Home insulation – an affordable option for all homeowners this winter

Friday 12 April 2013, 11:05AM
By Gemma Stewart

With home insulation grants up for grabs, the health and well-being of your family can now be your number one priority this winter – as should your ability to keep those winter bills from constantly creeping higher.

A warm and healthy home is at last an agreed upon prerequisite this winter -- thanks to a government insulation grant being offered to home owners. The programme is called Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart and the primary goal is straight forward – to financially assist home owners to bring their homes up to modern insulation standards. Simply put, if you own a house that was built before the year 2000, you can receive a $1,300 (or 33%) contribution towards the cost of ceiling and under floor insulation and its installation. The conditions for the insulation grant are that both ceiling and under floor spaces are insulated at the same time and that the material used is approved by Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart. Approved insulation materials include wool, polyester, fibreglass mineral fibre and polystyrene products.

To qualify for a government contribution you will need an approved assessor to give you an insulation quote. The work then needs to be carried out by an approved insulation installer. Harrisons Home Energy Solutions, a Kiwi owned family business that has been in operation since 1962 are approved insulation installers and are looking forward to providing New Zealand home owners with quality insulation that is guaranteed to keep homes warmer and drier and bills significantly smaller this winter.

If you have inadequate insulation, take heart in knowing you are not alone – nearly 60% of all New Zealand homes have inadequate insulation. Around 35% of the energy used in an average New Zealand household goes on heating your home – that’s a lot of wasted heat for homes with inadequate insulation! A BRANZ study found that adding insulation increased temperatures by 1.4 degrees in winter and reduced energy use by 300-400 KWH. Another study by the University of Otago showed that electricity consumption was reduced by up to 9% during winter in homes retro-fitted with insulation.

Governments the world over regularly revise budgets and it is exactly these kinds of areas that will get cut when times are tight, so it’s best to grab this opportunity now. The good news is that the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme is not the only source of potential funding for your insulation. There are a number of generous grants and smart finance options available, some of which include a council grant (for insulation in Auckland and Wellington). There are of course conditions attached to these grants, and a reputable insulation company such as Harrisons Home Energy Solutions can help you find out if your house meets the council’s criteria. Interest-free finance is another avenue to explore for approved insulation products. In the case of Harrisons Home Energy Solutions, there are Q Card, Gem Visa and GE CreditLine options available. Then finally, extending your mortgage is another possibility and certain banks may advance the money to install or upgrade your home’s insulation as they see it as a worthwhile investment.

Avoid having to run your heaters into the ground and your power bills through the roof this winter. Get in before the winter rush begins and contact an approved installer today to get a professional assessment.