About 30% of a kiwi household energy bill is spent on keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Energy bills tend to spike in winter because of increased heating, and you may also notice a cost increase in summer if you use air conditioning. A well-insulated home can reduce the seasonal variations in your energy bill, but most people want to know:
The average New Zealand home is actually under-insulated, and older homes tend to be particularly vulnerable. Insulation reduces the transfer of heat into (or out of) your home by trapping tiny pockets of air and slowing down the movement of heat. This means that you need less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature, thereby reducing energy costs.
Studies estimate that the average homeowner can save 15% on heating and cooling costs (11% of total energy costs) by adding proper insulation. According to NZ Compare, the average annual power bill for a medium-sized home in New Zealand is about $2,200. If you cut your energy bill by 11%, that’s an annual saving of roughly $250.
To get the most bang for your buck, we recommend starting with the ceiling. Because heat rises, up to 40% of your home’s heat can actually be lost through the ceiling. For more energy savings, you’ll also want to make sure all exterior walls and floors are properly insulated.
As another consideration: Insulation is among top priorities for prospective home buyers, so a well-insulated home commands a higher market value. Recent studies estimate that when homeowners insulate their attics, they see at least a break-even increase in their home’s value.
For most kiwis, an insulation upgrade is worth the cost. This simple improvement reduces energy bills and increases home value, so that you are guaranteed to recoup your costs (and then some!), while also reducing your home’s carbon footprint.