Haiku sums up warmer home benefits Warmer Kiwis Study shows value of clean heating

6 May 2022 by Jason Quinn

Who the hell composes a haiku as the summary in a technical report to a government agency? A New Zealander, that’s who. I love this country. People’s ability to care and be serious—but also irreverent or playful, sometimes at the same time—is something I really appreciate.

Winter through to spring
Houses keep warm with heat pumps
At no added cost.

The Warmer Kiwis Study shows how much health improvement and well-being improvement we can expect as we design and build and modify our homes to be warmer, healthier and drier. You can read it here

The interim findings “indicate that installation of a heat pump through the [Warmer Kiwi Homes] programme results in households that are more comfortable in their homes, with living areas that are materially warmer and drier. These benefits occur despite the treated households reducing (or at least not increasing) their electricity use. In addition, some households will have saved on gas use, a factor that is not incorporated into our study. Thus the comfort, temperature and dampness benefits have been achieved at the same time as energy use is likely to have been reduced.”


Over a fifth of New Zealanders find their homes to be too cold and damp. EECA’s Warmer Kiwi Homes (WKH) programme aims to make New Zealand homes warmer, drier, and healthier, while improving their energy efficiency. The programme includes provision of clean heating devices (primarily heat pumps) to household living areas that do not have such heating. We examine impacts that WKH heat pump provision has on household outcomes including comfort and wellbeing, indoor environmental outcomes and electricity use. The evaluation covers 127 households in Auckland/Waikato, Wellington and Christchurch who applied for a heat pump through WKH in 2021. Evaluation methods include two qualitative household surveys, a house survey, indoor environmental quality readings from a monitor in the living area, and electricity use measured using smart meter data. Timing of heat pump installation was effectively randomized by the onset of COVID-19, enhancing the study’s statistical precision. The qualitative and quantitative data show that houses became more comfortable, warmer and less damp following heat pump installation relative to a house without a heat pump yet installed; CO2 levels also fell. These gains were achieved despite a likely fall in energy use.

Motu Working Paper 22-02 Warmer Kiwis Study: Interim Report An impact evaluation of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme Caroline Fyfe, Arthur Grimes, Shannon Minehan, Phoebe Taptiklis January 2022

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