Lower power bills

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The factsheets, case studies and articles in this section are about lowering your household’s energy use - and power bills.

You spend most of your energy on heating your home and your water.

Typical energy use

This means you’ll get the most energy savings from ensuring you have a warm house (design for the sun, insulation, double glazing, draught proofing and heating) and an efficient water heating system.

You will also get good savings from using energy efficient lighting and appliances.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/20)

    Choosing Between Heat Pump and Solar Hot Water Systems (PDF 32KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers where solar hot water works well, where heat pump hot water works well, and considerations for both solar and heat pump hot water.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/3)

    Energy Efficient Lighting (PDF 71KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers types of energy efficient lighting and why not to use downlights.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/14)

    Saving Energy With Appliances (PDF 41KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers choosing energy efficient appliances and appliances that use electricity when you think they are off.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/17)

    Using Less Energy (PDF 63KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers energy saving tips, and managing your energy with an Energy Monitoring Device.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/15)

    Saving with Hot Water (PDF 44KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers wrapping your own hot water cylinder and lagging pipes, a case study of hot water cylinder wraps, and types of hot water systems.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/12)

    Passive Solar Design (PDF 198KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers position on site, orientation and room layout, window location and size, and balancing winter warmth and summer cool.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/7)

    Introduction to Heating Your Home (PDF 234KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers the relationship between temperature and moisture, the difference between radiant and convective heat, main and secondary heat sources, combining water and space heating, and choosing the right heater.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/24)

    Heat Pump Hot Water Systems (PDF 35KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers when to consider a heat pump hot water system and tips for an efficient heat pump hot water system


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/31)

    Solar Hot Water Systems (PDF 185KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers when solar hot water is suitable, types of solar hot water system, timers and controls, panel orientation and angle, sizing of system components, reducing heat losses, and the importance of good installation.


  • 03-Jul-2013 (Publication Factsheet/29)

    Photovoltaic Systems (PDF 89KB)

    This Beacon factsheet covers what a photovoltaic system is, choosing the right system, choosing solar modules, orientation and pitch, and maintenance.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/17)

    Solar Water Heating a Challenge But Worthwhile (PDF 194KB)

    Covers one householder's experience of the process of getting solar water heating installed.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/16)

    Improved Heating in Papakowhai Renovations (PDF 152KB)

    Covers how more efficient heating combined with full insulation led to healthier indoor temperatures and energy savings in Papakowhai Renovation case studies.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/15)

    Warmth and Energy Savings in Papakowhai Renovations (PDF 244KB)

    Covers how full insulation retrofit and efficient heating improved temperature and energy saving in Papakowhai Renovation case studies.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/13)

    Achieving Good Solar Water Heater Performance (PDF 234KB)

    Three Beacon demonstration homes used and monitored solar water heating with mixed success.  This case study explains what worked and what didn't.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/12)

    Lighting Design in the Waitakere and Rotorua NOW Homes (PDF 92KB)

    Covers energy efficient lighting design in two demonstration homes.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/9)

    Low Energy and Affordable: The HomeSmart Home (PDF 81KB)

    Covers how the energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in the HomeSmart Home contributed to its very low power bills.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/3)

    Appliances Chew Up Energy in the Waitakere NOW Home (PDF 27KB)

    Covers energy use for appliances in the extensively monitored Waitakere NOW Home.


  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/2)

    Saving Energy in the Waitakere NOW Home (PDF 161KB)

    Covers energy saving in Beacon's first demonstration home, the Waitakere NOW Home.


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HSS High Standard of Sustainability® benchmarks for energy use:

Climate zone 1

  • New homes:5800 kWh/yr
  • Existing homes: 6200 kWh/yr

Climate zone 2

  • New homes: 6300kWh/yr
  • Existing homes: 7300 kWh/yr

Climate zone 3

  • New homes:7300 kWh/yr
  • Existing homes: 8400 kWh/yr

Climate zone map

Logo, HSS