NZ Power proposal fails to address fuel poverty
By Anonymous on February 12, 2014

Fuseworks Media (12/2/2014) has reported on concerns that the NZ Power proposal is not addressing the issue of fuel poverty.

The report, released on Monday by Sapere Research Group,says that the Labour and Green Parties have done little to address the issue of fuel poverty in the proposal.

It is thought that many homes in New Zealand would be defined as being in fuel poverty. Britain defines a household being in fuel poverty when it needs to spend more than 10 percent of its income on household energy in order to stay warm.

Andrew King, the Executive Officer of the NZ Property Investors' Federation (NZPIF) says that this report highlights the need to improve home insulation and heating in rental accommodation. This in turn benefits the health of the elderly and children as confirmed in recent research by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman and her colleagues. The research clearly proved the benefits of increasing home heating and home insulation in order to improve the health of children.

King commented that the recent debate on a warrant of fitness for rental properties, which proposes criteria of 27 points, has taken the focus away from this important basic requirement.

Another trial called Warm Homes for Elder New Zealanders proved that subsidised heating reduced the exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary illness. Participants in this trial were given $500 towards electricity costs.

King says that some tenants turn off heating to save money and that they do not always know how to best keep their houses dry and warm. 

Private landlords who are members of the Property Investors' Associations affiliated to NZPIF should provide well maintained properties that are comfortable and safe. It makes good business sense and tenants are able to stay healthier and longer in the property if it meets their needs