Gaye Quay wants to save money on her power bill, so the Tauranga woman is one of more than 600 Western Bay residents having a free home sustainability check to see where money could be saved.

The checks are given by brothers Phil and Nik Gregg, who founded the service Sustainability Options.

The brothers have been to hundreds of homes offering people tips and advice on creating more energy-efficient homes and saving on bills.

Mrs Quay invited the Bay of Plenty Times to sit in on her home sustainability check.


She said she had lived in her Bethlehem home for about 10 years and that people often assumed she was "well off" because she lived in a "nice area", but she still needed to watch her spending.

The 78-year-old hoped Phil Gregg's visit would help her find better ways to heat her home.

Mr Gregg also found ways to make small changes which were cost-effective and would save her money.

Small actions like using a draught stopper on doors and putting a timer on the heated towel rack would help Mrs Quay be more efficient with her electricity use.

Mr Gregg said by putting a timer on the towel rack Mrs Quay could save up to $6 a month.

The change might seem minor but the saving would add up over time and still allowed people to use their power-operated items.

"Changes help people utilise their power usage while still enjoying their luxuries," he said.

Mr Gregg said Mrs Quay could save about 10,800 litres of water a year by using a shower head which provided a lower water flow.

"People think a lower water flow means they'll have a horrible shower, but that's not the case.

"You can still have a good shower and save water," he said.

Two toilets in Mrs Quay's house had small leaks which Mr Gregg said could have major effects on the environment and the community

"Toilet leaks have major implications on the area. We have to fund the infrastructure for the sewage systems to treat waste water that doesn't need to be in the sewage," he said.

A favourite lamp of Mrs Quay's was using as much electricity as all the lights in the kitchen and lounge area.

Mr Gregg said daily usage of the lamp was costing her $15 a month to run and many lamps were "power hungry".

Mrs Quay said the home visit was a "very good service" and she was happy with the advice Mr Gregg had given her.

"I will seriously consider making those changes," she said.