In New Zealand we are blessed with huge renewable energy sources. Most of our electricity - 55% - is generated by hydro systems, 7.7% is generated by geothermal activity, 2.2% is drawn from wind generation and a very small amount from biomass and other renewable sources (4%). This leaves 33% of electricity generation that is gas or coal fired. Once these non-renewable sources are used, they’re gone for good.
The energy that is used in residential homes makes up 13% of New Zealand's national energy consumption per year, and 33% of all electricity consumed. It is the one area of energy consumption that affects all New Zealanders, and all of us can benefit from better use of energy in our homes.
Improving the energy efficiency of a home obviously benefits the people who live there by having a home that is warmer, healthier, more comfortable and cheaper to run. But the whole country benefits too. Energy efficient housing stock means we reduce the pressure on our health system, we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we won’t need to keep building more and more power generators.
There are many things you can do to make your home healthier while using less energy. Some are free, others require some up-front investment, but all will save you money in the long-run – and will help you do your bit for the environment.