already coordinate their purchasing and marketing of private-label products,” Hazledine stated. “Their wholesaling businesses, Gilmours and Trents, operate as one in the national supply of groceries to institutions and non-retail customers.”Emeritus Professor Tim HazledineCurrently, neither co-op competes in the other’s territory, an arrangement which Hazledine describes as a “cosy agreement” that avoids poaching retail customers. He raises questions about the legality of these practices under the Commerce Act, suggesting that the co-ops might be seeking to legitimise their activities through the merger.For years, the Commerce Commission and others, including Hazledine and now the OECD, have called for more competition in the supermarket sector.There have been hopes for a new competitor, such as the German grocer Aldi, to enter the market and invigorate pricing and services. Hazledine notes that despite these calls, a third competitor has always existed in the form of the two Foodstuffs co-ops, which, if they acted independently, could boost competition.The Commerce Commission has previously argued that pro-competitive action is necessary. Hazledine suggests more than just denying the merger; he advocates for enforcing independent operation between the two co-ops and ending their coordinated practices. “They should pull down the invisible wall separating North and South Island markets,” he recommended, proposing that franchise holders should have the right to switch co-ops to foster real competition.As the Commerce Commission deliberates on the merger, locals and industry watchers await the decision that could reshape New Zealand's grocery landscape.

Power use: It's the little things that add up
Power use: It's the little things that add up

19 June 2024, 6:56 PM

If you want to bring your power use down, take a look at the way you use your smaller appliances, says Community Energy Action senior energy advisor Michael Begg.How about putting the jug on?"We can see on most of our kettles, they have a gauge on the side. So, if we're only making tea for two, then we only need to fill it as far as that."Begg has been teaching people about energy efficiency for 40 years.And of course, the more water there is, the more steam is created - and moisture is not our friend, he said."If we're boiling the jug, pop the rangehood on for 30 seconds when it's getting towards the boiling stage, because we want to try and reduce the amount of moisture in our rooms."What about ovens? Don't ignore the microwave, he said."A very, very good appliance used for all sorts of things. And they don't use a lot of energy, they're short, sharp and to the point and work really, really well."A conventional floor-standing oven takes a lot of energy to heat up, he said."We've got a very big oven there with a really big element on it, and it's quite slow compared to cooking something in a microwave."With older ovens check the seals are in good nick and that the thermostats are all working well, he said.Michael BeggMichael Begg Photo: RNZNot everyone needs a large stove, he recommends a benchtop oven for small households."Because the oven is so small, when you look at the capacity of the little oven, I can preheat it to 200c in under ten minutes"He also rates slow cookers which he thinks are under-used here in Aotearoa."I heard that in the States, for example, most homes would have at least two slow cookers. And they are very, very good because they use hardly any power at all."The hidden power sappersBegg is often called upon to get to the bottom of electricity sapping mysteries, and more often than not the old, wheezing fridge-freezer in the garage is the culprit.An old fridge-freezer can cost as much as $200 a year to run, he said.Begg has seen some garages with two or three fridges or chest freezers. All well and good if those they are packed with produce you've grown, or meat you've hunted.But a fridge ticking away with a six-pack of beer and an empty freezer is leaking dollars, he said."Older ones are using a lot more electricity, and the less in them, the more energy they use."Look out for a newer, smaller bar fridge with an energy efficiency star rating, he said.Do re-arrange the furnitureIs your fridge in the right spot? Begg sees the fridge in modern homes often placed in direct sun."Sunshine on an appliance is just going to create a higher energy use."And in bedrooms, keep beds away from external walls that are often uninsulated, try an internal wall instead, he said."I always recommend having the bed head up against an internal wall it can stop issues such as mould and cold occurring."If space is constrained, and you do have to go against an external wall, pull your bed slightly away from the wall, he said.We can introduce dampness into our home unwittingly, he said. Clothes on a dryer inside being a common source of moisture."We get home and that washing may be dry. But where's all the moisture out of the washing gone?"Don't forget to ventilate, he said.Hot water can be a power leakHot water is being used seven days a week, 52 weeks a year and Community Energy Action said up to 30 percent of our power bill is hot water.It's worth looking into the pressure in your cylinder, he said"If you have high pressure cylinder, and you've got an ordinary showerhead, the flow rate from that showerhead can be quite high.""I have measured some that have had flow rates of 30 litres a minute. So, in a 10-minute shower, there's 300 litres of water."You can check your flow rate with a bucket test, he said. See how much is in the bucket after 15 seconds and multiply by four.Ten to 12 litres a minute is fine, he said, 15 to 20 or even as much as 30, then you need to address that - a low flow shower head is a good solution.Michael Begg's energy saving tipsIf you're planning to sit down with a cuppa, consider just how many cups you or your guests will drink and only fill the jug with the amount you need.Don't ignore the microwave or slow cooker.If you do have beer fridge, consider how much that fridge is costing you and maybe upgrade to a more efficient one.Try as often as possible to take your washing outside to dry.Consider moving things around appliances furniture within your house to get the most efficient use out of each thing.Take a shorter showers - and check that flow rate.

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