New Zealand homes warmer and healthier with 100 thousand retrofits
The Government's flagship insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, has passed 100,000 installations of insulation and efficient heaters, making homes warmer and healthier.
“Since its launch in 2018, Warmer Kiwi Homes has played a key role in our government’s action to tackle energy hardship and make homes healthier for New Zealanders and their families,” Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said.
“It’s gratifying to see so many people have taken advantage of the heating and insulation grants on offer. One hundred thousand retrofits in four years shows there was real need in the community. It’s fantastic that so many more New Zealanders are enjoying warmer, drier, healthier homes, while reducing their energy costs.”
Warmer Kiwi Homes, run by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), offers Government grants to cover 80%of the insulation costs and up to 80% of the cost of an efficient heater to eligible lower-income homeowners. Further top ups from community organisations in some centres have made the cost of insulation and heating even lower or no-cost.
Megan Woods noted that low-income families, young children, and older Kiwis are especially vulnerable to the impacts of living in cold, damp homes.
In addition to this milestone, today also marks the publication of Motu’s independent evaluation of the programme, which has been undertaken over the last two winters.
“The households that participated in the study reported an overwhelming increase in comfort and satisfaction with their home, and reduced their electricity use by 16% over the winter months, so they are spending less on power bills – hugely important during the current global cost of living crisis,” Megan Woods said.
“This programme makes such a difference to the wellbeing of people, with reduced risk of respiratory illness, and fewer doctor’s visits and hospitalisations, saving an estimated $15 million a year in avoided health costs,” Megan Woods said.
Since the programme’s launch, the number of companies contracted to deliver the retrofits has grown, from 14 companies delivering insulation to 75 now providing insulation and or heating installs around the country.
“It’s estimated there are more than 200 people now directly employed across this sector to deliver the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme.
“Warmer Kiwi Homes also supports our regional economies by providing a pipeline of work to the industry. And with over 85% of the insulation products being made in New Zealand, we are supporting jobs right across the supply chain,” Megan Woods said.
Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says energy-efficient homes are good for the planet and good for the health and wellbeing of the people that live in them.
“Hundreds of thousands of people now have warmer homes and more energy efficient heating options, thanks to years of government programmes supported by the Green Party.
“Home insulation is a great example of how the government is working with communities to ensure the transition to a low-emissions economy makes peoples’ day-to-day lives better too. And through lower power bills and less demand on the electricity system to burn fossil fuels on cold nights, it’s also good for our climate.
“Warmer homes, lower bills, and less pollution – that’s what I call a winning trifecta,” James Shaw said.
Home insulation is part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Labour and Green parties.
Warmer Kiwi Homes offers grants of 80% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor heating, and up to 80% of the cost of an approved efficient heater, to eligible homeowners. To check eligibility, visit www.warmerkiwihomes.govt.nz.
Motu (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research) have conducted an independent evaluation of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme over the winters of 2021 and 2022. This evaluation includes a key focus on heat pumps, with 164 households participating in the study which included surveys, indoor environment monitoring (temperature, humidity and CO2), and analysis of electricity use. A full cost-benefit analysis of the programme was also conducted.