Wood burners could be solution to New Zealand's energy woes - expert

An energy analyst says wood burning heaters could be the solution to New Zealand's energy problems, providing an environmentally-friendly way to heat homes. 

A new Government report has revealed New Zealand's power is 80 percent renewable, but shifting to 100 percent will be difficult. 

Energy analyst Molly Melhuish says burning wood for heat is one way to close the gap.

"There are technical improvements we can make to household wood burning so they are essentially smokeless," she said, adding only 10 percent of houses would need to use wood burners to have a positive effect.

"If they used wood burning on the coldest days - and in particular on dry years - you wouldn't need that last 20 percent [non-renewable energy]."

The Government report also says New Zealanders are paying 79 percent more for power in 2018 than they were in 1990.

Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes wants power pricing to be fairer.

"What we're asking is more than 100,000 Kiwi families missing out, they're in energy poverty, [and] they're spending more than 10 percent of their income [on power]."