Report on energy hardship measures
This annual report provides data and insights on energy hardship at a national level and amongst key demographic groups.
In June 2022, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released its definition of energy hardship and energy wellbeing. Prior to this there was no nationally accepted definition or method of measuring energy hardship. As part of this work, MBIE also developed an initial list of 5 measures of energy hardship, which was published in June 2023. These measures set out what data should be gathered to measure and monitor levels of energy hardship in Aotearoa New Zealand. MBIE is continuing to research how these measures may be strengthened and whether other measures should be added.
Energy wellbeing is defined as when individuals, households and whānau are able to obtain and afford adequate energy services to support their wellbeing in their home or kāinga.
Energy hardship is defined as the opposite of energy wellbeing. It occurs when individuals, households and whānau are not able to obtain adequate energy services to support their wellbeing in their home or kāinga.
The Defining Energy Hardship webpage has more information about the development of these definitions and energy hardship measures.
Annual data reports
MBIE’s first annual report into energy hardship was released in June 2023, covering the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2022. The next report is due in June 2024.
Main findings for the year ending June 2022
- more than 110,000 households could not afford to keep their home adequately warm
- households with Māori and Pacific peoples are more likely to experience measures of energy hardship
- renters are between 4 and 6 times more likely to experience energy hardship
- around 1/3 of low-income households could not afford to keep their accommodation adequately warm
- crowded households are more likely to experience measures of energy hardship compared to non-crowded households.
Notes on data sources
Data used in this report is from Stats NZ’s annual Household Economic Survey from the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2022.
In 2019, the Household Economic Survey sample size increased significantly from 3,000-3,500 households to 20,000 households, and with better representation from low-income households. However, the Covid-19 restrictions limited the 2021/2022 sample size to 8,900. For comparisons of energy hardship levels over time, the 2023 Report on Energy Hardship Measures primarily focuses on 2019, 2020 and 2022, when there is the greatest confidence in the data.
This document is a guide only. It should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this document, or for any errors or omissions.
This work is based on/includes customised Stats NZ’s data, which are licensed by Stats NZ for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.