Home heating

This section presents data and statistics on New Zealand households with no source of heating.  

Cold homes can cause respiratory problems and other serious health problems. Houses with no source of heating are likely to be cold and below recommended temperatures. Regional climate differences across New Zealand may also influence home heating patterns.  

On this page

More homes without a heating source
Drop in use of bottled gas, wood and coal fires

More homes without a heating source

In 2013, 44,800 households did not have a source of home heating, which is 3.0 percent of households. This percentage had increased from 2.4 percent (33,200 homes) in 2006.

Houses in northern New Zealand were more likely to have no source of home heating. Northland, Hamilton and some parts of Auckland had higher proportions of homes without a heating source. 

Figure 1: Proportion of dwellings with no heating source, by territorial authority, 2013

Cold and damp homes can cause health effects like respiratory illness. For more information, go to the health and cold damp houses webpage

Drop in use of bottled gas, wood and coal fires

Some forms of home heating can also affect our indoor and outdoor environment. 

The use of bottled gas decreased from 26 percent of homes in 2006, to 15 percent in 2013.  In some homes, bottled gas is used with unflued gas heaters. These heaters release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and water vapour [1].

The use of wood and coal fires dropped steadily from 1996 to 2013. While providing home heating, these fires can contribute to outdoor air pollution. For more about wood and coal fires and their contribution to air pollution, go to the wood and coals fires webpage

Figure 2

Information about this data

Fuel types used to heat dwellings

Source: Census (1996, 2001, 2006, 2013), Statistics New Zealand

Definition: The household form of the Census asked about fuel types used to heat dwellings. The data only refer to private occupied dwellings. The outputs available from Statistics New Zealand were:

  • Electricity
  • Mains gas
  • Bottled gas
  • Wood
  • Coal
  • Solar power
  • No fuels used in this dwelling
  • Other fuel(s)
  • Response unidentifiable
  • Not stated.

Multiple responses were possible, and households were included with every fuel type they identified.  Therefore the total number of responses will be greater than the total number of private occupied dwellings.  


 1. Howden-Chapman P, Pierse N, Nicholls S, Gillespie-Bennett J, Viggers H, Cunningham M, et al. 2008. Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 337: a1411. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1411