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What's new


Energy efficient appliance selector launched

The government’s Energywise website has a new tool in its toolkit – Rightware.

The new resource shows product details, efficiency ratings and annual running costs voluntarily supplied by manufacturers and importers. Appliances include:

  • heat pumps and air conditioners
  • washing machines
  • clothes dryers
  • dishwashers
  • fridges and freezers
  • televisions
  • computer monitors.

Various filters can be used to help selection.Annual running cost calculations are based on an electricity price of $0.25/kWh. You can find more information here.




New grants for home insulation and heating

A new four-year programme will install insulation and heating devices in the homes of low-income households.

The $142 million programme known as Warmer Kiwi Homes will be delivered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

In the first year, grants will be available to cover ceiling and underfloor insulation and ground moisture barriers. The grants could cover two-thirds of the cost. Grants to install heating appliances will be available from July 2019.

To be eligible, households must:

  • have a Community Services Card, OR
  • live in a New Zealand Deprivation Index decile 9 or 10 area, OR
  • be referred through the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Homes Initiative.

Homeowners can apply for insulation grants from 1 July 2018.

Details can be found here.





Better-than-Code KiwiBuild houses would deliver big savings

A new report finds benefits of $331m if KiwiBuild houses are built to achieve a Homestar 6 rating.

The report, Codebreakers: Constructing KiwiBuild homes to a standard above the New Zealand Building Code was written by economic consultancy Sense Partners for the New Zealand Green Building Council. It examines costs and benefits of constructing the planned KiwiBuild homes to New Zealand Building Code minimums, against building to a Homestar 6 level, which means a much more sustainable home.

Building to comply with the requirements of the Homestar 6 rating adds around 2.0–2.6% to costs compared to a home that just meets Building Code minimums. Over the longer term the house will deliver worthwhile net benefits, however.Looking at personal costs (such as reduced water charges in Auckland) as well as reduced social costs such as less waste/fewer carbon emissions, the long-term benefits are over $3,200 for Auckland houses, $3,700 in Wellington and $2,900 in Auckland.

Find more information here.




New version of the Wiring Rules out

An updated version of the key standard AS/NZS 3000 (commonly known as the Wiring Rules) has just been issued.

AS/NZS 3000:2018 Electrical Installations (known as the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules) has been published by Standards New Zealand. This document specifies the electrical installation safety requirements for all premises in New Zealand and Australia.

It is being released in a soft 12-month rollout. The Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 still cite AS/NZS 3000:2007 (including Amendments 1 and 2). This means the 2007 standard must still be used to ensure compliance with the Regulations, until the Regulations are updated to cite the 2018 edition. This is likely to happen in 2019.

The new version of AS/NZS 3000 is designed to be more user-friendly and to clarify a few areas that had been open to interpretation in the old version.
There are a few changes in content too. For example, there are additional wider requirements for the installation of residual current devices (RCDs) in outdoor locations. There are new requirements around recessed downlights, through the citing of AS/NZS 60598.2.2:2016. None of the changes deal with critical safety issues.

Make sure you have the proper document. Standards New Zealand has warned that there is a document circulating on social media purporting to be the new edition of the AS/NZS 3000:2018. This document is not authorised by Standards New Zealand. “Electricians are warned not to use the unauthorised document under any circumstances.”