Officials from the Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) will visit Alexandra this month to congratulate Clean Heat Clean Air programme funders on the success of the programme
Otago Regional Council (ORC) group manager regional services Jeff Donaldson says 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 million.
The third-party funders include: Central Otago District Council; Arrowtown Clean Air Warm Homes Trust; Aurora Energy; Central Lakes Trust; Otago Community Trust; Milton Rotary; and the regional primary health organisations.
The programme’s success led to ORC winning an EECA award in 2009. The council is enjoying ongoing recognition for its contribution to the overall retrofitting of homes, and the replacement of heating appliances in Air Zone One towns (Alexandra, Cromwell, Clyde, and Arrowtown).
ORC’s work in Milton since 2009 is also being acknowledged (Milton joined the programme after air quality monitors showed its air pollution levels were high).
The programme was promoted extensively in the greater Dunedin area for the first time in 2008-2009, Mr Donaldson said. EECA will meet its Otago programme partners, and present them with certificates of appreciation at 1pm on Thursday 22 September at the Cellar Door, in Alexandra.
The presentation was originally to have been held last month, but was postponed because of heavy snow.
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead, chief executive Graeme Martin, and EECA residential manager Robert Linterman are speaking at the presentation.
Otago is drawing closer to the implementation of changes to the Air Plan deadlines effective from January 1, which in effect mean that open fires and older inefficient wood and multi-fuel burners are banned in Airzone One from the end of this year.
This has seen the replacement of out-of-date heating appliances and installation of insulation in homes increase accordingly.
“Certainly this year we have installed more clean heaters, and put in more insulation, than in previous years,” Mr Donaldson said.
Since 2007, more than 2000 homes have been insulated as part of the programme, with nearly 700 appliances replaced.
In the Arrowtown basin alone, the replacement of more than 100 clean heating appliances has brought about a marked improvement in air quality.
The programme has another year to run in its current form, and depending on future funding streams, may well continue beyond that.
“We are very proud of our involvement in the programme and hope that it continues for some time to come,” Mr Donaldson concluded.