Insulation requirements: what you need to know

Ryan Boyd
Insulation requirements: what you need to know

As winter comes, your home’s level of insulation becomes more and more noticeable. But if you own a home that you don’t live in, it may be an issue that slips your mind.

With new insulation regulations on the horizon for rental properties, here is a break down for landlords on what you need to know.

 

Know your requirements

In 2016, new regulations were introduced that by 1 July 12019 all NZ residential rental properties must meet new minimum insulation requirements.

Insulation levels are measured in thermal resistance, or R-values. Higher R-value means better insulation.

Different regions in New Zealand have different levels they have to meet. Here is a map from MBIE showing the three zones:

Insulation Zones

And here is the table that shows what requirements each zone has for various insulations:

Insulation Requirements

What is my R-value?

Thermal resistance is determined by the thickness of the insulation and the thermal conductivity of the material used.

If you know the building materials, you can try The Design Navigator, which has an online calculator.

However, the best way to get make sure it’s up to code is to get a professional to come and have a look, and they will also be able to quote you for any work that needs to be done.

Yes it may cost, but it’s better than paying a $4,000 fine down the road for non-compliance.

 

Speaking of which, how much will it cost?

Obviously this can vary, however the MBIE says, “As a rough guide, the average cost of paying a professional installer to put in both ceiling and floor insulation is approximately $3,400 excluding GST for a 96m2 property.”

If your tenant has a Community Services Card, you may also be eligible for a grant through Warm it up New Zealand.

 

Prepare an Insulation Statement

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, all landlords must now prepare an Insulation Statement with all new tenancy agreements.

This form details all the information about your property’s insulation levels, what is and what isn't insulated, and the condition it is in, so tenants know what to expect.

If this is not completed or is misleading, you could face a $500 fine.

 

I’m a renter

If you are renting a property and believe your property is doesn’t meet requirements, the first step is to talk to your landlord or property manager.

Hopefully the issue can be resolved, however if there is no resolution, the tenant can then take it to the Disputes Tribunal.

 

need more info

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment is the best place to go for impartial information, as well as the current safety and quality requirements document.

Energywise also have good resources on the different types of insulation, plus any funding you may be eligible for.

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