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New insulation and glazing requirements on the horizon

The Government has announced a Building for Climate Change programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the construction and operation of buildings.

The first Building for Climate Change initiatives, to extend insulation and glazing requirements in new homes, are expected to be consulted on in early 2021. In the future, it is likely that changes will also need to be made to existing buildings.

Changes will be made to current building laws, targets will be set for energy use and carbon emissions, and incentives will be introduced for energy-efficient, low-carbon buildings.

“Energy efficiency and carbon emissions will become core considerations when building – just as important as cost and aesthetics.” said Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa.

The Government has recently signed up to a joint statement with Australia, Canada and the United States to work together to develop building code responses to the changing climate. The Government will gather information and insights from other countries to help develop responses to climate change in New Zealand.

You can find more information here.




Photovoltaic calculator back online

EECA’s solar calculator is back up on the Energywise website.

The solar tool assesses the estimated financial return of a PV system for a house. It shows the payback time (the number of years before the savings from the system outweigh the purchase and installation cost) and also estimated earnings over 25 years. This is the financial loss/gain from installing and running a PV system in your home, over a 25-year period.

The tool doesn’t factor in non-financial reasons for using PV, such as a desire for energy resilience or independence.

The tool makes it clear that the payback period (when savings from the system outweigh the purchase and installation costs) depends on the up-front costs, the price you pay for electricity, and how much electricity you can use during the day when the electricity is being generated. The tool doesn’t take account of batteries.

The calculator was developed by EPECentre/University of Canterbury and incorporates solar data from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

You can find the solar tool here.

Other PV calculators can be found on the BRANZ website and the SEANZ website.



COVID-19 advice for the building sector

MBIE is providing guidance for construction on its Building Performance website.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is updating its website with COVID-19 information here.

WorkSafe has useful information, including around notifications required, here.

The main government website with COVID-19 advice is here.