LED Expansion Not The Lightbulb Moment Needed To Tackle New Zealand’s Cold, Inefficient Housing

Credit: Original article can be found here

Budget 2023 provides a $400 million boost for the Warmer
Kiwi Homes programme – extending insulation and heating
improvements for four years, and expanding it to cover
things like energy efficient hot water heaters and

“Investing in our homes helps alleviate the
prevalence of respiratory illness in our children, helps
whānau live comfortably and productively, while cutting
energy costs during a cost of living crisis, and pollution
during a climate crisis. It’s a no brainer,“ says Green
Building Council chief executive Andrew

“Continuing and expanding this programme is
great news for thousands of New Zealanders living in cold
unhealthy homes. We’ve long called for an expansion to
what the programme offers, so it’s great to see the
addition of basic measures like LEDs and hot-water heat

The funding boost is an encouraging sign
that New Zealand is finally starting to prioritise our cold,
inefficient homes. It is vital investment in our people and
our future. However, we’re yet to see the level of
ambition needed.

“The Warmer Kiwi Homes remains a
very minor step forward when we should be rapidly making
major improvements to New Zealand

Increasingly Governments around the world
such as Ireland, France, Canada, and the USA, are investing
billions in deep home retrofit programmes as a way of
improving social outcomes, decreasing energy use, and
slashing carbon emissions.

“Spending $100 million a
year on these basic home improvements is a drop in the
bucket when we consider the rapid deep retrofits required
for us to meet our climate targets. We should be spending $1
billion a year on this.”

A recent report from BERL
found international retrofit programmes are slashing energy
use with examples like France seeing reductions as high as

“We need to be ensuring everyone has at least
double glazing. We should be removing gas lines from our
homes. We should be installing better wall insulation and
efficient ventilation. Basic things that our sector failed
to deliver when these homes were built, need to be added in
over the next decade.”

“We already live in a
country where peak winter energy use forces us to burn coal
at Huntly Power station, and our electricity providers have
to issue usage warnings.

“Our future will demand
homes that perform well. By delaying deep improvements now,
we risk having to revisit these homes again in future for a
second round of improvements.”

Over 150 leading
organisations have joined The
Homes We Deserve
campaign calling for political parties
to commit to an ambitious deep retrofit programme for at
least 200,000 homes if elected later this year. A recent
poll found a third of voters would consider shifting their
vote for a party who promised to tackle the sorry state of
our existing homes.

“There’s huge appetite for
tackling our woeful housing in New Zealand, and the longer
we delay, the more expensive this vital programme of work is
going to

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