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Energy efficient retrofit 100 Waitakere Homes

Energy efficient retrofit offered to 100 Waitakere City homes

One hundred low-income households have the opportunity to apply for a heavily discounted energy efficiency retrofit of their homes as part of a new EcoWise West project run by the EcoMatters Environment Trust.

The package includes ceiling and under-floor insulation, damp-proof under-floor membranes, hot water cylinder wraps, pipe lagging, low-flow showerheads and draft-stopping around windows and doors.

Although the retrofits are valued at $1800, support from Waitakere City Council, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Work and Income New Zealand and the Community Employment Group means the Trust is able to offer them for $70.

“As well as making 100 homes warmer and healthier, the project will result in greater energy efficiency and local employment,” says Waitakere City Councillor, Denise Yates, deputy chair of the Council’s Environmental Management Committee.

EECA Chief Executive, Heather Staley, says: “Around 30 percent of a home’s energy consumption goes into heating water, and of the energy the hot water cylinder uses, up to 30 percent is wasted because of low-grade cylinders. Also, 40 percent of space heating escapes through a house’s ceiling, yet it’s estimated that 300,000 homes in New Zealand do not have ceiling insulation.”

Ms Staley says that not only will the Waitakere homes be warmer and more energy efficient, but they’ll also be healthier to live in.

“About one third of New Zealand homes are colder than the World Health Organisation recommended healthy average temperature of 18 degrees. Evidence suggests that cold and damp homes lead to increases in respiratory illness. Simple insulation measures can make a huge difference to a home’s warmth and energy consumption and the health of its occupants,” she says.

“With all of the improvements installed, the occupants of an average home in Auckland could save up to $315 per year, and enjoy a warm, dry, healthy home.”

To apply for the retrofits, you need to own your own home and have a Community Services Card. Priority will be given to those with health problems aggravated by cold and damp housing.

Residents wanting to apply to have their home insulated under the scheme should phone the project coordinator, Gretchen Schubeck, at the EcoMatters Environment Trust on 826 4276. Applications close on September 26.

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