Warmer Kiwi Homes Insulation programme launched

Hon Megan Woods

Minister for Energy and Resources

MEDIA STATEMENT

The country has been hit with a series of cold snaps this winter but low-income homeowners can now warm up with grants covering two thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says.

Woods launched the Warmer Kiwi Homes insulation programme in Christchurch today, following an announcement in the May Budget of a $142 million investment to make Kiwi homes warmer and drier.

The grants are targeted towards those who need them most. People and families who live in low decile areas or with a health condition or a community services card are eligible under the new scheme.

The first year of the programme will focus on insulation grants, with grants for heating available from July 2019, Woods says.

“The Government has invested in this programme because too many homes are cold and damp, leading to preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever and asthma. Low-income families, young children and older Kiwis are especially vulnerable to the impacts of living in cold, damp homes.

“That’s a huge personal cost to families but it also adds cost and pressure to the health system. That’s why the government has lifted the level of funding per grant from 25% per fit out to two thirds of the cost. This will make getting your home insulated more accessible to those who need it most.”

Woods also acknowledged the community organisations which invest additional funding in insulation programmes, lifting the level of funding available in grants and making a significant difference to the wellbeing of their communities.

“The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which runs Warmer Kiwi Homes, is encouraging community organisations to contribute funding to make the cost to homeowners as low-cost as possible,” says Megan Woods.

This programme delivers on the Coalition and Confidence and Supply Agreements with New Zealand First and the Green Party.

To find out if you are eligible for a grant visit energywise.govt.nz/funding or free call 0800 749 782.

Strong demand for ANZ interest-free insulation loans

The Ratapu family, of Napier, was last week the first ANZ customers to draw down an interest-free loan to insulate their house.

The family, with young children, said their 1910 house was in real need of insulation. They insulated their house for less than $2,000, just in time for the colder winter months.

“We’ve been living in a cold house for 18 years, so this will be a real game changer for our family,” Elia Ratapu said.

ANZ launched the initiative a fortnight ago with $100 million of interest-free loans for insulation.

In just two weeks ANZ has had 500 customers from across the country register for the interest-free loans.

“We’re really pleased with the strong response we’ve had from customers wanting to insulate their homes,” ANZ Managing Director Retail and Business Banking Antonia Watson said.

“It’s only two weeks in, and we expect we’ll continue to receive strong interest from customers in taking up the offer and making their homes warmer and healthier this winter.”

The interest-free loans are available to ANZ customers who currently have home loans. The loans will be repayable over a maximum of four years and be for a maximum of $5000 a house for up to two houses. They will be available to home owners and landlords who use registered builders and certified insulation installers.

A $5000 interest-free home insulation loan would cost a home owner about $100 a month to pay off over 48 months.

*The interest free home insulation loan initiative is subject to ANZ’s normal terms and conditions, including affordability and LVR restrictions, and will be reviewed after six months.

Healthier homes for more Kiwi families

Hon Megan Woods
Minister for Energy and Resources

Hon James Shaw
Minister for Climate Change

Healthier homes for more Kiwi families

A new insulation programme will make Kiwi homes healthier and support families’ wellbeing, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today.

“Too many of our homes are cold and damp, leading to preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever and asthma. That’s a burden on Kiwi families, as well as on our health system and the economy. We can and must do better,” says Megan Woods.

“Lower-income families, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable when living in cold, damp housing. About 42,000 children go to hospital every year with infectious and respiratory diseases that are largely the result of cold, damp, mouldy homes – and 1,600 mostly older New Zealanders die prematurely each winter.

“Our plan will help tens of thousands of Kiwi households live in homes that will keep them healthy and that are better placed to raise children. The four-year programme funded by Budget 2018 will help lower-income New Zealanders stay warm by providing grants for insulating their owner-occupied homes.

“The programme will be delivered by grants from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, with $142.5 million in new operating funding over the next four years,” says Megan Woods.

“This initiative delivers on the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and the Green Party, which undertook to substantially increase the number of insulated homes in New Zealand,” says James Shaw.

“As part of the 100-Day Plan, the Government passed the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill requiring landlords to properly insulate rental properties.

“Now, lower-income households living in their own homes will be eligible for grants covering two-thirds of the cost of installing ceiling and underfloor insulation. The grants will be topped up wherever possible by third-party funding to make the insulation as low-cost as possible. The first year of the programme will focus on insulation as the highest priority for creating warm, dry homes. The second phase will concentrate on heat sources,” says James Shaw.