The Government insulation programme Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart has reached its original target of insulating 188,500 homes – ahead of schedule and below budget, Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley announced today.
“This successful programme has directly improved the living conditions of many thousands of New Zealanders,” he said.
“Better home insulation has a really significant effect on health and well-being.
“The programme has also supported manufacturing in New Zealand and created jobs.
“It has promoted the benefits of insulation. Anecdotal evidence suggests prospective tenants and home buyers are now far more likely to enquire about the insulation of a house they want to buy or rent, because they know it will mean a warmer, drier, healthier home,” the Minister said.
The four-year programme, run by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), was launched by Prime Minister John Key in 2009, providing a subsidy for the installation of ceiling or underfloor insulation.
Earlier this year, the Government announced that it would be extended to insulate a further 41,500 homes, taking the total to 230,000. Thanks to savings made within the programme, this will be achieved for the same overall funding of $347 million.
The programme has already reached about 85,000 low-income households, and this will rise to around 105,000 of the 230,000 homes. Many of these have been targeted specifically through health or other special needs.
“Charitable organisations have provided a further $80 million in funding so far, reducing the cost even more for target groups. Other assistance has been provided by banks, allowing homeowners to pay off insulation investments through their mortgage, and by a number of councils, who have put in place funding mechanisms so that ratepayers can pay off the capital cost on their rates,” Mr Heatley said.
“Many organisations and businesses across New Zealand have worked together to make this programme a success.
“I thank them all for their contribution. They can feel proud of the difference they have made, and are continuing to make.”