New Zealand has roughly one million homes that are not sufficiently built to provide thermal comfort and a healthy living environment for their occupants. The cost of heating these homes is well in excess of what is spent in other parts of the world with equivalent climates; and poor performing homes have a major impact on health costs and productivity.
In 2008, the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) called for an ‘Action Plan’ which identified the need for a single rating tool or framework. This tool would enable the homeowner to understand the current performance of their home (in relation to energy and water use, indoor air quality and internal moisture) and then make informed decisions as to what improvements could be made within a household budget. This proposal was supported by industry and presented at the Prime Minister’s job summit in March 2009, by Jonathan Ling CEO of Fletcher Building.
The outcome was agreement from Government to support an industry developed single residential rating tool. Many government organisations were involved in early support, including the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA), the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and the Department of Building and Housing (DBH). EECA, DBH and MfE subsequently went on to provide government financial support.