Why are new homes more energy efficient?

The average New Zealand home uses over $2,000 worth of energy every year – even more in cold climates. A large proportion of this energy goes into heating, which in many homes pours out through single-glazed windows, ceilings and gaps under doors.

Well-built, energy efficient, brand new homes are different – they keep cool during summer and warm during winter. They also use less energy for a variety of other household necessities like heating hot water.

The problem with homes that aren’t energy efficient

Most homes in New Zealand aren’t particularly energy efficient. This obviously means they generate a bigger power bill, but it can have more serious implications.

Homes that aren’t energy or water efficient are often unhealthy or unsafe to live in. They may have gaps in their exterior which let in cold air and make the property harder to heat. This may also make the home damp or mouldy, which can cause respiratory illnesses or exacerbate eczema – particularly in children.

These properties may also have old showers and toilets which use more water. With towns around NZ suffering from worsening water shortages every summer, this is a serious problem.

New homes are built with better, more insulative materials.


If your home doesn’t have insulation at or above the new Healthy Homes standards, it’ll leak heat through thousands of tiny gaps when the weather is cold.

Thankfully, all new homes are built at or above these standards with high grade floor, ceiling and wall insulation that’ll keep you warm even in the depths of winter.

Double glazing

Kiwi homes lose up to 40% of their warmth in winter through their windows. The best way to stop that from happening is double glazing. Having this in your home keeps the warmth in and makes your windows more soundproof.

All new homes should be built with double glazed windows as it’s very expensive to install them in existing properties that have single glazed windows.

Passive design makes a big difference to a home’s energy efficiency. 

Passive design 

Passive design is a way of building a home that uses the environment and simple fittings like shades to heat, cool and ventilate. Design features might include large windows on the property’s northern side and fewer windows on the southern side, natural ventilation and shades to minimise sun exposure in the summer.

If it’s executed well, passive design can slash your energy bill for good. Most new homes are built with these principles in mind, whereas most older homes were not.

Better appliances and fittings

As a rule of thumb, the newer an appliance or fitting is, the more energy efficient it will be. If you build a new home, most of the fittings and appliances from the shower head to the heat pump will be brand spanking new.

As well as being energy efficient, new appliances and fittings have the added benefit of being more attractive and easier to use.


Old homes often have old and inefficient wiring and lighting. Newer homes, on the other hand, usually feature LED lighting which can last 15 to 100 times longer than halogen bulbs and use less than a third of the energy.

Whenever Golstruct build a home we only use the best – super efficient slim profile LED lighting. Plus if you want a few extra power points and down lights installed we’ll usually leave them off the bill since they’re so energy efficient!

Are you tired of living in an old home that takes hours to heat and costs you hundreds in energy bills every month? Upgrade to an affordable brand new home with Golstruct homes – give us a call today to find out more.