Home Forums General Discussion Electricity usage – where to find local information

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    Michael Gaffney

    Greetings from a newbie,
    I have seen references in posts to average KWh usage in NZ, but living in the south I would like to know how I find out what is the average use in Dunedin and variation over the year (and how that compares with national averages). Is there a website that constantly monitors such things or is it a matter of knowing which report it may be hiding in? Assuming it exists at all.
    thanks in advance

    Ian McChesney

    Hi Michael
    I am not aware of a website with such info. It might be easier to approach one of your large retailers in Dunedin (e.g. Contact) and see if they will provide kWh usage. Aurora might have information, but they may not have the means to separate residential use from commercial.

    However, average kWh usage can be a misleading number. Bear in mind that over 50% of Dunedin households use other fuels, mainly wood for winter heating, so the average kWh figure becomes a composite that includes all electric homes, homes heated entirely by other fuels, part heating by electricity etc.

    It may be more useful for you to develop a data around some typical Dunedin ‘archetypes’ e.g. elderly, all electric heating; family, wood burner heating etc.


    Michael Gaffney

    thanks Ian,
    I have just been into powerswitch.org.nz and they provide what I was looking for under trends and stats. It provides the number of kWh for each of the regions based on a medium sized household; in Auckland Central/Manukau it is 8096 and in Dunedin it is 8730 (9126 in Southland seems to be the highest). Not much difference but then as you say most people in the south are paying for other forms of heating. At least it gives me a starting point when reviewing peoples power use.

    I went into powerswitch because I thought it would give me a list of power providers in the area. I wanted to check who was offering what in terms of information, I dont really want to have to visit the websites of all 11 providers in Dunedin, so I am pleased powerswitch will give me a start.

    Vicki Cowan

    Hi Michael,
    Great you found the info you needed, reading this post and Ian’s response about range of fuel use made me go back to Beacon’s High Standard of Sustainability, HSS. We tried to put a line in the sand for what is sustainable draw from the national grid for residential energy. Note the HSS is whole of house, so it means the house has to be warm and dry too (to WHO levels!) and we cover reticulated water demand, waste and materials too.

    We set benchmarks for new and existing houses in each of the three climate zones. We used this as our reference for all our research into what do you have to do to an existing house (or to build new) to meet the HSS. If this is of interest to you check out this link.
    description: http://www.beaconpathway.co.nz/further-research/article/beacons_hss_high_standard_of_sustainability
    the benchmarks: http://www.beaconpathway.co.nz/further-research/article/hss_benchmarks

    Michael Gaffney

    thanks Vicki, I had not got this far into the beacon website before.

    For zone 3 thats another 700 kWh above the Dunedin average to keep living spaces warm at >18 C and bedrooms >16 C. (or 8400 kWh in total). The question of what does it take (how many kWh) to keep houses at this temperature is an interesting one, especially for all the 100-year-old-plus homes in the South.


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