23 May 2013

Heating costs a struggle for households - survey

10:31 pm on 23 May 2013

A survey suggests one third of New Zealanders will struggle to keep their homes warm this winter.

The Child Poverty Action Group says that will lead to lots of sick children, and adults too unwell to go to work.

The survey carried out by Canstar asked 2060 people about their electricity use. It found that women and those under 24 find it the hardest to heat their homes in winter months.

Just over a third said they won't be able to afford to adequately heat their home this winter. That figure rose to 45% for those aged between 18 and 24.

The study found 41% of women find home heating a challenge, compared to 29% of men.

The Child Poverty Action Group says cold homes are often the cause of children being sent to hospital for illnesses like pneumonia and chest infections.

The group's spokesperson, paediatrician Innes Asher, says she'd like to see Government policies directed towards making sure proper installation is installed in houses to keep lower-income families warm.

The convener of the Domestic Energy Users' Network Convener, Molly Melhuish, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Thursday the biggest problem is in Auckland, where fewer people have taken up the Government's home insulation subsidies.