The government today officially launched the insulation and heating scheme announced in the budget last month. This initiative is designed to address a real issue which plagues NZ homes – inadequate insulation.
The undeniable fact is that a vast number of NZ homes are inadequately insulated leading to serous health impacts as well as wasted energy. Personally having been brought up in the UK and having lived in a country like Sweden I was staggered when I moved to NZ to see so many homes (almost all in the Auckland region) with no fitted heated system.
People always assume that if you live in a country like Sweden you must be every hardy to cope with sub-zero temperatures for months of the year – the reality is they are not as hardy as NZ’ers, they have houses that are super insulated coupled with true central heating. Every house, every office, every school, every factory is beautifully heated – the living conditions are excellent.
It begs the question why should NZ make excuses and have to put up with cold houses. The health advisors say that an ideal living room temperature is 18 degrees yet on average in NZ such rooms in winter barely reach 16 degrees.
So now with a $323m investment over 4 years the government is aiming to bring about change. The grant of up to $1,800 for a combination of insultion (ceiling and underfloor) and clean heating will apply for any home built before 2000. The intention is to see over the 4 years 180,000 homes insulted – that compares with only 60,000 homes insulated over the past 18 years.
The grants are not income related which means all the NZ housing stock will benefit, and potentially in 4 years time over half a million kiwis will be living in better insulated homes.
Creating a truly warm living environment goes far beyond just insulating the roof and underfloor, good design can play a large part; as with double glazing, adequate draft preventions and more efficient heating systems, and in older houses – wall insulation. However any improvement in insulation is to be encouraged.
Applications for these grants need to be made through service providers in your area – ful details on this Ecca website. Take advantage because having lived in beautifully insulated homes, the benefits it brings are immeasurable.