The cost of energy is rising, so future-proofing homes against expensive energy consumption makes good sense. By using efficient water heating, space heating, lighting and insulation in your home, energy costs can be reduced.
And by choosing appliances with low energy consumption, not only will monthly power bills reduce, but carbon footprints will also be minimised.
In the end, future-proofing homes for Energy Efficiency means less energy is used and, therefore, more money saved.
Here are some things builders need to consider when building, renovating or improving clients’ homes:
Building code requirements around insulation have been tightened. All new homes will need to have higher levels of insulation while, for older homes to have the same level of comfort, they will eventually need to be upgraded.
FPB products, such as Pink Batts Ultra, well exceed even these new requirements, ensuring the home is warm and dry in winter.
Visit www.comfortablehomes.co.nz for more information.
Double glazing windows is an incredibly effective way to reduce heat loss in the winter and to keep homes cool in the summer.
In the future most new homes will be double glazed — currently in some North Island cities this is rare. This gives an opportunity to create a point of difference in homes, while helping to reduce monthly power bills.
Visit www.metroglasstech.co.nz and www.aslnz.co.nz for more information.
Solar hot water heating
A large portion of monthly power bills come from heating the water in hot water cylinders. By integrating solar hot water heating into homes, energy costs can drastically reduce.
What’s more, installing a solar water heating system could qualify the home owner for a rebate from the Electricity Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA).
It is important to use a solar accredited supplier as they give assurances about the quality and efficiency of the system.
Visit www.solarsmarter.org.nz for more information.
Energy efficient appliances
You’d be surprised at the cost of running various home appliances. Choosing appliances that rate highly for energy efficiency is key for all homes. But even small steps can make a big difference.
Changing the five most used light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs will save between $70 and $100 a year! Plus they last seven to eight times longer than normal bulbs. Visit
www.electrolux.co.nz for more information.
Home Energy Rating Scheme
The Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) was introduced into New Zealand at the end of 2007. It gives home owners the opportunity to get a star rating applied to their house based on how energy efficient the home is.
Passive solar heating, water heating, insulation and glazing will all be components contributing to the rating the home is given.
Although voluntary at first, this may become compulsory in the future. Homes with high energy star ratings will fetch a premium price as consumers become more focused on energy savings in the home.
Other recommended solutions:
• Indoor heating system (eg, heat pump, under-floor heating and central heating)
• Continuous flow hot water system and water heat pumps
• Insulated concrete floor slab
• Hot water cylinder wrap
• Insulated garage door
• Bottled or residential gas supply
• Attention to window coverings or solar protection. Visit www.luxaflex.co.nz for more information
• Efficient lighting. Visit www.electricitycommission.govt.nz andwww.lighthouselighting.co.nz for more information
• Smart metering.
Visit www.energywise.govt.nz for more information on electricity and energy efficiency.