Nzherald.co.nz has reported (03/1102014) on the benefits of investing in energy efficiency in the home.
For most people, electricity, water and gas bills have to be seriously budgeted for. If you are thinking of buying a home, it is advisable to consider the ongoing running costs.
Most homes in New Zealand use just under $2500 worth of power each year (around 25kWh of electricity per day). If you consider that over 25 years, the term of an average mortgage, it comes to $62,500. This figure does not take into account ongoing annual price rises.
The energy efficiency of a home can impact ongoing running costs. A report from the World Future council highlighted that 50% of the means to achieve 100% renewable energy for San Francisco came down to energy efficiency.
The 'Zero Energy Home' in Point Chevalier, Auckland requires no electricity or gas for heating. Instead, it relies on a concrete pad which absorbs the sun and slowly releases heat in the evening when it is required. This, combined with good home insulation and smart ventilation, means that a heat source is not required.
If a concrete pad is not possible to install, home insulation and draught proofing should be prioritised. Double glazing can be retrofitted which reduced condensation, cuts noise and keeps the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Electrical space heating contribute up to a third of the average power bill so it is worth considering a smaller model.
Heating hot water contributes another third of your energy used. For as little as $2500 you can install heat pump water heaters.