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EECA reviews hot water systems

Deadline for submissions is 1 March.

Water heating accounts for around 28% of energy use in New Zealand houses, but it is not always easy for industry or consumers to compare the options:

  • Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for electric and gas storage water heaters are over 20 years old and overdue for review. Other water heaters are not covered by MEPS.
  • There is no agreed or consistent way of comparing products across technologies or incorporating new developments in water heating.

EECA is looking to review its hot water policy so that:

  • regulations cover all hot water systems regardless of technology type
  • energy labelling gives consumers and installers better information
  • there is better alignment of standards and regulations across Australia and New Zealand with potential to use international standards and test methods
  • consumer purchasing behaviour will favour more energy efficient hot water products, reducing household energy bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stakeholders can give feedback on a discussion paper outlining the proposed method for evaluating the performance of hot water systems. The deadline is Monday 1 March 2021.

You can find more information here.




Building ratings coming into force

The first mandatory system is here.

In December 2020 the Government announced the Carbon Neutral Government Programme, requiring the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

In its briefing to the Incoming Minister of Energy and Resources, EECA said that the National Australian Built Environment Rating System New Zealand (NABERSNZ), which it administers, will be mandated for public sector organisations from January 2021 for new and renewed leases.

NABERSNZ “is a system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings. It is an independent tool, backed by the New Zealand government.”

You can find more information about NABERSNZ here.

The Government has also signalled its intention to introduce Energy Performance Certificate ratings for residential buildings.

In the European Union, EPCs are mandatory. They must be available when a residential property is built, sold or rented. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. It contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.

You can read EECA’s briefing to the Incoming Minister of Energy and Resources here.




NZ failing in Paris Agreement

MBIE details our emissions.

MBIE’s briefing document for the incoming Minister of Economic Development says New Zealand is performing poorly at tackling greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically, New Zealand is not currently on track to meet our Paris Agreement obligations through domestic emissions reduction.

“New Zealand has one of the highest emissions per capita in the OECD, and gross emissions have increased 24% since 1990...By contrast, in some other countries (e.g. the UK and Germany) emissions are now below 1990 levels.”

“Under the Paris Agreement (an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), New Zealand committed to reduce emissions to 30% below 2005 levels across the period 2021–2030. In contrast, New Zealand’s gross emissions have remained stubbornly flat over the last decade or more.”

“Meeting our domestic and international emissions reduction obligations and adapting to the physical impacts of climate change will require significant structural and investment decisions to be made over the course of the next three years. Delayed action will likely require more abrupt and costly adjustments in the future.”

You can find a PDF of the briefing document here.




Window closing on weathertight claims

Less than 12 months to go.

Under the current rules, 2021 is the last year that claims can be accepted by the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

A house that is the subject of a claim must have been built (or the leaky alterations completed) before 1 January 2012 and within 10 years of when the claim is brought. If a code compliance certificate was issued, this may be taken as the date the house was built.

You can find more information on the government’s Weathertight Services website here.