Help to heat old homes

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 12:39 01/07/2011

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Auckland homeowners can now seek financial assistance from the council as well as the Government to heat their homes.

The Retrofit Your Home initiative allows ratepayers with homes built before 2000 to borrow money from the council for items including insulation, clean heating, ventilation and water-efficient fittings such as rainwater tanks.

Householders can borrow up to $5000 which they will pay back through their rates over nine years.

Repayments don't begin until July 2012 and a total funding pool of $3 million is available region wide.

The programme, announced today, was first piloted in west Auckland.

''An unhealthy home can have a real impact on people's health and wellbeing and inefficient systems can add a lot to household energy and water expenses," Auckland's deputy mayor Penny Hulse said. 

''We want to encourage all ratepayers to improve their homes in energy-efficient and sustainable ways.''

Developed as a partnership between Auckland Council and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the programme builds on the Government's Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart home insulation programme. 

''The benefits of insulation are proven and the programme will make it easier for Aucklanders to invest in insulation and enjoy the benefits for years to come,'' says EECA chief executive Mike Underhill.

Homeowners who take up the council loan scheme are still eligible to apply for the Warm up NZ Energy Efficiency Conservation subsidy which doesn't have to be repaid.

For a free home assessment and more information, call the council on 09 301 0101. Alternatively, go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/retrofityourhome or email retrofit@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

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