Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings

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Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings Research

[[nceub:research:projectprofile5|Project Profile 5]]

Title of research Household Energy End-Use Project (HEEP)
Brief outline HEEP is a multi-year, multi-discipline, New Zealand study that is monitoring all fuel types (electricity, natural gas, LPG, solid fuel, oil and solar used for water heating) and the services they provide (space temperature, hot water, cooking, lights, appliances, etc). Data collection was completed in 2005, and the 2005 report is the first with full data from 400 randomly selected houses.
Air temperatures are monitored in two living room and one bedroom location at 10 minute intervals. Preliminary results show houses built after 1978 (mandatory roof, wall & floor thermal insulation) are 1°C warmer during winter (June to August) evenings (5 pm to 11 pm) (18.6°C compared to 17.6°C). In bedrooms, where the main source of heating are clock radios, bedside lights and human bodies, the effect on overnight winter temperatures is even greater, with post-1978 houses on average 1.3°C warmer (14.5°C compared to 13.2°C).
The space heating fuel also appears to play an important role - not intrinsically due to the fuel, but rather to the way it is used. Preliminary analysis shows that living rooms heated with open fires are the coolest (average living room winter evening temperature of 16°C) - not surprisingly as much of the heat will escape up the chimney and pollute the surrounding neighbourhood. Rooms heated by portable electric heaters are next coolest (16.9°C) - due to the relatively small size of the heater. Rooms heated by LPG heaters are next coolest (17.1°C). 1 in 3 homes has a portable, unflued LPG heater and one LPG heater can provide as much heat as 4 one-bar electric heaters, they are used as if they were 1 ½ bar heaters. The warmest rooms are heated by solid fuel burners (18.9°C). In part this is due simply to the size - a good solid fuel burner can put out the same heat as 15 one-bar electric heaters - but they are most commonly used on a far lower setting equivalent to ½ to 4 one-bar heaters.
Analysis of indoor temperatures is continuing. Executive Summaries from the annual reports are freely available from the BRANZ web site
Researchers / Institutions Nigel Isaacs, Michael Camilleri, Lisa French and Andrew Pollard: BRANZ Ltd.
Kay Saville-Smith and Ruth Fraser: Centre for Research Evaluation and Social Assessment (CRESA).
Pieter Rossouw: CRL Ltd.
John Jowett: Consultant Statistician.
Main funders Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (, building research (
Start / Completion dates 1995 / 2007
Status Project ongoing
Keywords House, energy, temperature, thermal insulation, New Zealand
Related publications All reports and a range of papers are available for download from BRANZ website:
Contact details Nigel Isaacs:
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