The Home Advantage
It’s all very well to expect our homes to become micro energy generators, but it seems slightly perverse to create extra energy if the ways in which we are using it are inefficient and wasteful.
The opportunities that exist to make our homes more efficient represent a mind-boggling saving to the country of $800m per year, according the macro-economic report published by business group Pure Advantage.
The Warm Up New Zealand insulation programme, which has seen 215,000 homes insulated since 2009, is paying dividends, but many more homes around the country are, as yet, uninsulated, and are costing their owners unnecessary money to heat.
The Government’s 2013 budget allocates $100 million of operating funding over three years to the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme, targeting low-income households for home insulation, particularly those families with children and high health needs.
Understanding household energy use is valuable when making decisions about how to make savings. For example, water heating typically makes up to one third of your power bill, so it’s a good place to start by looking at efficient devices. Throughout summer, solar water heating will provide almost all the hot water you’ll need, while new generation hot water heat pumps can slash 80% of your water heating bill.
Space heating typically uses 29% of your power, with electronics and refrigeration at 25%, and cooking and lighting make up 15% of your bill. It’s a great idea to look for the most energy efficient appliances – try looking for those marked with the Energy Star label.