Grants for warmer homes available

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Cosy Homes Trust project manager Jordana Whyte. PHOTO: THE STAR FILES

The expansion of the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes insulation subsidies means a further 1200 Dunedin homeowners will be covered by the scheme.

Dunedin’s Cosy Homes Trust project manager Jordana Whyte has welcomed the expansion of the designated “warm-up zones” across the city, which will be covered by the subsidy from July 1.

“It’s fantastic that the programme will be rolled out across so many more homes in the city and around Otago,” Mr Whyte said.

Warmer Kiwi Homes is a $142million, four-year Government programme which covers two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation and a vapour membrane.

In Dunedin, the Otago Community Trust and Dunedin City Council pick up the rest of the cost to make the programme entirely free for those who qualify.

Ms Whyte said it was important to realise that in un-insulated homes, an “enormous” 30%-35% of heat was lost through the roof and 12%-15% through the floor.

“Many people will notice a difference straight away when insulation is installed,” she said.

Grants covering two-thirds of the cost of heating appliances, up to $2875, will also be available to qualifying home owners from July 1.

The heating appliances, which may include heat pumps, woodburners and pellet fires, will be for the main living area, in line with the Government’s healthy homes standards.

“This aspect of the funding is designed for people who don’t have fixed heating in place, and acknowledges that the Government wants living areas to be heated to 18degC,” Mr Whyte said.

In recent months, Ms Whyte has been working alongside The Valley Project team and other place-based community organisations in the city to get the word out about insulation and heating subsidies.

It is important for homeowners to realise the subsidies are not just available to people with Community Services or SuperGold combo cards, but also for people living in areas identified as lower-income.

“It really does pay to punch your address into the online tool – there are pockets of eligible addresses throughout the city.”