Forget water, food and shelter - Kiwis now believe WiFi, smartphones, a daily coffee and hot showers are the basic necessities of life according to new research.
The Rinnai Smart Cylinder survey found that almost half (48%) of New Zealanders said a hot shower is a greater necessity of life than the internet (29%), a smartphone (13%) and coffee (10%).
A good soak isn’t a priority for all generations however; more than half (53%) of millennials aged 18-24 ranked WiFi as a greater essential than a hot shower, with just a quarter (25%) of respondents in this age group voting for the latter.
And when it comes to having those light bulb moments, half of Kiwis (50%) felt their bed was the best place in the house to think, with the shower the next most popular place for almost a fifth (18%) of those surveyed. Almost a tenth (7%) said the toilet was the most thought-provoking part of the house for them, while a further six percent said the kitchen.
With winter not far away, almost three quarters (74%) of New Zealanders believe they could reduce their hot water usage if required with millenials more likely (84%) to believe they could conserve water than those in the Generation X or Baby Boomer (62%) age brackets.
When asked what activities they engaged in while showering, singing was the most common with six in ten Kiwis passing the time in this way while washing - another 48% said they listened to music as well. Half (50%) of New Zealanders admitted to sharing the shower with a partner while six percent of respondents said they liked to multitask and ate food while showering.
Debt lead the charge when respondents were asked what they would do with the money if they were to save 10% on their water heating costs. The majority (57%) said they would put this towards paying down some form of debt such as the mortgage or credit card.
However more than a quarter (28%) - and a higher proportion of the youngest and the oldest respondents, said they would spend it on travel, while more than a tenth (12%) said they would go on a shopping spree. Just three percent of Kiwis said they would donate the windfall to charity.
People who hog the shower have been a catalyst for household hot water arguments according to more than four in ten (41%) respondents. The incidence of ‘hot water’ related tension was more likely to have occurred among younger respondents and decline with age.
Rinnai managing director Ray Ferner says as we move away from the traditional Kiwi quarter acre lifestyle, with more people living under one roof, greater pressure has gone on hot water supply.
“Kiwis are now more likely to live in intensified housing environments than past generations but the capacity of the hot water cylinder hasn’t really changed over time to accommodate - their cylinder may be several decades old but the number of people flatting or living together is significantly higher than when their dwelling was first constructed.
“This can mean more pressure on water supply, increased strife amongst household members, especially as they compete for a hot shower,” he says.
The research was carried out in conjunction with the launch of the company’s new Rinnai Smart Cylinder which learns a household’s water usage habits and only heats what’s needed, allowing for lower power bills and less stress on renewable energy resources.