Achieving Lifelong Energy Savings.

~As we head towards the winter season, we’re being inundated with news about rising energy costs.  The story is going to run; the Government is investigating, the Prime Minister’s already weighed in and the Power Companies are blaming Transpower’s increased costs due to upgrades to the National grid. What is truly bringing the cost hikes isn’t clear. What is clear is that it’s going to cost us more and more to keep our homes warm this winter.

According to the New Zealand Herald “The net effect will be many households paying 7 to 8 per cent more for their power, although some face increases of up to 24 per cent”. EECA Energywise offers a host of smart tips for saving power – incredibly they estimate that showering for 5 minutes instead of 15 could save a family of four about $950 a year!

Eamonn Kilgariff of HeatSavers, Wellington says, “Insulation is not a luxury it is a necessity in New Zealand. While it’s a feel good spend to buy a heat pump and get instant gratification and heat; it sets off a different kind of shiver when the power bill arrives”. David Rees of HeatSavers Auckland agrees, “We’re seeing it here too; smart people are getting in early to get their homes insulated because paying even more for Power is looking unsustainable”.

The Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme offers under floor and ceiling insulation for at risk people who met the criteria. But is it enough? Kilgariff says, “We had a bit of a cold snap last week and I noticed everyone started wearing an extra layer. Homes are the same… if you’re feeling cold, you don’t just put on socks and a hat – you layer up”.

Rees says, “A chilly bin works because it provides surrounding insulation… we all know what happens when you leave the lid off. If you don’t have wall insulation along with ceiling and underfloor – you’re letting heat escape and you’ll be paying more and more.”

Kilgariff has some interesting maths, “Most people think the heat dissipates out of their windows but the reality is that of the total wall area of your home, only 20-25% are your windows.  A good thermal curtain can be more than twice as effective at retaining heat as double glazing, but the thermal resistance of plaster board is not much more than an open door, which has no resistance to heat loss. If your home doesn’t have insulated walls, that 75-80% of your wall area leaves a huge amount of room for heat to be lost”.

He continues, “We saw the proof last year with the Defence Force. They wanted to quantify the difference once the walls were done so we insulated a room and hired in an independent engineer to measure the actual difference in Kilowatt consumption before and after. The insulated room, without any curtains used 31% less power during the half hour. Translate that to where you have thermostatic control, or even just across your whole home and the savings are huge”.

But how expensive is it?  Says Kilgariff, “It does depend on the size and condition of your house.  Under section 112 of the Building act, we have to leave your property in the same or better condition (as does any company installing external wall insulation). That means we have to check your weather boards, windows etc…  to make sure your home is suitable. Outside of any remedial work we might discover, for many homes it’s as little as $1 per day with our competitive finance options. Considering the cost of power, it doesn’t take long to recoup your investment and start realising significant savings. And the sooner you take action, the sooner you have that money in your pocket instead of your Power company’s.”

Says Rees, “Many people fund it through their mortgage. So while you’re drip feeding our payment, you’re already saving money on power”. And Kilgariff agrees, “Not just that, but Real Estate Agents tell us that one of the early questions they’re fielding is “Is the house insulated?”, so you can see, having a fully insulated home matters when it comes to selling”.

If you’d like to find out more about insulation your home, contact HeatSavers for a free, no-obligation quotation. For health, wealth and well-being, it’s an investment well worth checking out.