Lines Trust has warming news for 400 households

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014
grant eames
GRANT EAMES: South Canterbury Lines Trust chairman.

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Another 400 lucky homeowners could be living in warmer conditions by the end of the year.

In the seven years since the South Canterbury Lines Trust launched its Healthy Homes project, 2600 families living in pre-1978 homes have received insulation packages.

Chairman Grant Eames said yesterday that the trust hoped to insulate at least another 400 homes over the next year.

"We're investing another $250,000 in the project over the next year.

"With the assistance of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and the local health board, the money will go a long way," he said.

"The Government's tightened up some of the criterion for their subsidies - they're focusing more on lower-income households and pensioners - but the project will remain the same."

Mr Eames said it would continue to use EnergySmart as its service provider in South Canterbury.

"The market's got a bit tighter since the Government reduced some of its subsidies, but they're doing a good job at meeting our work," he said.

Most of the work comes through referrals from the South Canterbury District Health Board and other organisations.

Each year, the Lines Trust also hosts two separate "ballots", open to all South Canterbury residents, in which 60 lucky homeowners can get the package for free.

However, Mr Eames said there should be good news for all South Canterbury customers in their power bill.

The trust, which owns 40 per cent of South Canterbury lines company Alpine Energy, has a mandate to redistribute 90 per cent of its profits back - after deducting its running expenses - by arranging a credit on consumers' electricity accounts.

Mr Eames said the average payout this year would be $46.44 per customer on their current bill.

There were about 31,500 customers in the Alpine Energy region.

The other Alpine Energy shareholders are the Timaru (47.5 per cent), Waimate (7.5 per cent) and Mackenzie (5 per cent) district councils.

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- The Timaru Herald

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