Reducing the running costs from your home

By Jon McAlpine: Director Thorne Group Architecture


Now is the time to look at a reset. Since being in lockdown, if you are living in a home that does not maximise its full potential, this will have become even more evident. Your home has become your safe haven, your sanctuary. With this in mind, you want to ensure that your home can deliver maximum comfort whilst minimising the running costs of your home.


In 2018 l became a Homestar accredited designer and assessor. You can read about what this means here: https://www.thornegroup.co.nz/post/do-you-want-to-create-a-warmer-drier-and-more-energy-efficient-home

Below is a list of some options that you may want to consider when designing your new home or renovation project.


  • Increasing insulation ‘R Value’ in walls and ceiling.

  • Ensure the shower, bathroom and kitchen taps have all been fitted with water saving devices and have a good WELS rating.

  • Bathroom extractor fans have been installed in every bathroom and Laundry ensuring they are ducted outside.

  • The kitchen extraction over the hob is ducted to outside.

  • WCs are dual flush with no more than 4.5L / 3L cisterns (4 Star WELS rating)

  • All interior lights are LED or Compact Fluorescent (CFL).

  • All Exterior lights are LED, CFL or other lamp type with a minimum efficacy of 40 Lm/W).

  • Slab insulation under and around the perimeter of your home.

  • Insulated garage (including garage door).

  • Indoor clothes line (to reduce requirement for a dryer).

  • E-glass or thermal break glass.

  • Electric car charger.

  • Solar water.

  • Solar heating.

  • Photovoltaic Panels (PV) to provide energy from the sun which is transferred into electrical energy to run your home.

  • Rain water storage to use for either landscape watering, or filtered to use within your home.

  • Low VOC products within the home.



The above will ultimately create a warmer and drier home that costs less to run. However you can also think about the products that go into your home, and the impact that these have on the environment.



Options to reduce environmental impact:


  • Environmental Choice NZ certified paint.

  • Flooring certified either Environmental Choice NZ, GreenTag Level A or CIAL-ECS Level 4 certified.

  • Wall linings to be Environmental Choice NZ

  • Plant natives on your property or in a designated planting area. You can read how Thorne Group mitigates our carbon footprint by planting trees for every home built here.

  • If possible check the origin of every product, fixture and fitting that goes into your home and any environmental certification.


There is plenty of choice in today’s market, we are at a point in time where options to make better choices will affect not only those in this generation but in future generations to come.

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Unit 4, 3 Newton Street, Mount Maunganui

Postal:  PO Box 4352 Mount Maunganui 3149

Email: clare@thornegroup.co.nz

Or Call 0800716129

Click HERE to view our PRIVACY STATEMENT

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