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The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is keen to receive new applications for its Clean Heat Clean Air programme.
ORC group manager regional services Jeff Donaldson said the Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has approved further funding for the award-winning programme.
More than 2000 Otago homes have received new insulation under the programme, which has also seen nearly 700 heating appliances replaced since 2007.
Under the current scheme, residents with a community services card can qualify for a subsidy of up to $3000 towards installation of a heating device. Those without a card can receive a subsidy of up to $2000.
ORC has managed the programme since 2005. Along with its other Otago funders, the council has contributed around $2 million, and the government about $4 m. Third-party funders include: Aurora Energy; Central Lakes Trust; Otago Community Trust; Milton Rotary; and the Clutha District Council.
Mr Donaldson said the council welcomed applications from interested people before Christmas if possible.
“It’s good to get this work done during the summer or early autumn, with the longer days and better weather making the installation process a lot easier,” he said.
To qualify for the programme applicants must own a home in the Air Zone One towns of Alexandra, Cromwell, Clyde, Arrowtown and Milton (which will soon be in the zone), and want to replace their old non-compliant heating device.
The heating device must be in the main living area of a house built before 2000. If the insulation is not up to the current NZ building code, then it must be brought up to this standard. There are funding subsidies available for this work as well.
Changes to the Otago Air Plan, effective from January 1, mean that open fires and older inefficient wood and multi-fuel burners are banned in Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell and Arrowtown.
All woodburners must have an emission discharge rating of no more than 0.7g/kg of particulate for every kilogram of fuel burnt and an efficiency rating of not less than 65%.
This has already seen many households replace of out-of-date heating appliances and install insulation.
In the Arrowtown basin alone, the replacement of more than 100 clean heating appliances has brought about a noticeable improvement in air quality.