Sustainability options for retrofitting New Zealand houses: Energy

Ian McChesney, Lynda Amitrano.

This is a desktop study of all the existing research programmes that address the benefits of retrofitting house including: Housing, Insulation and Health (HIH) study – Wellington School of Medicine; Peak Load Reduction study – Orion; Energy and Public Housing Study 2003 – Otago University; Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofits – EECA; Heat Pump / Insulation Assessment – CEA; Private Dwelling Retrofit Study 1997-2000 – BRANZ.

Most programmes are aimed at low income households and include a “standard package” of measures – comprising ceiling insulation, basic underfloor foil and draught-proofing of doors. A combined efficiency/heating appliance package appears to provide better outcomes than a basic energy efficiency package alone, especially in colder parts of the country. Retrofitting needs be less of a standardised package across the country, with more attention given to geographic location, the characteristics of the house, and individual household circumstances.