Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/16028
Energy hardship affects over 6% of households in New Zealand, defined as the inability to afford and obtain energy services. In late 2021, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment proposed 26 indicators to identify energy hardship. However, this study aimed to explore the leading causes and consequences of energy hardship in the following year, including relevant variables not included in the proposed indicators. A survey of 1278 Kiwi respondents was conducted to understand their demographic and energy consumption patterns. Using 17 of the proposed indicators, the severity of energy hardship was measured and related to other important variables. Results showed that energy unaffordability, poor housing quality, and choosing between food expenses or energy bills were the main drivers of energy hardship. Consequences included feeling cold due to restricted energy consumption and accumulating energy debt. This study provides valuable insights to simplify the identification of households experiencing energy hardship and highlights the main areas of focus for policy development aimed at eradicating this problem.
© 2023 The Authors. This is an open-access article under the CCBY license.