Designing homes to conserve energy and use it efficiently, from sources that cause least environmental harm.


Energy and water use can be reduced significantly, without any reduction in building occupants’ quality of life, by specifying efficient appliances.

Appliances such as whiteware, heated towel rails, televisions and DVDs in an average New Zealand house can account for 30–40% of energy use. Therefore, any reduction in energy use associated with appliances can have a significant impact in terms of both national sustainability and cost to the householder.

Energy can be saved by:

  • selecting energy-efficient appliances
  • sizing appliances for the household’s needs
  • locating appliances to minimise energy use (e.g. keeping refrigerators out of direct sunlight)
  • operating appliances efficiently, e.g. turning them off rather than running in standby mode.

Efficient appliances are making an impact

The move to energy efficient appliances is having a significant impact on household energy use. EECA quotes data showing that in the 2014–2015 financial year, buying appliances that are more energy efficient saved New Zealand the equivalent of the amount of electricity used by Invercargill – more than 209 gigawatt-hours. This saved consumers $50 m and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by roughly the amount of CO2 from 10,000 cars in a year.

EECA says that more than 7 million appliances and products subject to labelling and regulation were sold in the year to 31 March 2015. Since 2002, energy efficiency labelling and regulation have influenced sales of 54 million products in New Zealand.

Energy costs can also be reduced by shopping around between energy suppliers. There are several websites that can help with online comparisons, including Powerswitch, Glimp and What’s My Number?


Updated: 21 November 2017