New insulation requirements mean smarter living
Tougher insulation standards, now in place in many parts of New Zealand, will mean warmer, healthier and cheaper-to-run homes.
The new requirements, including double glazing in a lot of regions, are the most significant improve-ments to the energy efficiency of new homes in 30 years. They:
- took effect in the South Island and the North Island's Central Plateau from 1 November 2007
- come into force in the North Island south of Auckland from July 2008 and for Auckland north from October 2008.
The new requirements mean houses will have to be built to use 30 percent less energy than was previously necessary to stay at a comfortable indoor temperature. So while the investment will add modest costs to new homes ($3,000 to $5,000 approximately), these will be recouped through lower gas and electricity bills in 3 to 7 years.
The benefits continue long after the insulation has been repaid, with projected annual power savings for households of between $1,800 (Dunedin) and $760 (Auckland), as well as the increased capital value of better-insulated homes. Health benefits also come with warmer, drier homes - fewer respiratory illnesses and fewer visits to the doctor. Environmental benefits are another spin-off because when less energy is used, less energy needs to be produced by burning fossil fuels (a process that emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere leading to climate change).
A new booklet released at the end of October, called Your Guide to $marter Insulation, outlines the new insulation requirements and the technical details involved to assist consumers, builders, designers and others who are building or renovating.
Copies of Your Guide to $marter Insulation are available by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 0800 242 243. Or download the booklet from www.smarterhomes.org.nz