Reducing home energy use accelerates progress towards our climate change goals

Did you know that about 40% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse emissions come from our energy use? Making smarter choices about how and where we use our energy helps reduce those emissions and propels towards our 2050 climate goals.

Home installation plays a big part in reducing home energy use. Fully insulating our homes means that less energy is required to heat and cool them. The advantage of having well insulated homes means whatever effort we put into heating and cooling, remains in the house for even longer. There are numerous other benefits to home insulation, but in this article, we’re going to focus on the importance of clean energy and the and why it’s important we’re all playing our part.

 

What is climate change?

It’s staggering to think that over 40% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from our energy use. We create these greenhouse gases by many of the common activities we conduct daily. Transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, heating, and everyday electricity usage all plays a part in creating greenhouse gases.

Historically, greenhouse gases have been important to the survival of life on earth. These gases act a little like a blanket around the world which keeps warmth from the sun trapped within our ozone. Without this, our planet would freeze, and life would cease to exist. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a drastic rise in gas emissions during the last 70 years as the world’s population has increased and this has started to cause changes in the climate.

Recent years of seeing some of the hottest days on record in New Zealand. We’ve seen an increase in frequency of extreme climate events like earthquakes floods storms and even droughts. As the global climate continues to change, we are likely to see food shortages, mass migration and changes in the ecosystems.

Reducing our energy related emissions will be challenging however New Zealand is actively investing in initiatives that reduce our carbon emissions and transitions to renewable energy.

 

What makes up New Zealand’s energy emissions?

The largest contributor to New Zealand’s energy emissions comes from transportation. Light vehicles such as cars and vans contribute 12.3% of total emmissions with other forms of transport adding an additional 4.4%. New Zealand is already offering the Clean Car Discount scheme which encourages drivers to purchase battery-powered and hybrid vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, manufacturing and construction is a significant contributor making up 8.5% of our total emissions.

Electricity generate makes up an additional 5.9% of our emissions, with households use of energy such as gas and wood use also increasing this by another 2.3%.

Graph showing home energy use in New Zealand

 

New Zealand’s future home energy use

There are a lot of changes planned over the next 30 years to achieve our energy emissions targets. The government has an aspirational goal of eliminating our energy emissions by 2050.

In the future, if you own a car it will be electric. Most the population that live in cities will be using energy-efficient public transport networks. We’ll all be living in smart, automated homes and offices that are energy efficient. Finally, New Zealand will generate it’s electricity through renewable sources.

Have a look at the video put together by EECA that shows that the future in New Zealand will look like.

Home insulation plays a part in reducing home energy use

Moving New Zealand to clear energy sources is key in meeting our emissions reduction targets. It’s all about every Kiwi household making small changes to help us meet our overall goals.

Reducing home energy use helps free up capacity in our electricity grid. This makes electricity is cheaper to produce, dependence on high-emission fuels such as petrol and coal.

Small changes like switching to LED lighting and heat pumps are a great start but ensuring your home is well insulated is probably the best part to creating a more energy-efficient house. Insulation helps create a thermal barrier around your house that separates the outside and inside air.

This thermal envelope makes it easier to heat your home in winter and cool your home in summer. Using less energy heating and cooling your house will save on power and transform your home into an energy-efficient one.

Talk to the team at Absolute Energy today to arrange a free home assessment. You may also be eligible for a grant! In some cases can cover up to 80% of the cost of your insulation. For more information contact us today.

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