“Warm homes: Drivers of the demand for heating in the residential sector in New Zealand”, Philippa Howden-Chapman, et al, Energy Policy, 37 (2009), pp 3387-3399
New Zealand houses are cold and damp. This kills about 1,500 people per year.
We’ve a $300 million government scheme to insulate houses, open to all but with additional funding for low-income households. The push for this scheme was originally about saving power, but NZ homes are so cold that people seem to take the benefits as higher indoor temperatures. They
continue to buy about the same amount of energy for heating but live in healthier, warmer, drier homes.
There’s still a saving of 10-15% on energy use, but the main benefits of insulation are less people dying or getting sick. Whether that social benefit will pay back the $300 million investment, we don’t yet know, but it’s looking pretty good so far…