The Home Ad­van­tage

Element - - Business -

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.

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