Wood and coal fires

This section provides statistics on the wood and coal fires for home heating in New Zealand households. 

Wood and coal fires are a major source of air pollution in most New Zealand urban areas. Wood and coal fires produce particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other organic compounds. Reducing the emissions from wood and coal fires is likely to improve outdoor air quality.

Fewer homes using wood and coal fires

Fewer households used wood and coal fires for home heating in 2013, compared with 2006.

In 2013, about a third of homes used wood fires for home heating (37%), a drop from 41% in 2006.

Coal fire use was much less common in New Zealand, and becoming less frequent over time. In 2013, about 61,000 homes (4%) used a coal fire, compared with about 98,000 homes (7%) in 2006. 

Figure 1: Number of households using wood or coal fires for heating, 1996-2013

South Island homes are more likely to use wood or coal fires

Households in the South Island are more likely to use wood or coal fires than those in the North Island. Coal fires tend to be used more in the West Coast and the Waikato.

Figure 2: Proportion of households using wood fires as a source for home heating, by territorial authority, 2013

Figure 3: Proportion of households using coal fires as a source for home heating, by territorial authority, 2013

 

Information about the data

Number of wood and coal fires

Source: New Zealand Census (1996, 2001, 2006, 2013) – Statistics New Zealand
Definition: Number of private dwellings that reported using a wood or coal fire as a source of home heating. Multiple responses were allowed.

For more information, visit the Statistics New Zealand 2013 Census QuickStats about housing

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