Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Solid fuel burners unmasked


Solid fuel burners unmasked

4 November 2005

Solid fuel burners are more widely used than official figures suggest, says building industry research and testing provider BRANZ.

A BRANZ project measuring energy use in a random sample of 400 homes throughout New Zealand has found that slightly more than half of the households (52%) used solid fuel burners, which run on wood and coal.

BRANZ principal scientist Nigel Isaacs said the House Energy End-use Project (HEEP) found that solid fuel burners accounted for about 15% of energy consumed by households.

“This is a huge leap on the 5% indicated in the Ministry of Economic Development’s Energy Data File, the official view of energy use in New Zealand,” Mr Isaacs said.

He said the 10-year project had monitored consumption of all fuel types in order to be as accurate and comprehensive as possible. This had required the development of methods to monitor both portable LPG heaters and solid fuel burners – a first time this has been done anywhere in the world. Other studies had focused on electricity and gas-fuelled space heating because such appliances were widely used and their output was easy to monitor and analyse.

“Solid fuel burners appear to be at least as important as electricity for space heating. They are generally larger heat sources than portable gas or electric heaters, so a not unexpected consequence is that they are also the warmest, with houses heated by open fires being the coolest,” he said.

The project also found that most households used their solid fuel burners at low output levels - typically between 0.5 kW and 4 kW - whereas testing for efficiency was generally carried out at full load, usually between 12 kW and 20 kW.

“This may well mean that the emissions from new solid fuel burners as they are used in houses are greater than when the appliance was tested in the laboratory.”

Mr Isaacs said the difference between test level output for appliance certification and actual output in the home had implications for government efforts to improve air quality.

“The HEEP findings will help develop better targeted environmental policies at a regional and national level. They also suggest that policies affecting solid fuel burners will have a bigger impact than previously believed.”

One reason solid fuel burners were a popular choice was that few houses had a mains gas connection – natural gas is only available in 14% of New Zealand houses, according to Statistics NZ’s ‘Household Economic Survey’.

The Household Energy End-use Project sampled 400 houses throughout the country to get a comprehensive understanding of how New Zealanders heated their homes and used energy. The 400 houses had 440 hot water cylinders, 65 wetbacks, 206 solid fuel burners, 42 open fires and 175 portable heaters. The project has been gathering information about patterns of seasonal home heating and room temperature variations.

The report also provides a comprehensive overview of household electricity uses, with power measurements taken from nearly 14,000 appliances.

It found that New Zealand homes have an average of 33 appliances, although one house had 82 appliances. The most popular appliance is the television, with nearly two per household.

The HEEP Year 9 Executive Summary and full report (140 pages) can be downloaded for free from the BRANZ website or from the BRANZ Bookshop.

Long term funding support for this work has come from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, and Building Research.

The research has been carried out by a team lead by BRANZ Ltd, with CRESA, CRL Energy Ltd and John Jowett (Consultant Statistician)


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tegel: Chicken Prices On The Rise But It’s Still The Favourite Protein For Kiwi Families

A combination of domestic and international factors is forcing New Zealand’s largest poultry supplier Tegel to raise its prices from July. The roughly 10% price rise is a result of ongoing cost pressures on the industry, including increases in labour... More>>

Hospitality NZ: Hospitality Wages Jump 9% To Pass Living Wage
Wages and salaries across the hospitality sector continue to increase despite businesses having to battle through some of the toughest trading periods in living memory... More>>

Climate Leaders Coalition: Launches New Statement Of Ambition, Appoints New CEO Convenor

The Climate Leaders Coalition is tonight officially launching a new Statement of Ambition to accelerate business action on climate change... More>>

MYOB: New Data Shows Increase In SMEs Experiencing Stress And Anxiety

The lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a surge in the number of local SME owners and operators experiencing stress and anxiety, according to new research from business management platform, MYOB... More>>

Carbonz: Cashing In On Carbon: The New Marketplace Helping Native Forest To Thrive

The country’s first voluntary carbon credit marketplace, Carbonz, is here to restore native biodiversity and help Aotearoa reach its carbon zero goals by selling the first carbon credits exclusively from native forest... More>>
Entrust District: Dividend Will Be Welcomed After Another Tough Year
We’ve all heard of the saying; “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” but for Aucklanders within the Entrust District, getting their share of Entrust’s 2022 annual dividend payment really is as good as it sounds... More>>