How to keep your house warmer this winter

Premium Insulation
Photo credit: Premier Insulation

The recent weeks have put health front and centre of people’s minds, and a Ngaruawahia-based company is on a mission to ensure health starts in the home - literally.

It’s estimated more than half a million New Zealand houses have inadequate insulation - meaning they’re often cold, damp and expensive to run.

PIL Group Ltd, and its franchise group Premier Insulation, is setting out to help change this gloomy statistic.

The Kiwi-owned insulation manufacturer is also working alongside the government on a new initiative that will see 100 insulation installs carried out at zero cost to homeowners, while stimulating regional economies through job creation.

Insulation is the single most effective measure you can take to keep your home warm and save money on energy bills. 

A cost benefit analysis report for Warm Up New Zealand1, funded by the Ministry of Economic Development (now MBIE) in 2012 was completed by MOTU2 .  The outcome of the study was quite profound, and showed that the benefits of  "Insulating existing houses led to a significantly warmer, drier indoor environment and resulted in improved self - rated health, less self - reported wheezing, fewer days off school and work, and fewer visits to general practitioners, as well as a trend for fewer hospital admissions for respiratory conditions." (2)

Premier Insulation offers both glass wool (the world’s most popular insulation material) and polyester products. The latter is manufactured in its Waikato plant using 100% polyester fibre including fibre from recycled plastic bottles.

"It’s environmentally friendly, safe, and hypoallergenic," explains PIL Group Ltd National Sales Manager Tim Aitchison.

"And the finished product itself can also be recycled. So if you were to take it out of a home that’s being demolished, and the product is clean, we can then recycle it and re-use it in another home. This includes a zero waste manufacturing process."

PIL Group is a service provider for the Government’s EECA’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme – which funds 67 percent of the insulation and vapor barrier install cost for households which meet certain criteria.

A property’s ceiling and underfloor are targeted – areas which are believed to account for 30 percent of heat loss.

"You’re not only creating a warmer, drier environment – but the energy savings, and environmental savings, are huge," he says. 

The return on investment is also significant. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) estimates that every $1 invested in insulation and clean heating, returns over $4.50 in benefits. In addition, the report estimates a return of $4.50 for every Government dollar spent, mainly through improved health outcomes. It became clear at the time that the return on investment was significant, hence a strong justification for continuity

Even better - many households will pay nothing at all. As part of its pledge to "give back" to communities, Premier Insulation will cover the remaining 33 percent of the cost for 100 eligible families.

Aitchison sees it as a win-win. 

"We want to ensure people are living in warm, dry homes and have healthy families - especially at a time like this. And in terms of our franchise network (the companies network employs about 200 people nationwide), we also want to ensure after lockdown, we’re generating work. These are family-owned business units, and we want to help stimulate growth, and employ more people."

Anyone wanting to register their interest in the offer can do so here.  And for those who miss out, other third-party funding options could still be available to help reduce the installation cost.

Anyone who may have been displaced from their job during this Covid crisis can contact to submit an application for open positions.

How to keep your house warmer this winter
Photo credit: Premier Insulation

Five reasons to insulate your home:

1 - Lower energy costs  

Insulation is the most effective way to reduce energy costs. An uninsulated home uses up to 30 percent more energy to heat, than one with correctly installed insulation.  It's like wrapping your home in a cosy blanket!  Smaller energy bills free up more money for other household necessities, such as food.


2 - Health improvements

Research has shown that insulation and clean heating provide substantial health benefits due to increased household temperatures - leading to fewer sick days and GP visits.

3 - Environmental benefits

Premier manufactures its polyester products in New Zealand using fibres from recycled plastic bottles. Its glass wool product is made up of 70-80% recycled glass.  The reduction in energy demand also brings environmental benefits.

4 - Affordability

Community Service card holders, or those who live in an area identified as lower income, may qualify for a Warmer Kiwi Homes grant. This covers 67 percent of the insulation cost.  (The average home costs about $2,700+gst to properly insulate). Some households may also be able to access other funding options, such as adding the cost to your rates bills & Third party funding.

5 - Economic benefits

Kiwi owned PIL Group Ltd, and its franchise group Premier Insulation, employs about 200 people nationwide. It's aiming to expand its workforce through a new initiative that will see 100 insulation installation jobs completed at zero-cost to the home owners.  The company sees it as a way of "giving back" - by creating jobs and stimulating local economies.

This article is created for Premium Insulation