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Energy watch on Dunedin homes

Energy watch on Dunedin homes

Dunedin North MP and Energy Minister Pete Hodgson took part today [Sunday] in the first installation of energy use monitoring equipment in a Dunedin house.

Mr Hodgson joined staff of Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) installing monitoring equipment in the first of 14 Dunedin homes for the Household Energy End Use Project (HEEP).

"HEEP is an important research project giving us vital information on energy use trends in New Zealand households," Mr Hodgson said. "This information helps us understand energy demand and the areas that need improvement if we are going to make wiser use of energy in our homes.

“Total household energy use has grown by 18 percent since 1990, with energy use per household increasing by 4 percent. We have hunches about what is consuming the extra energy, but HEEP will give us solid data to underpin home energy efficiency initiatives.

“Thanks to HEEP we know that appliances on standby are responsible for about 10 percent of household electricity use, costing about $100 a year for the average house. We know that nearly a third of New Zealand homes are colder in winter than the World Health Organisation healthy minimum temperature of 16 degrees; that about 30 percent of hot water cylinders are more than 25 years old and very few of those have cylinder wraps or pipe lagging; and that low income families are spending a larger proportion of their income on energy than they did a decade ago.

“The better we can understand energy demand, the more we can develop ways to get the most out of our energy supplies. That saves money for consumers and avoids unnecessary investment in new energy sources," Mr Hodgson said. The HEEP project is in its seventh year and is supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Building Research Levy. By early 2005 data will have been collected from over 400 randomly selected New Zealand houses and a model explaining the characteristics of energy use in homes by location will be developed.

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