New research looks at the current levels of uptake of electric cooktops, heat pumps, hot water heat pumps, solar, EVs and smart chargers by owner occupier households in New Zealand.

  • Three quarters of owner occupier households state that the ‘end of life’ of an appliance is one of the major factors that would prompt them to buy a new appliance.
  • An electrified house swaps out fossil fuel appliances and vehicles – but awareness of the opportunity electric machines present for cost, energy and emissions savings, is low.
  • One third of households don’t correctly identify electricity as the cleanest source of energy in New Zealand, and many underestimate our renewables supply (80-85% of the grid).
  • Penetration, and the current rate of uptake of different electric options, has been found to vary significantly.


Wellington, New Zealand: A comprehensive new research report released by EECA (the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority) unpacks where Kiwi homeowners are at with household electrification, identifying the opportunity when it comes to energy use, emissions, and running costs.

The research finds over a third of key appliances (36%) in use – for cooking, heating spaces, and heating water – are over a decade old. The average for vehicles (including EVs) is even older at 14.9 years1.

Among those surveyed, ‘end of life’ of the current appliance was by far the main reason consumers will invest in new, with 75% of people saying this was a key motivator for them.

The survey, titled ‘Electrifying Aotearoa: The consumer perspective’, has a focus on technologies available today. Conducted by TRA, it captures a nationally representative sample of more than 1,400 New Zealand homeowners (owner occupiers) and ran between 1st to 8th November 2023.

Jo Bye, Group Manager at EECA, commented, “Over half a million purchase decisions will be made across key appliances, vehicles, and solar in the next year alone2, and the pattern will likely continue.

“When faced with a breakdown, or an obvious drop in efficiency, homeowners often opt for direct replacement without considering the opportunity in electric alternatives like an induction cooktop or a hot water heat pump.”

Dr. Gareth Gretton, Lead Advisor at EECA, noted awareness and consideration of the benefits of electrifying was found to be relatively low among the owner occupiers surveyed.

“Environmental advantages are recognised by only 22% in connection with heat pumps, 23% for induction cooktops, and 37% for hot water heat pumps, by those who don’t currently own the appliances,” said Gretton.

“Electric machines use less energy overall, so while they may be more expensive up front, they perform well and generally cost less to run. Emissions will also be reduced with the largest impact coming from electrifying your vehicle.”

Based on new modelling, the electrification of home appliances has shown that New Zealanders can save around $1,000, or more, per year3 (this includes energy costs and the average yearly cost of purchasing and installing new, electric appliances at the time of replacement). For vehicles, how much a vehicle is used, and what a household is in the market for, contributes to savings potential.

It is not a given that New Zealanders associate electricity with cleaner energy. One-third of homeowners (33%) don’t identify electricity as the cleanest energy source out of electricity, gas, coal and oil.

While between 80% and 85% of the country’s electricity supply does come from renewable sources, only one-quarter (27%) of homeowners correctly estimated the country’s supply to be this high. 

The research reflected that homeowners view the upfront cost as the key consideration over and above the ongoing running costs, but the latter still influences a majority.

The opportunity presented by solar and batteries and the low-cost electricity resulting from its installation will likely influence decision-making more over time, as it becomes more widely available via different payment mechanisms, and at a broader range of price points. Gretton noted energy and fuel prices are not expected to change the overall picture.

Of those surveyed, 91% are aware electricity costs vary at different times of the day – but only three in ten homeowners (30%) report taking advantage of this.

“Ultimately, every home is different, and choices will depend on individual circumstances – such as numbers in a household, its needs, and the availability of financial resources,” said Gretton.

The full report is published on the EECA website: Electrifying Aotearoa: The consumer perspective(external link).


Notes to editors

Penetration, and the current rate of uptake of different electric options, has been found to vary significantly, for example:

  • Heat pumps are now a mainstay in New Zealand owner-occupier homes, with over a half (56%) of New Zealand households using them as their main source of heat.
  • Nearly two thirds of New Zealanders already use an electric cooktop, but the stock of gas cooktops was found to be newer than electric cook tops.
  • Only 3% of New Zealand households have a hot water heat pump – a relatively new but highly efficient technology on the market, due to low awareness.
  • 7% of owner-occupier households have solar installed to generate electricity – and 2% use batteries.
  • Over one-third (36%) of existing BEV and plug-in hybrid owners are likely to purchase a smart charger – a relatively new technology in the New Zealand market, recognised as providing superior speed and control.

About EECA

EECA is a Crown entity as defined in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000. Its function is to encourage, promote, and support energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable sources of energy.