There are many things you can do to make your home warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. Generally homes in New Zealand waste energy. They can be badly designed and constructed, have inadequate insulation or use a lot of energy to heat and run.
Key elements of a warmer, drier and healthier home
To really make your home warmer, drier and healthier to live in, it is important to think about how insulation, heating, ventilation and tackling dampness work together as a system.
By thinking of each element as one part of the whole puzzle, it's easier to see how getting each part sorted contributes to a more comfortable and healthy living environment.
Tackling sources of excess moisture and dampness and insulating your home are jobs that only need doing once, and are worth doing properly. The initial costs are more than paid back in better comfort and health for your family and reduced energy bills.
Heating your home properly is easy and relatively cheap once you have good levels of insulation installed and have a correctly sized and installed, efficient type of heater in your home.
Ventilation is often neglected, but getting into the habit is essential for creating a healthy home.
Hot water and lighting
The systems you use in your home have a big impact on your energy use and your environmental footprint. Smart use of your hot water and lighting will help cut the energy waste around your home. And, when it comes time to replace things, good choices will give you systems that meet your needs using a lot less energy.
Energy uses in your home
New Zealand homes account for about 12% of the country's total energy use. In 2008, $2.5 billion was spent by households just on electricity.
The average family household uses energy for the following:
 Energy Information and Modeling Group. 2009. New Zealand Energy Data File 2008 calendar year edition. June 2009. Wellington: Ministry of Economic Development.
 EECA Energy End Use Database, containing data for the year ending March 2007.
- Sustainable Living programme - information and courses to help you make changes to limit your environmental impact at home.
- Putting off repairs and maintenance of your home because it feels too difficult or expensive can only make problems worse, and could affect your health and safety.
Good Homes have developed some easy-to-use tool kits to help you identify what needs to be done and how to get started.
- Duncan Garner from RadioLive had his house assessed by EECA's technical advisor. He received advice and energy efficiency tips on insulation, heating, ventilation and more. View the video on the RadioLive's website.