Council help for warmer homes

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 08:10 04/02/2013

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South Taranaki ratepayers wanting to take up the Government's Warm Up New Zealand initiative but unable to afford it can now get a helping hand from the council.

With the introduction of a financing programme to support the Government's Warmer Homes Insulation Scheme, the South Taranaki District Council hopes to make the district's homes warmer, drier and healthier.

The Heat Smart Scheme provides funding for property owners to insulate their homes.

It pays for up to 30 per cent of the cost of insulation to a maximum of $1300 and up to 60 per cent of the cost for Community Service Card holders.

The South Taranaki District Council is supporting the scheme by allowing home owners who want to take up the Government offer, but do not have the funds up front, to get financing from the council for the rest of the money, up to a maximum of $2600.

This loan would be paid back, with interest, over a period of up to nine years in the form of a targeted rate on that property.

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop said there would be no cost to the ratepayer to implement the scheme as all costs, such as interest and administration, would be recovered through the targeted rate.

"I'm really excited that council can provide the community with this simple service which will mean warmer, drier, healthier homes," Dunlop said.

"It's really fantastic that we can do something that's so easy, is cost neutral, but will be of huge benefit for our citizens."

The interest charged will be around seven per cent although this was recalculated each year.

To meet the criteria home owners needed to be a South Taranaki District ratepayer with rate payments up to date and a home built before 2000.

Those interested in finding out more about the scheme can contact the council's finance department on 0800 111 323 or visit www.southtaranaki.com

The New Plymouth District Council is implementing a similar scheme.

All New Plymouth ratepayers would be eligible to apply for up to $5000 (including GST) to support the installation of clean energy heat products or solar water heating or up to $2600 (including GST) for the installation of insulation.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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