Energy efficiency in New Zealand

We’re responsible for advising the Government on energy efficiency policy for New Zealand and we are currently trialling a new renewable energy initiative that aims to improve energy affordability. EECA is responsible for implementing programmes to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes and business.

Energy efficiency policy includes Warmer Kiwi Homes and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

Renewable energy funding for Māori and public housing

The government has allocated $28 million for the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, which has been established to trial small-scale renewable energy technologies. The funding is being allocated to selected projects over 4 years until mid-2024 through an open application process.

This initiative is supporting local-level renewable energy generation, which is leading to:

  • consistently lower energy bills and encourage greater use of heating
  • warmer and healthier homes.

These renewable energy solutions can result in improved health outcomes for those households involved in this project. They also provide improved resilience, for example, when the electricity grid is disrupted due to weather-related events.

The fund is trialling new ways of generating energy and integrating it with existing electricity networks, while supporting the government’s commitment to renewable energy generation and its climate change goals.

MBIE is leading this initiative and is working closely with Kāinga Ora, Te Puni Kōkiri, EECA and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

More information on Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund

Community Renewable Energy Fund

Following the success of the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, a new fund was established to support community-level renewable energy projects.

A total of $16 million over four years was allocated for the Community Renewable Energy Fund in 2022, and a further $30 million over four years was committed in 2023.

In May 2023, $1.2 million was allocated to the first 5 projects to receive funding from the Community Renewable Energy Fund.

Details about how the remaining funding will be allocated are being finalised and further information will be available later in 2023.

Community Renewable Energy Fund

Warmer Kiwi Homes

Warmer Kiwi Homes is a new 4-year government programme offering grants covering two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation.

Additional contributions from community organisations will make the cost to homeowners as low as possible in many areas. Grants covering two-thirds of the cost of heating appliances will be available from July 2019 (these grants will be capped).

For more information, including eligibility, see EECA’s Energywise website:

Funding for insulation - Warmer Kiwi Homes(external link)

Minimum energy performance standards

Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy rating labels help improve the energy efficiency of our products, and help consumers to choose products that use less energy.

Many products are covered by the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. These products must meet or exceed set levels for energy performance before they can be sold to consumers.

MEPS and energy rating labels are developed jointly with Australia under the Trans-Tasman Equipment Energy Efficiency programme.

Setting energy performance levels creates a more efficient range of products for consumers to choose from by:

  • encouraging manufacturers to continually improve the efficiency of their products
  • preventing poorly performing products from being sold
  • improving the average efficiency of products available here.

For more information, see EECA's website page on the regulations(external link).

Regulatory impact statements

As a policy agency, we’re responsible for preparing regulatory impact statements, which:

  • summarise the impact on New Zealand of any proposed changes to regulations
  • accompany Cabinet papers that seek Cabinet's agreement on policy changes.

Recent regulatory impact statements and Cabinet papers are available below.

Last updated: 19 July 2023