Towards a Sustainable New Zealand: Household Sustainability Programme

Date: April 2007
Reference number:
POL (07) 146

Office of the Minister for the Environment

Office of the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues

Cabinet Policy Committee

Proposal

1. This paper sets out further detail of the government’s household sustainability programme, which was agreed to by Cabinet in February 2007.

Executive summary

2. This paper is one of a set of seven papers providing further detail on the government’s sustainability initiatives, which were agreed to by Cabinet in February 2007. Raising the awareness within households about sustainable practice in energy use, water use, transport, and waste disposal is one of the government’s stated priorities for 2007.

3. The household sustainability programme is designed to accelerate a broader adoption of sustainability as a core value that is at the heart of our national identity and part of everyday life in New Zealand. The programme will do this by:

a. supporting and partnering with organisations and groups who take the lead in their communities to realise tangible results

b. helping to mobilise people to take actions that support, reinforce and endorse the adoption of sustainability as a value in New Zealand life

c. listening to people and communities to understand what support they need to take action

d. working with households to take practical, concrete steps to be more sustainable – particularly around energy efficiency, transport, water, waste and home construction, and to respond to climate change

e. providing the tools for change and the information people need to change in way that is accessible, participative, open and easy to find,

f. making the wide range of programmes both within and outside central government more visible, accessible and integrated, and

g. assuring people in the process of changing behaviour that they are “doing the right thing” by supporting sustainable values and actions.

4. The three main elements of the household sustainability programme are:

a. Building partnerships with regional and local organisations to promote sustainable action. The programme will offer support to partners working at the local level, to facilitate and encourage a wider section of the community to participate in sustainable action. This element will start with a series of regional events designed to connect with and mobilise potential partners and build regional networks to maintain momentum. The events will be an opportunity to listen to communities to find out what is happening locally and what assistance they need from central government, and to support local leaders as key agents for change. The Sustainable Management Fund will also be refocused and enhanced to provide direct support for potential partners running household sustainability programmes.

b. An innovative online sustainability portal. This will be the home of the sustainability movement. It will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for households seeking information, link households to initiatives run by government and partners, and be open to public participation, including sharing of tools, resources and success stories.

c. A sustained information programme. This will begin immediately, focusing on recognising people and existing programmes already putting sustainable values into action, supporting the activities of the programme’s partners, and promoting a shared vision of the direction that New Zealand can take. This information programme will also ensure delivery of clear and consistent messages from across government on household sustainability.

5. The Ministry for the Environment is establishing a Household Sustainability team to lead and drive the household sustainability programme.

Background

6. Cabinet agreed on 12 February 2007 that a set of initiatives be refined to elevate sustainability to a higher level of public awareness, including a household sustainability programme [CAB Min (07) 4/1A]. Further detail on the implementation and coordination of the sustainability package is set out in Towards a Sustainable New Zealand: Overview Paper [POL Min (07) 9/20].

7. The Prime Minister’s Statement at the opening of Parliament and associated press release outlined a programme to raise the awareness of households about sustainable practice in energy and water use, transport, waste disposal and home construction, and to connect people to new and existing programmes that support and encourage action.

8. The government is already involved in many programmes that support sustainable household activities. These programmes, and the contribution they can make to the household sustainability programme, are set out at paragraphs 45-47 and in Annex 1 of this paper.

9. I am also aware of many programmes led by local government, non-government organisations, community groups, iwi and the private sector that support and encourage household sustainability. Examples include the Bluff Healthy Homes Project (supported by government agencies, iwi and the private sector), the Auckland Regional Council’s Sustainable Households (Big Clean Up) programme, Environment Canterbury’s Clean Heat programme, Greater Wellington’s Be The Difference initiative, the Communities for Climate Protection programme, the Sustainable Living Programme supported by many local authorities, local environment centres, the television programme ‘Wa$ted’, and Contact Energy’s carbon calculator.

10. The household sustainability programme will ensure government agencies co-ordinate implementation of existing and new household related sustainability programmes, and make those programmes more accessible by bringing information on them into one place. The programme will also encourage, endorse, publicise and support the programmes of other sectors.

11. There is evidence that this shift towards sustainability is already beginning to occur. Market research shows that 78 per cent of respondents in one recent survey believed that they needed to make lifestyle choices to reduce global warming, and 58 per cent of respondents in another survey had thought about or had taken action to reduce the effects of climate change. There is also evidence in the media that sustainability is becoming a “business as usual” aspect of New Zealand life, with private sector advertisers using sustainability and environmental messages to engage their customers and media introducing regular sustainability features.

12. In short, it appears that there is currently a window of opportunity for central government to engage with New Zealanders on sustainability. I consider that the public is likely to be receptive to a programme that provides additional and tailored support and encouragement for more widespread and early adoption of sustainable practices at the household level.

Approach to Household Sustainability

13. Sustainability is a social value, an approach to living that underpins a variety of behaviours and choices that New Zealanders make every day. Communication and social marketing programmes can accelerate the adoption of social values like sustainability. However, the approach must be different from advertising campaigns with single messages that aim to change behaviours such as drink driving.

14. The proposed approach for this programme promotes the adoption of sustainability as a social value by facilitating and encouraging actions in households and communities, supporting and partnering with those who can influence and work with the community, and keeping the spotlight on sustainability activities in the media.

15. Sustainability will not be adopted into New Zealand life if people think that inaction is the norm, or if the problem is too big and difficult for them to act. The approach I propose will be incremental and suggest practical, do-able actions, such as walking to work or school, that will support and encourage sustainability as a value in everyday life. It will also connect up individuals and groups across the country to share ideas and provide a call to action to those at the point of participating in sustainable activities.

16. I believe that the media also plays a critical role in validating values. Experience in the United Kingdom and the United States indicates that social change is accelerated where people see others taking similar action, primarily in local community media (e.g. free local newspapers). The household sustainability programme will, therefore, include sustained public relations and publicity activities.

Household Sustainability Programme

Regional Forums

17. I propose that MfE lead a series of regional forums on sustainability in main centres across New Zealand during August and September 2007. The regional forums will help to identify and support partners and local action, identify wider community needs for information and support, enhance connections with existing central and local government programmes, and ensure relevant government programmes align better with community needs.

18. The forums will be an opportunity for government to listen to and learn from those who are already working on sustainability issues. By working with potential partners and communities in the first phase of the programme, we will be able to better identify opportunities to bring about change and overcome barriers to change. Besides giving greater publicity to existing initiatives, this will also allow the development of new ongoing initiatives to move from “rhetoric to action”.

19. The expected results from the forums are:

a. stronger relationships with regional and local partners

b. better understanding of what is already happening in communities

c. enhanced community ownership and ongoing commitment to action on sustainability

d. co-ordination of relevant initiatives in local government, community, iwi and the private sector

e. identification and use of information for the household sustainability portal (e.g. initiatives, resources, networks, stories, other websites)

f. identification and removal of barriers and placement of incentives to adopting more sustainable choices and actions at a household level

g. using the cumulative information from these engagements to improve and better target household sustainability programme implementation

h. improving understanding of relevant government policy, and

i. feeding useful changes into government policy and implementation.

20. MfE will work with local government to ensure:

a. a wide representation of community interests and service groups at the forums, including representatives from community groups such as church groups, schools, Grey Power, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, cultural groups and local business groups, and

b. the development of methods and tools to continue to support sustainability activities within regional and local communities.

21. The forums will help us to identify potential partners and household-focused sustainability initiatives at the community level that can be strengthened and enhanced through government support and funding.

Supporting Community Partners

22. MfE can already identify many potential partners who are active in working with households on sustainability at a national, regional or local level, and who are delivering tangible results in their communities. The programme will focus on boosting the sorts of activities delivered by these organisations.

23. These potential partners include local government, regional environment centres, industry groups and recipients of Sustainable Management Fund funding. Some examples were given in paragraph 9; others include:

a. Enviroschools Foundation is a charitable trust that provides support and strategic direction for a nationwide environmental education programme, in conjunction with regional partners.

b. The EcoMatters Environment Trust in Waitakere runs programmes on energy efficiency, waste minimisation and water conservation, including free home energy and water checks.

c. Community Recycling Network is an organisation representing more than twenty community enterprises around New Zealand with a focus on Zero Waste.

d. Beacon Pathway Ltd is a building/construction-focused research consortium funded by building industry representatives; projects include the "Now Home" initiative and leading the development along with government of the Smarter Homes website.

e. BRANZ Ltd provides advice on sustainable building and housing, including independent eco-design advisers in some parts of the country who provide customised advice to home builders and renovators (local government also supports this element).

f. Community Energy Action is a charitable trust with a focus on improving the energy efficiency of the low income housing sector in Christchurch; it provides advice, insulation subsidies, and free curtains.

g. The Hamilton Environment Centre, Environment Waikato and Hamilton City Council recently launched the ‘Hamilton Energy Blitz’, a month-long campaign to lower electricity use in Hamilton.

24. The regional forums will identify other potential partners who can work collaboratively with government to deliver the objectives of the household sustainability programme.

25. One of the aims of the regional forums, and the programme as a whole, is also to recruit new partners or supporters who are not yet active on these issues. As noted below, MfE will be seeking to develop relationships with other groups in the community that do not necessarily have an environmental focus, to reach more people who may lack connections to existing community-based programmes. An example of the potential of this approach is Landcare Research’s ‘5 Tonne Challenge’ to encourage households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This programme is supported by a diverse range of organisations such as Toyota New Zealand and the Anglican Church, who promote the programme (and the steps people can take) to their members, staff or clients – giving access to tens of thousands of people.

26. The household sustainability programme will offer both direct and indirect support to partners:

a. Sustainability issues now have a much higher public profile, and the household sustainability programme will raise that profile even higher. A greater prominence for sustainability issues should help our partners to mobilise supporters behind their projects.

b. The communications approach for this programme (see paragraphs 35-41) will promote the activities and successes of our partners on a wider scale than many will be able to achieve by themselves.

c. The sustainability portal and regional forums will help partners to identify and network with others working on similar projects, both locally and elsewhere in New Zealand.

d. Changes to the Sustainable Management Fund will increase the amount of resourcing available for partners with projects closely aligned to the objectives of the household sustainability programme.

27. The Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund currently has $4.32 million available per annum to support the community, iwi, industry and/or local government to take practically focused action which produces long-term environmental benefits. I propose to use part of the household sustainability programme funding to supplement the Sustainable Management Fund, and to refocus the fund on community-based household sustainability projects.

28. Household sustainability projects supported through this fund will be asked to share their experiences and successes with the public by reporting regularly on their progress using the sustainability portal (see paragraphs 31-33). These experiences will also be used to develop case studies for publicity and awareness raising purposes.

29. I will report back to Cabinet in December 2007, following the completion of the first phase of the household sustainability programme, with more detailed options for ongoing work with local government, partners and communities.

Supporting Social Connections

30. Information is powerful in driving social change, and the way information is provided makes a difference to how it is accepted and acted upon. In order to facilitate change, household sustainability information will need to be credible, reliable and easily accessible.

31. MfE is developing a sustainability portal which will act as an internet-based home for government, our partners, and communities engaged in sustainable actions. On one level, the portal will serve as the central point for all key household sustainability information by pulling together the array of household sustainability initiatives and information across New Zealand. At another level the portal will be a shared information exchange and meeting place for groups clustering around ideas and issues of mutual interest. It will also provide the means of reporting on the wide range of activity that the government is funding and promoting.

32. A significant feature of the portal will be connecting people to practical information and assistance on how to be sustainable, including:

  • lists of practical actions and activities that people can do to be more sustainable
  • links to financial or practical assistance (e.g. solar water heating grants, home retrofit programmes)
  • links to other sustainability websites on energy, water, transport, waste, home construction and other issues, and to community sustainability projects
  • checklists, tips, competitions and prizes, and fun facts for children
  • explanation of the benefits and opportunities from adopting sustainable choices and actions
  • explanation and updates of what the government is doing to move New Zealand towards sustainability
  • opportunities to share information and success stories with others through blogs, video clips, podcasts, photos and case studies
  • news stories on international, national and local sustainability projects, and
  • news about events or occasions that will highlight and celebrate sustainability heroes and initiatives.

33. MfE is starting the sustainability portal with existing household-related information sources, for example information from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s website, MfE’s Smarter Homes website and the Reduce your Rubbish website, and the type of information available from BRANZ and the New Zealand Consumers Institute websites. New information and links will be added to the portal regularly. The regional forums and relationships with partner organisations will help identify where this information needs to be added to and expanded.

34. Between the sustainability portal (which combines nationally and locally relevant material), the engagement through regional events, and the formation of stronger partnerships with those delivering community based projects, I expect the programme will have a wide reach into New Zealand households, including those without easy access to internet-based information.

Sustained Communication Activity

35. The success of the household sustainability programme will be measured by its ability to encourage sustainable actions and choices by people across New Zealand. This means that the programme will need to keep people focussed on the need for, and the benefits of, striving to achieve the changes that are required. It is important that the messages being delivered by government and others are clear and consistent, and reinforce the need for household sustainability.

36. I propose that the household sustainability programme include ongoing communication and awareness raising. This component will ensure that national and regional discussion of sustainability and household sustainability activities is kept in the public arena.

37. The programme will include developing and actioning a calendar of sustainability events and opportunities throughout the country, to identify occasions to promote the sustainability message and to communicate the household sustainability programme to all stakeholders.

38. We will also maximise the opportunities and potential from coordination of communications and opportunities across the whole of government, particularly with communications around major issues like climate change. MfE will lead the development of key household sustainability messages and headlines that can be used in ongoing government communications. This ties very closely to MfE’s role in coordinating communications across the whole sustainability sphere, as set out in the paper Towards a Sustainable New Zealand: Overview Paper [POL Min (07) 9/20].

39. The sustainability portal will be a key tool for raising awareness and providing information. Other communication tools will include:

  • Publicity to:
    • promote interest in exploring the sustainability portal, and
    • encourage people to participate in regional and local initiatives, particularly by highlighting the successful activities of our partners and individuals and groups funded through the Sustainable Management Fund.
  • Active and frequent unpaid media activity developed in conjunction with local government, community and iwi groups, and the private sector, such as the development of stories and articles that demonstrate what it means to live more sustainably, for use in local newspapers and publications.

40. A common overarching household sustainability strapline (a short slogan capturing the essence of the programme and the sustainability message) will be developed and applied to all appropriate existing and new government communications and marketing programmes. We are aware of related programmes being developed by the Department of Building and Housing, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry for the Environment itself. These programmes can all be drawn quickly under the “umbrella” strapline that will denote the Government’s household sustainability programme.

41. MfE will look to develop opportunities for central government to operate the programme in partnership with local government, non-government organisations, community groups, iwi and the private sector.

Government Leadership

42. One of the common themes of the sustainability package announced in February is government leadership by example, through making its own activities more sustainable (e.g. by moving the public service towards carbon neutrality and adopting more sustainable procurement practices). This is a significant signal to businesses and households that government is leading the way through its own actions.

43. [Withheld under section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982.] In addition, the carbon neutral public service initiative is investigating options for offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Ministerial air travel, and the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues will report back on this in June 2007.

Linkages with other initiatives

44. The paper Towards a Sustainable New Zealand: Overview Paper [POL Min (07) 9/20] sets out how the six sustainability initiatives fit together. The household sustainability programme has particularly strong linkages with business partnerships for sustainability (much of the advice targeted to households will also be useful for small and medium enterprises, and some businesses and industry groups are likely to be partners in delivering the programme), the eco-verification initiative (which will help consumers to verify the environmental and ethical credentials of businesses and products), and the waste package.

45. There are a number of government-led initiatives that align strongly with the household sustainability programme, are consistent with its purpose and objectives, and are already operating or are close to being implemented (see Annex 1 for a detailed list). These include some major initiatives, such as the expanded multi-agency EnergyWise Homes package to be announced in Budget 2007.

46. Many of the government’s existing programmes provide financial assistance or advice that can be accessed by households. The intention is for all related initiatives across government to be closely coordinated with the household sustainability programme, and for them to carry the household sustainability strapline. The sustainability portal will be a central tool for ensuring that there is a ‘one-stop shop’ for households to find out what both government and partner organisations are doing in this area, and what support is available.

47. Government is already providing further support for household sustainability objectives through incorporating sustainability into regulatory frameworks, strategies and infrastructure development. Other programmes build capability in key sectors to ensure that households who want to take action can actually make the changes they may identify (e.g. the solar water heating programme supports training for plumbers in installing solar water heating systems). Further details are given in Annex 1.

Implementation issues

48. MfE is establishing a Household Sustainability team to lead and drive the household sustainability programme. This team, which will be supported by communications staff, will work across MfE and with other key agencies such as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and local government to implement the key elements of the programme. As part of establishing this team, MfE will expand its capacity to engage directly with potential partners and people in the wider community, building on the experience gained through its well-established annual public engagement roadshows.

49. It is important that the programme’s outcomes are measured and incorporated in order to continue the drive towards the overall outcome of achieving sustainability. In order to measure the changes resulting from this programme, some practical baseline measure of behaviour, awareness, perceptions, and willingness to act is required. Best practice tools and methods that can be used to measure the effectiveness of outputs from this programme against its objectives will be identified. The baseline information will need to be followed up with monitoring at regular intervals in order to determine trends.

50. Information about household sustainability behaviour will be used to:

  • assess the effectiveness of the household sustainability programme in achieving its desired outcomes
  • ascertain the links between this programme and other programmes, and consider how programme outputs will be used in reporting through existing or proposed indicator frameworks e.g. MfE’s core environmental indicator set, and
  • inform further actions under this programme and inform the development of future Government programmes and policies around sustainability.

Timeframes for implementation

51. An indicative timeline for the implementation of the household sustainability programme is attached as Annex 2.

52. Key deliverables within the next 12 months include:

a. refocusing and enhancing the Sustainable Management Fund to better support and encourage partners who are delivering community-based household sustainability projects, and to boost the activities of those partners

b. establishing the regional forums, and obtaining commitments from regions that they will continue to support community and household sustainability initiatives

c. developing and actioning a calendar of events and opportunities

d. developing and implementing of a communications and awareness raising programme

e. developing and launching the sustainability portal

f. developing an overarching household sustainability strapline and applying the strapline to existing household sustainability programmes

g. identifying best practice tools and methods that can be used to measure the effectiveness of outcomes from this programme against its objectives, and

h. [Withheld under section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982.]

Consultation

53. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, State Services Commission, Treasury, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Department of Building and Housing, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Department of Internal Affairs, Te Puni Kōkiri, Local Government New Zealand, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Electricity Commission and Housing New Zealand Corporation were consulted on this paper, and their views are reflected.

54. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Conservation, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Social Development and Land Transport New Zealand have been informed.

Financial implications

55. The Budget 2007 package contains $6 million over three years in Vote: Environment to fund the development and delivery of this programme.

Human rights

56. There are no inconsistencies with the Human Rights Act 1993.

Legislative implications

57. There are no legislative implications.

Publicity

58. No further publicity is planned at this stage, apart from releases in conjunction with Budget 2007. Further announcements can be made when specific elements of the programme (such as the regional forums and portal) are ready to be launched.

Recommendations

59. The Minister for the Environment recommends that the Committee:

1. note that on 12 February 2007 Cabinet agreed that a set of initiatives be refined to elevate sustainability to a higher level of public awareness, including a household sustainability programme [CAB Min (07) 4/1A];

2. note that Budget 2007 contains funding of $6 million over three years in Vote: Environment for the household sustainability initiative;

3. note that there are already many existing and proposed Government programmes that support more sustainable household practices;

4. agree to the development of a household sustainability programme to:

4.1 raise the awareness of households about sustainability;

4.2 help households to take practical actions to be more sustainable – particularly around energy efficiency, travel, water, waste and home construction;

4.3 support partner organisations delivering tangible results through household-related sustainability initiatives at a local, regional or national level; and

4.4 put sustainability at the heart of our national identity;

5. note that the programme is based on a communications approach that will drive the adoption of sustainability as a social value in New Zealand;

6. agree to the following key elements of the household sustainability programme:

6.1 building partnerships with regional and local communities to promote sustainable action, through:

6.1.1 partnerships with and support for regional and local organisations working with households on sustainability at a national, regional or local level; and

6.1.2 a series of regional events designed to build partners’ and communities’ ability to take action, and strengthen central government’s ability to support communities;

6.2 an internet-based sustainability portal as the home of the sustainability movement, with information and the ability for open public participation and sharing of tools, resources and success stories; and

6.3 a sustained information programme to focus on supporting people who are already putting sustainable values into action, and to promote a shared vision of the direction that New Zealand can take;

7. direct the Ministry for the Environment, in consultation with other agencies as appropriate, to lead the development and implementation of:

7.1 the refocus and enhancement of the Sustainable Management Fund to better support and encourage partners who are delivering community-based household sustainability projects;

7.2 a series of regional forums across New Zealand during August and September 2007 to support, promote and facilitate sustainability at the household level, identify and support potential partners, listen to communities to find out what is already happening locally and how central and local government can best provide ongoing support, and build local and regional networks;

7.3 a sustainability portal to promote and encourage sustainable choices and activities at the household level, connect initiatives run by government and partners, provide links to other websites, resources, tools, and assistance programmes, and promote local household-related sustainability programmes and success stories;

7.4 an ongoing information and awareness raising programme that starts immediately and includes:

7.4.1 the development of key household-related sustainability messages to be used in ongoing government communications;

7.4.2 an overarching household sustainability strapline to be applied to relevant existing and new government programmes;

7.4.3 publicity to promote the sustainability portal and encourage people to participate in regional and local initiatives; and

7.4.4 active and frequent unpaid media activity, including the development of stories and articles for local newspapers and publications in partnership with key stakeholders;

8. direct the Ministry for the Environment to develop a monitoring programme to measure awareness and uptake of sustainable choices and actions by households;

9. [Withheld under section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982]

10. note that the Ministry for the Environment is establishing a Household Sustainability team to drive the household sustainability programme and lead work with other government agencies and local government;

11. note that local government will be an important partner in both developing and delivering the household sustainability programme;

12. invite the Minister for the Environment to report back to POL by 21 December 2007 with progress to date and more detailed options for working with local government and communities; and

13. agree that the Minister for the Environment may publicly release this submission, including Cabinet decisions, and any Annexes, once Cabinet has made a decision.

 

Hon David Benson-Pope

Minister for the Environment

Annex 1: Related central government initiatives that support household sustainability

This table captures most major related initiatives, but is not necessarily complete. It does not include the much wider range of initiatives supported by central government but implemented by others.

 

Initiative

Audiences and Targets

Support, Assistance and Incentives

EnergyWise Homes: interest-free loans scheme for energy efficiency installations in the home

Middle to high income households – about 100,000 energy efficiency upgrades and 30,000 clean heating upgrades over 15 years

EnergyWise Homes: grants for energy efficiency and clean heating retrofits

Low income households – 12,000 homes per annum retrofitted through Energy Wise Home Grants, and 1,000 new Warm Homes clean heating retrofits per annum

Subsidies for insulation of private rental properties: 55% subsidy on a full house retrofit of insulation and other energy efficiency measures

Subsidies are available to members of the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation

Housing New Zealand Corporation energy efficiency and healthy homes programme

State house tenants – all pre-1977 properties are being progressively checked and refitted where necessary

Solar Water Heating Programme: grants and loans to cover some installation costs

Households with high hot water usage, new home builders, building industry, property developers

Draft New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS): proposal to develop incentives to withdraw energy-wasting appliances and to increase uptake of highly efficient appliances

Manufacturers, importers and purchasers of new appliances

Walking School Buses: support and resources to help get a walking school bus underway

Families with children at school, local government

Investigation of differential registration fees based on vehicle emissions

Households with vehicles

Information and Advice

4 Million Careful Owners website: information on reducing household rubbish (including composting and recycling), tips and hints on how individuals can make a difference on climate change, and links to freshwater resources

All households

Department of Building and Housing’s upcoming Energy Efficiency Consumer Awareness Campaign

All households

EnergyWise website: easy steps on saving energy, energy savings calculator, more comprehensive advice

All households

Information and Advice

EnergyWise Homes package: develop new public awareness and information activities and website portal (information on benefits of energy efficiency and ‘what to do’ advice)

All households – including information for households to identify what changes might best suit their needs

Smarter Homes: sustainable residential building and renovation website

Home builders and renovators, building industry, suppliers

Fuel$aver, Choke the Smoke, and ‘Low Carb Diet’ websites/campaigns: information on lowering fuel consumption, reducing carbon emissions from vehicles, choosing a fuel efficient car, and reducing pollution

Households with vehicles

Home Energy Rating Scheme: accredited assessment of a home’s energy efficiency

The main target for the scheme is houses on the market

Education for Sustainability programme: environmental education support for teachers and school children

Schools, teachers, households with children at school

Infrastructure and Regulation

Changes to the Building Code: tougher insulation requirements (including double glazing in most areas), easier to install solar water heating – further requirements to follow

New homes – 30% energy reductions to achieve

healthy average indoor-air temperatures, reduction in installation costs for solar water heating

Draft NZEECS: new or more stringent Minimum Energy Performance Standards for classes of products, reduced standby power usage in new appliances

Manufacturers, importers and purchasers of new appliances

Biofuels sales requirement – 3.4 percent of the total fuel sold by oil companies must be biofuel by 2012

Households with vehicles

Increased investment in public transport

Urban households

Minimum exhaust emission standards for imported used vehicles

Vehicle buyers and dealers

Urban Design Protocol: voluntary commitment to specific urban design initiatives by signatory organisations

Central and local government, the property sector, design professionals, professional institutes and other groups

Network of public recycling facilities

People in cities and tourist destinations, international visitors

Capability Building

EnergyWise Homes: quality assurance, training and accreditation

Suppliers and installers of energy efficient products

EnergyWise Homes: support for councils to implement new legislation such as the revised Building Code and to promote energy efficiency

Local government, home builders and local communities

Solar Water Heating Programme: contestable innovation fund to support innovative projects that will lead to a significant increase in the use of solar energy for water heating

Solar water heating industry, developers of related new technologies, building sector, property developers

Annex 2: Indicative implementation timeline and deliverables

Discussions with key partners

Apr 07 - Jan-Jun 09

Develop approach & run pilot regional forum

Jun 07 - Jul 07

Hold regional forums

Aug 07 - Sep 07

Portal design, content and information architecture development

Jun 07 - Oct 07

Portal launch

Oct 07 - Nov 07

Portal management, content maintenance

Nov 07 - Jul-Dec 09

Develop & maintain calendar of sustainability events & opportunities

Apr 07 - Jul-Dec 09

Develop overarching strapline

Apr 07 - Jun 07

Develop & run advertising campaign

May 07 - Jul-Dec 09

Re-branding existing programmes

May 07 - Dec 07

Develop & implement information and awareness programme

May 07 - Jul-Dec 09

[Withheld under section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982]

 

 

Cabinet decisions: POL Min (07) 10/16

On 16 May 2007, the Cabinet Policy Committee (POL):

1. noted that on 9 May 2007, POL:

1.1 invited the Minister for the Environment to submit a paper to POL on 16 May 2007 which includes:

1.1.1 comprehensive information of the sustainable household initiatives currently being provided across the state sector;

1.1.2 a plan for implementing effective partnerships with communities to promote household sustainability;

2. noted that on 12 February 2007 Cabinet agreed that a set of initiatives be refined to elevate sustainability to a higher level of public awareness, including a household sustainability programme [CAB Min (07) 4/1A];

3. noted that Budget 2007 contains funding of $6 million over three years in Vote: Environment for the household sustainability initiative;

4. noted that there are already many existing and proposed Government programmes that support more sustainable household practices;

5. agreed to the development of a household sustainability programme to:

5.1 raise the awareness of households about sustainability;

5.2 help households to take practical actions to be more sustainable – particularly around energy efficiency, travel, water, waste and home construction;

5.3 support partner organisations delivering tangible results through household-related sustainability initiatives at a local, regional or national level;

5.4 put sustainability at the heart of our national identity;

6. noted that the programme is based on a communications approach that will drive the adoption of sustainability as a social value in New Zealand;

7. agreed to the following key elements of the household sustainability programme:

7.1 building partnerships with regional and local communities to promote sustainable action, through:

7.1.1 partnerships with and support for regional and local organisations working with households on sustainability at a national, regional or local level;

7.1.2 a series of regional events designed to build partners’ and communities’ ability to take action, and strengthen central government’s ability to support communities;

7.2 an internet-based sustainability portal as the home of the sustainability movement, with information and the ability for open public participation and sharing of tools, resources and success stories;

7.3 a sustained information programme to focus on supporting people who are already putting sustainable values into action, and to promote a shared vision of the direction that New Zealand can take;

8. directed the Ministry for the Environment, in consultation with other agencies as appropriate, to lead the development and implementation of:

8.1 the refocus and enhancement of the Sustainable Management Fund to better support and encourage partners who are delivering community-based household sustainability projects;

8.2 a series of regional forums across New Zealand during August and September 2007 to support, promote and facilitate sustainability at the household level, identify and support potential partners, listen to communities to find out what is already happening locally and how central and local government can best provide ongoing support, and build local and regional networks;

8.3 a sustainability portal to promote and encourage sustainable choices and activities at the household level, connect initiatives run by government and partners, provide links to other websites, resources, tools, and assistance programmes, and promote local household-related sustainability programmes and success stories;

8.4 an ongoing information and awareness raising programme that starts immediately and includes:

8.4.1 the development of key household-related sustainability messages to be used in ongoing government communications;

8.4.2 an overarching household sustainability strapline to be applied to relevant existing and new government programmes;

8.4.3 publicity to promote the sustainability portal and encourage people to participate in regional and local initiatives;

8.4.4 active and frequent unpaid media activity, including the development of stories and articles for local newspapers and publications in partnership with key stakeholders;

9. directed the Ministry for the Environment to develop a monitoring programme to measure awareness and uptake of sustainable choices and actions by households;

10. [Withheld under section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982]

11. noted that the Ministry for the Environment is establishing a Household Sustainability team to drive the household sustainability programme and lead work with other government agencies and local government;

12. noted that local government will be an important partner in both developing and delivering the household sustainability programme;

13. invited the Minister for the Environment to report to POL by 21 December 2007 with progress to date and more detailed options for working with local government and communities;

14. agreed that the Minister for the Environment may publicly release the submission under POL (07) 146, including Cabinet decisions, and any Annexes, once Cabinet has made a decision;

15. noted that the Minister for the Environment indicates that the government caucuses have been consulted and that consultation is required with other parties represented in Parliament.