2019 October 1 Build: Energy Poverty In New Zealand

1 October 2019 by Jason Quinn

Paying utility bills is a stretch for many New Zealand households. As we move to a low-carbon economy, a raft of measures may be necessary to ensure that energy costs do not weigh more heavily on those already financially burdened.

Analysis using the Household Economic Survey, an annual survey run by Stats NZ that measures the economic wellbeing of New Zealanders, showed that, in 2015/16, over 100,000 households (6.1%) spent more than 10% of their income on domestic energy (Stats NZ, 2017).

The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 18°C in any occupied areas of the home, or warmer for young children, the elderly or those with an illness. How much energy is required to achieve that minimum will depend on the energy performance of the home? A well-insulated home fitted with the most efficient and cost-effective appliances will cost less to run per unit floor area than a dwelling lacking these features.

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