Hot water systems

EECA is leading a joint project with Australia to improve the energy efficiency of water heating in residential households under the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Programme.

A policy framework and five year roadmap has been developed to show industry and consumers how both New Zealand and Australian Governments will work with them to achieve energy efficient hot water systems to reduce household emissions and save on energy costs.

EECA would like to invite interested people to discuss the policy framework and five year roadmap.

Why are we reviewing hot water systems?

  • Hot water makes up 23% of residential energy use in Australia and 28% in New Zealand.
  • There is currently a lack of information for consumers to make informed choices about the energy use of hot water systems and their impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) date back to 1999 for electric and gas storage water heaters and are overdue for review. Solar and heat pump water heaters are not subject to MEPS.
  • There is no agreed or consistent way of comparing products across technologies or incorporating new developments in water heating, although there are some industry-based systems.

What outcome are we seeking?

E3 seeks to provide better information for consumers about the energy consumption of hot water systems. It also seeks to develop a fair basis for comparison of different hot water technologies, to reduce consumer energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

How is this work happening?

Government wants to work with the hot water industry to come up with practical and effective solutions.

The first phase of the project was the development of a policy framework and roadmap to inform a comprehensive and structured strategic plan for new standards and information (labelling and online comparison tools) of hot water systems - these are available below.

Industry and stakeholder engagement

E3 will continue discussions with industry and consumer stakeholders through written submissions and public forums. 

We are also looking to establish a technical working group and a stakeholder reference group in February 2019. These groups will include officials, experts and sector representatives from government, industry and consumer groups.

The Technical Working Group will focus on measurement methodologies and will be a key technical resource. The Stakeholder Reference Group is a feedback group that will enable policy measures to be tested and issues raised.

Public forums

If you would like to attend one of the meetings below, please RSVP to by 5pm, 20 November 18 - please include any dietary requirements.

City Venue Date Time
Auckland Karstens Tuesday 27 November 18 10am - 12pm
Melbourne Park Royal Melbourne Airport Wednesday 28 November 18 10am - 12pm
Sydney Pullman Sydney Airport Thursday 29 November 18 10am - 12pm
Written submissions

Written submission opened on 12 November, and submissions can be emailed to Submissions close 5pm, Thursday 31 January 2019.

What systems are being reviewed?

  • Electric storage
  • Gas storage
  • Instantaneous gas
  • Heat pump technology
  • Instantaneous electric
  • Solar hot water with electric boost

How will consumers benefit?

New standards and better information (labelling and online comparison tools) on hot water systems can save households money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, there is a lack of information for people to compare water heating options and make an informed choice on running costs.