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Kāinga Ora testing solar panels

1,000 home target by 2024.

The public housing provider Kāinga Ora (KO) is starting a test of solar panels, with 100 public houses in the Wellington region to have PV systems installed this year.

KO will monitor the effectiveness of the systems for up to two years. One of the main aims of the scheme is to reduce energy costs for its clients. Savings in Wellington could be around $700 to $850 per year.

More solar systems are likely to be installed across the country, with a figure of 1,000 quoted by 2024. The solar panels will be installed on selected new homes, retrofitted homes and apartments.

You can read more on the Kāinga Ora website.



High performance details published

PHINZ construction details.

WBRANZ has published, as External Research Report ER70, a large body of high-performance construction details from residential projects successfully built in New Zealand.

The details are taken from certified Passive Houses in New Zealand, so they have been consented and constructed. They have been analysed thermally in detail to ISO standards. CAD data for these generic details is provided, along with R-value calculations.

Making these high-performance details freely available will assist the building industry to design and build more energy-efficient and thermally-comfortable homes for New Zealanders.

ER70 PHINZ High-performance construction details handbook (2022) is available for free download.




Appliance efficiency plan released

5-year government programme.
The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program is a joint New Zealand/Australia programme around energy efficiency standards and energy labelling. The aim is to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in new appliances and equipment.

The E3 Prioritisation Plan 2021–22 has been released and will influence the E3 program of work over the next five years. The Plan shortlists 34 products/projects and identifies 26 of these as top priority.

One of the top priority areas where New Zealand will take the lead is a project on residential water heating, focusing on information and tools for consumers.

New Zealand is also focusing on a medium term (1–3 years) programme around electric vehicle charging smartness and efficiency. New Zealand is currently leading a project to identify electric vehicle charging smartness, which will have the potential for significant energy savings.

You can find information about the E3 plan here.



NZ sea rise tool launched

Local projections available.

A new online tool allows New Zealanders to see projections for sea level rise in their neighbourhood up to the year 2300. The tool could help local authorities, homeowners and businesses better assess evolving risks from flooding and erosion.

The tool provides projections using the new IPCC AR6 data and takes account of vertical land movements for the entire coastline at 2 km spacing.

NZ SeaRise is a five-year research programme funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund. It brings together 30 local and international experts from Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science, NIWA, University of Otago and the Antarctic Science Platform.

An update to the Coastal Hazards Guidance for Local Government on how to use the new projections for planning has been co-produced with the Ministry for the Environment.

You can find the tool here and read more about the NZ SeaRise programme here.




Draft adaptation plan out

Coping with climate change.

The Government has released as a consultation document a draft of New Zealand’s first National Adaptation Plan. “Homes, buildings and places” is one of the sections in the plan.

The plan outlines the potential scale of impact – about 675,000 (one in seven) New Zealanders live in areas prone to flooding (nearly $100 billion worth of residential buildings). A further 72,065 people live in areas that are projected to be subject to extreme sea-level rise. The numbers will increase as the climate changes. 

Consultation will close on 3 June. The final National Adaptation Plan will be published in August 2022.

You can find more information here or download a PDF of the full document here.