Aucklanders who want their homes to be warmer, drier and healthier in time for winter can join the 1000 homeowners who have applied for assistance through Auckland Council's Retrofit Your Home programme.
Under the programme eligible homeowners can apply to the council for a free home sustainability assessment and personalised retrofit plan along with up to $5000 towards the cost of insulation and/or clean heating solutions, with repayments added to their rates bill.
Originally piloted in West Auckland before being offered region wide last year, Retrofit Your Home received a $2 million funding boost from the council last month to help ensure more people across the region can benefit from the programme this financial year.
Auckland's Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says the council estimates up to 400,000 homes in Auckland have no or inadequate insulation.
"The aim is to assist in ensuring more families in Auckland have well-insulated, warmer and healthier homes," she says, "and with winter approaching we're encouraging people to apply now for the support available. An early application will help ensure the insulation, heating or other solutions homeowners pursue can be organised before the cold weather sets in."
Papatoetoe resident Lynne Butler decided to take advantage of the programme last year after being told her chimney needed to be replaced.
"It was going to cost $5000 to get another chimney," she says, "and because I've had a stroke and I can't get wood in I thought 'here's my chance to get rid of it altogether'."
So she booked a free Retrofit Your Home assessment and took advantage of the financial assistance available through the programme to get a heat pump installed by one of the council-approved suppliers.
"The council was so helpful with everything. I couldn't recommend the programme more," she says. "It's just marvellous. I'm really looking forward to using the heat pump this winter. "
More information on the Retrofit Your Home programme is available online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/retrofityourhome or by calling 09 301 0101.