Keeping warm a hardship for almost three in ten households

Renters and poorer families are much more likely to say it is hard to keep warm than those who own their own homes or earn more money, Stats NZ said today.

Just under one-third (29 percent) of all New Zealand households in 2015/16 reported that they experienced some energy hardship. Energy hardship means people struggle to afford their power bills, or spend a larger part of their income on power, or often feel cold. This energy hardship figure is based on a variety of indicators developed from the Household Economic Survey (HES).

Energy hardship was much more common for households with lower incomes. Around two-thirds of low-income households experienced one or more energy hardship indicators. Low-income households were also three times more likely than all households to have three or more energy hardship indicators (9 percent compared with 3 percent of all households). Low-income households are the lowest 20 percent of households once income is adjusted by the number of people in the household.

The data showed that renters are more likely to experience energy hardship, with 44 percent of renting households reporting at least one energy hardship indicator compared with 22 percent of households who owned their own home.

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