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Minister of Energy and Resources Phil Heatley has congratulated Gisborne region homeowners, charitable trusts, and insulation installers on achieving the greatest regional uptake of the Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart insulation programme.
“In the Gisborne region, over 25 per cent of all homes have used the insulation subsidy to install ceiling or underfloor insulation. This is the highest regional proportion of homes in the country,” Mr Heatley said at a function in Gisborne this morning.
“This is a great achievement, especially in an area with traditionally high health and welfare needs.
“Insulation makes a house warmer and more comfortable. It also makes it easier and cheaper to heat, and has a lot to do with preventing illness, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with respiratory problems,” he said.
The 3962 houses insulated in the region include 2894 low-income homes, and 808 families living in rental accommodation.
About 73 per cent of the uptake in the Gisborne region has been by those on low incomes, compared with about half for the rest of the country, Mr Heatley said.
Funding from the Eastland Community Trust has boosted the number of low-income houses taking up the subsidy. The trust money topped up the cost of insulation after the Government subsidy, for those with Community Services Cards. The trust has committed over $4.5 million towards the programme since 2009.
The Minister also commended service providers and installers in the region for their hard work. Around a dozen EECA-contracted service providers work in the Gisborne region.
“By insulating so many homes, all of these agencies working together are making a real difference to the lives of Gisborne and East Cape people.
“The Government’s investment in the insulation programme is paying off for everyone, by lowering health costs, cutting down on days off work and school due to illness, increasing productivity, and generally improving people’s well-being.”
Research into the benefits of the programme shows that for every dollar invested there were $5 worth of benefits, mainly from reduced health costs.