New Zealand experienced its highest ever peak in demand for electricity on Monday August 9th, resulting in a widespread power outage.
Up to 20,000 North Island households were left in the dark and cold on one of the coldest nights of the year. Medically dependent customers were advised by Transpower to make back up plans or travel to Waikato Hospital if required, as they did not have enough generation to maintain demand.
Energy analyst Molly Melhuish has warned that electricity demand surges are only going to become more common. An insulated home will not only provide warmth in the event of a power outage, but will also reduce the chances of outages from happening.
Heating an uninsulated home wastes money and electricity as the heat escapes directly out of the walls. Insulation has a small cost to install yet offers its benefits cost-free for decades, quickly paying off the investment.
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment their new proposed insulation standards could save 46-68% on household energy use (geographically dependent), which is thousands of dollars per family a year.
Additional health benefits improve your quality of life, medical bills and reduce costs to the health system by $5 for every dollar spent on insulation, according to Stuff. With climate change pressure and demand for electricity increasing, it is no longer something we can afford to waste. Building new electricity generation and transmission to keep up with demand will cost Aotearoa billions of dollars. If every household consciously does their bit to reduce their energy consumption, we will all benefit from extra availabile electricity and money to invest into new renewable energy generation.
New Zealand is making progress in implementing sustainable efforts and regulations such as Healthy Homes requirements for rentals, Warmer Kiwi Homes, Energy Performance Certificates and Building for Climate Change. Whilst these standards are a good start for the country, educating kiwis and encouraging lower energy lifestyles and mindsets are needed to follow them through.
In addition to insulation, we can prevent future outages by simply turning off lights we don’t need and switching to LED bulbs, using cold, shorter wash cycles, utilising public transport, walking short distances, shopping locally, reducing our dairy and meat consumption, reducing fossil fuel usage, considering solar power and planting trees!
Together, small steps create massive change. Being mindful of your own carbon footprint is a great place to start. Start minimising your costs and maximising your comfort with Green Dog Insulation today.
Adapted from Manthel, G. (2021). Time to up home insulation to avoid more blackouts. Stuff. stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/126028279/time-to-up-home-insulation-to-avoid-more-blackouts
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