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Energy Efficiency In Houses Reserch

2 December 2005

Research To Establish Best Way To Promote Uptake Of Energy Efficiency In Houses

Building Research, the building and construction sector’s leading research investment organisation, and the Centre for Housing Research, Aotearoa New Zealand (CHRANZ) are to jointly fund research to establish what measures could best encourage the uptake of energy efficiency features for new and existing houses in New Zealand.

Terrence Aschoff, CHRANZ Manager says, “While there is information available on the energy efficiency of new and existing houses and associated health and other benefits, what we don’t know is how to best encourage homeowners to build new houses and to bring existing houses up to clean and efficient energy standards.

“This project aims to establish how to positively encourage the uptake of energy efficiency by establishing the relative impact of market prices, incentives and regulatory measures on those making decisions about building a new house or renovating an existing property.”

There is $75,000 available for this project; CHRANZ has provided $37,500 from its 2005/06 research budget and Building Research has matched that contribution from the Building Research Levy that it invests in order to help provide credible solutions for the future success of New Zealand’s built environment.

Building Research has funded a number of key energy efficiency projects over the last decade including the HEEP (Household Energy End-use Project) longitudinal project, which is now in its ninth year, and on house insulation. It was also instrumental in establishing the BEACON Pathway project to find affordable and attractive ways to make New Zealand homes more sustainable.

Building Research’s Levy Investment Manager, Dr John Duncan says, “Essentially, we want to establish what barriers exist to homeowners improving the energy efficiency of their properties and then to work out how best to encourage them to that end.

“We know from the HEEP project that every 1% improvement in energy efficiency in New Zealand homes would result in annual national benefits of at least $17 million less in energy cost to the consumer and reduction in CO2 emissions by 0.1%, so the potential benefits of increased efficiency are substantial. What is likely to be of interest to homeowners are which initiatives provide the biggest benefits in terms of saving money and providing a better quality of life, for the least cost.”

CHRANZ is issuing an invitation to tender to researchers and research organisations and will be responsible for managing a tender process, managing the research contract and publishing the research results. The invitation to tender is available on the CHRANZ web site www.chranz.co.nz and Government Electronic Tendering System.

The project is expected to be completed and published in July/August next year.

ENDS

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