Energy Efficiency (H1) Changes 2023: Implications for New Zealand Homeowners
New Zealand is embracing significant changes in its building code, particularly concerning energy efficiency with implementing the Energy Efficiency (H1) Changes 2023-—expect modifications to make homes warmer, drier, and healthier and ultimately reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.
The team here at Cain Built understand that these requirements bring positive benefits, but they also entail implications for homeowners in terms of increased costs.
Key Dates and changes
The Energy Efficiency (H1) Changes 2023 have been implemented in two phases. The first phase commenced on November 3, 2022, focusing on roof, window, wall, and underfloor insulation requirements. The second phase took effect on May 1, 2023, addressing further insulation requirements for walls, floors, windows, doors, and skylights.
Implications for Homeowners
1. Increased Building Costs:
The updated building code mandates higher insulation performance across various building elements, increasing homeowners’ costs. The R-Values, which measure thermal resistance, have been raised, meaning more insulation and higher-quality materials are needed to meet the new requirements. While this may increase upfront construction expenses, it also ensures that homes are well-insulated and energy-efficient in the long run.
2. Warmer, Drier Homes:
The Energy Efficiency (H1) Changes 2023’s primary objective is to create warmer, drier, healthier homes. These changes will prevent heat loss and minimise cold spots within the house by enforcing stricter insulation standards and improving overall comfort during colder months. The reduction in moisture and dampness will also contribute to better indoor air quality and reduced risks of respiratory health issues.
3. Enhanced Energy Savings and Environmental Impact:
Homeowners in New Zealand will ultimately enjoy a 40% decrease in their heating energy consumption, thanks to advanced insulation methods. This not only saves them money but also contributes to the country’s efforts to fight climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
Navigating the Changes
Homeowners can prepare for these changes by working closely with Cain Built because we are familiar with the updated building code requirements. As the insulation standards vary across the country’s six climate zones, it’s crucial you talk to Cain Built about assessing the specific needs of the location where the home is being built, which for Auckland is climate zone 1.
Cain Built can suggest potential workarounds to help tailor insulation choices to meet the necessary R-Values without sacrificing cost-effectiveness.
The Energy Efficiency (H1) Changes 2023 represent a significant leap forward in New Zealand’s commitment to creating more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes. While these changes may increase home building costs, the long-term benefits of warmer, drier homes and reduced energy consumption are substantial—not least for the climate.